Can Menstrual Cups Cause TSS?
TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare but serious and life-threatening condition caused by bacterial toxins. Its symptoms may consist of rash, fever, low blood pressure, muscle aches, sore throat, and skin peeling. Moreover, Toxic Shock Syndrome can affect our body negatively as it puts out toxins into one’s bloodstream. And here’s the question that leaves many cup beginners and users confused: can menstrual cup cause TSS?
Well, that’s what we are going to figure out today! In addition, most women choose and use a menstrual cup instead of tampons because they think that it’s a safer alternative. Although that may be true, there’s a case, first case that menstrual cups can be associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome. But can menstrual cup cause TSS?
Let’s talk about that below.
Tampons and TSS
Well, you might have heard that tampons have been linked to TSS. Although tampons are undoubtedly great menstrual product, using it regularly may increase the risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome. Furthermore, this illness is caused by Staphylococcus aureus (SA), a bacteria that is able to produce a toxin. And don’t forget that the bacteria (SA) is the cause of the illness, not the tampon itself.
However, those women who use tampons during their period have a higher risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome in comparison to women who do not. In addition, most cases of this deadly condition occur during menstruation, which is mostly associated with tampon use.
This only shows that a menstrual cup is indeed a much better and safer alternative to tampons. And since most period cups today are made of medical grade silicone, it is certainly safe for our body. Furthermore, use of tampons increases the risk of TSS. Though Toxic Shock Syndrome is a very rare condition, it mostly affects those who use tampons than those women who use a period cup.
Difference Between Tampons and Cups
Menstrual cups and tampons are both internal period product. The only difference is that tampons absorb your menstrual blood, while menstrual cup collects it. We can’t deny the fact that these period products allows us to manage our menstruation much easier.
Also, tampons have toxic ingredients that include hydrocarbons, alcohols, a fragrance of additives, and aluminum. And one of the most harmful chemicals that is often found in tampons is the Dioxin. But what is Dioxin? It is a toxic chemical that is linked to cancer. The worst part is this chemical can build up in your body from time to time, which could affect your body negatively.
While tampons have chemicals that can harm our body, menstrual cups don’t. Since most cups available today are made of quality medical grade silicone, this makes it very safe to use. Furthermore, tampons dry you out, and this is not healthy for your vagina. Since tampons work by absorbing your flow, it will only dry you out which makes you feel uncomfortable.
However, there’s a major downside of using tampons – it increases the risk of TSS. Although there is the first case that a period cup can also cause Toxic Shock Syndrome, a majority of this illness affects those who use tampon regularly. But how can a tampons cause TSS?
How Tampons Cause TSS
Tampons, if left for too long, can lead to infections and possibly cause Toxic Shock Syndrome although very rare. Leaving a tampon in for more than 8 to 12 hours is bad as it can increase the risk of vaginal infections or potentially TSS. In addition, according to instructions, it is necessary to change tampons every eight hours – leaving it longer than that is bad for your vagina’s health.
If you fear that you can get Toxic Shock Syndrome from using a tampon, then you can reduce the risk of getting this serious illness by simply switching to a menstrual cup. But why? Well, it is undoubtedly a healthier option than tampons.
How does TSS get into your blood
Your health is at risk when the Staphylococcus aureus (SA) gets into your bloodstream. But in most situations, SA is harmless. And this common bacterium lives on the nose and skin. However, once it enters your body, it can cause infections which can be fatal and even cause death if not treated quickly and properly.
But how these bacteria get into your blood? Staphylococcus aureus enters your body through a cut or a wound in the skin. It can be deadly as SA can invade deeper into one’s body, which gets into your joints, heart, lungs, and bloodstream.
In addition, those women who use tampons during their period have a higher risk of this life-threatening bacteria. But how? Prolonged usage (longer than 8 hours) of tampons can completely dry your vagina. Leaving a tampon for more than the recommended hours of 8 may dry and irritate your vagina.
And if your vagina is irritated, it may itch and of course, to lessen and remove the itch from the irritation, you are more likely to scratch it. And scratching an irritated vagina may cut or even wound it.
Moreover, the wound in your vagina is where the Staphylococcus aureus enters. This is the best opportunity for the bacteria to attack and invade your vagina, which can spread all over your body over time.
If you are a menstrual cup user, there are some steps that you can follow to reduce the risk of developing this serious condition. You just have to:
1. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after using a period cup
2. Clean the cup before you use it for the first time
3. Empty, remove, and wash your period cup at least every 4 to 8 hours during your period.
And there you have it! So, can menstrual cup cause TSS? Well, that’s a yes and a no. But to lessen the risk of this deadly illness, you might want to avoid the use of tampons and switch to menstrual cups instead. This way, you’ll get to reduce or completely avoid having Toxic Shock Syndrome.