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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Fatal Consequences Of Tampons


Amy Rae Elifritz (The "ARE" in "You ARE Loved") was a healthy 20y/o with a full life ahead of her until June 13, 2010, when she died suddenly of Toxic Shock Syndrome(TSS). {You can read about her in the PDF brochure HERE}. From that time on, Lisa(her mom) has been committed to doing everything possible to raise awareness.  In 2011, she founded the non-profit organization You ARE Loved.  As of June 2011, the organization has already reached tens of thousands of people through face-to-face educational programs and online awareness initiatives.


TSS develops when the common bacteria, Staphylococcus Aureus, produce a toxin which is absorbed into the bloodstream. The toxin rapidly overwhelms the immune system and attacks the major organs, leading to kidney failure, collapse of the lungs and in severe cases, cardiac arrest. Alarmingly, half of all known cases of Toxic Shock are women using TAMPONS.

Symptoms of TSS

  • Sore throat
  • Aching muscles
  • High temperature; over 102 degrees F
  • Vomiting
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Red rash
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Very low blood pressure
Only one or two symptoms may occur. They do not necessarily occur all at once and may not persist.

What You Should Do

  • Remove the tampon (save it if possible)
  • Seek IMMEDIATE medical attention
  • Inform the doctor that you have been using tampons
  • Take TSS information leaflet with you

After Effects of TSS?

Survivors of Toxic Shock Syndrome may have been hospitalized for weeks and there is usually a long recovery period. They may have suffered:
  • Loss of fingers and toes due to gangrene
  • Permanent kidney and liver damage
  • Deafness and blindness
  • Peeling skin, and loss of nails and hair
  • Continual infections
  • Short term memory loss
  • No energy for months or even years
  • Psychological and emotional distress

To Reduce the Risk of TSS

  • Use a Menstrual Cup
  • Only use tampons made of organic cotton
  • Use the lowest absorbency needed at each stage of your period
  • Avoid using tampons continuously during a period. Alternate with sanitary pads at night so the toxins have time to dissipate.
  • Use a pad at the end of your period
  • Change tampons every 4 to 6 hours
  • Don’t use tampons if you’ve had any unusual discharge
  • Wash your hands before and after use and handle the tampon as little as possible
  • Alert your family and friends to the symptoms and emergency action required
  • Read and keep this information leaflet or the leaflet inside the tampon packet

If you have ever had TSS, NEVER – EVER use tampons again!

What Causes TSS?

There are two types of TSS, one is caused by Staphylococcus aureus and the other type occurs during menstruation with the use of tampons. Vaginal tampons, especially those containing any synthetic ingredients like viscose rayon, create the physical-chemical conditions that allow for TSST-1 toxin production to degress dependent upon the composition of the tampon and the environment it creates. Research clearly shows that the toxins of Staphylococcus aureus are amplified by these tampons. (the tampon connection).

There has never been a case of TSS caused by the use of all-cotton tampons.

I highly recommend looking into menstrual cups

over the all cotton tampons. 

Lunette Cup(I own this)
Diva Cup
Even Cloth pads would be better


  1. I'm glad you recommend menstrual cups. They have truly enhanced my life and I wish every woman knew about them.

  2. Great article. It's partially because of the risk of TSS that I made the switch from tampons to a menstrual cup (Diva Cup) and cloth menstrual pads (several brands, including Luna Pads) in September of 2010. They're much safer, and much more comfortable. And as an added bonus, they're better for the environment. :)