In simple words, toxic shock syndrome can be defined as a rare and life-threatening health disorder that is caused by certain bacterial infections. In most cases, toxic shock syndrome is due to the Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria. However, it is significant to note that this disorder may also be caused by the toxins that are created by Group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.

Studies conducted by experts in the field of medical science revealed a shocking conclusion that toxic shock syndrome is more common in women who use superabsorbent tampons. This urged several manufacturers to stop the production of certain types of superabsorbent tampons. Consequently, the occurrence of toxic shock syndrome in menstruating women has significantly declined over the last few years.

Yet again, it is significant to note that toxic shock syndrome can affect anyone such as children, postmenopausal women, and even men. Some of the most commonly seen symptoms of toxic shock syndrome are listed below. If you are experiencing any one of these below-mentioned symptoms, then you should immediately get in touch with the expert healthcare providers at our free womens health clinic.


  • Headaches
  • Seizure
  • Redness of throat, mouth, and eye
  • Muscle ache
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Rashes
  • Hypotension
  • Sudden high fever

In most cases, toxic shock syndrome infection happens when bacteria enters into your body through an opening in the skin such as a sore, cut, or wound. Healthcare providers still have no clue on why the use of superabsorbent tampons resulted in the condition. However, some medical experts believe that leaving a tampon in a place for a longer period might attract the bacteria that trigger this condition.

It is crucial to note that the fibers of super absorbent tampons might also scratch the vagina of women. This in turn creates an opening for the bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Besides that, women who had a recent skin infection, surgery, or childbirth are at a higher risk of falling prey to this bacterial infection. So, if you recently had an infection, childbirth, or even flu, seek the help of the expert care providers at our affordable health clinic to ensure that you are not at a higher risk of toxic shock syndrome.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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