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Toxic shock syndrome is a severe condition resulting from a bacterial infection. This infection is caused by the bacteria, Staphylococcus Aureus, which enter the bloodstream. Once into the bloodstream, the bacteria start producing toxins in the body. This is common among menstruating women who have a habit of using super-absorbent tampons. It can, however, also affect men and children.
In case of toxic shock syndrome, one might experience symptoms of low blood pressure and fever. Dryness of the eyes and the mouth, muscle pain and diarrhea are also common symptoms of this disorder. Your blood pressure may drop suddenly, making you prone to fatigue and nausea.
This type of infection occurs when the bacteria enter the body through a cut or sore on the skin. Women who use tampons during their menstrual cycles are vulnerable as tampons happen to be thriving spots for bacteria if aren’t changed frequently. Fibers present in the tampons may also create friction against the vagina, thus creating an opening for the bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
In addition to the causes, there are certain risk factors for toxic shock syndrome:
- Presence of an open wound on the skin
- Giving birth to a child
- Using vaginal sponge or diaphragm as contraceptives
This disorder is considered to be a medical emergency. To combat the bacterial infection, antibiotics are administered into the body via intravenous means. The course of the antibiotic treatment lasts for about 7-8 weeks. There are other treatments for this disorder, which mainly depend on the causes. If the cause of the disorder is a tampon or a vaginal sponge, then it will need to be removed from the body. In case of a wound being the cause, the pus from the wound will need to be drained. Blood pressure medications are also possible treatment modes for toxic shock syndrome.
You can also follow these preventive measures:
1. Replace your tampon regularly
2. Avoid using super absorbent tampons
3. Use sanitary napkins when the volume of bleeding is low
4. In case of wounds, keep the area clean and dry
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.