All You Need To Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome


toxic shock syndrome 1

All You Need To Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome

Toxic Shock syndrome ( TSS) is a fatal medical condition mostly seen in women, although rare. I had mentioned the condition when I spoke about Tampons, and now today I thought I should talk about the syndrome and how it can occur.

Toxic shock syndrome is caused by toxins produced by a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (staph)  or by A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. It is primarily a result of complication of bacterial infection. The link between tampons and TSS has been debunked, and other causes that may lead to TSS include open wounds, skin infection, burns, and surgery.

Who is at risk?

  • Anyone who has just given birth

Post pregnancy, woman may be at risk because of exposure to infections, low immunity, surgery and surgical wounds.

  • Foreign bodies that have been in contact with your genitals for too long

tampons and tss

Any article inserted in or stuck inside your genitals like condoms, tampons, or any other object.

  • Anyone with wound infections after surgery

Often wounds may be left open after surgery. This can lead to an infection.

  • Menstruation

Though periods do not directly cause an infection, woman may be susceptible to infection during their periods.

toxic shock syndrome

Warning signs and other symptoms

While the symptoms of TSS can be associated with other conditions, it’s better to see a doctor if you experience more than three symptoms for more than four days.

  • Sudden high fever, accompanied by chills

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • A reddish rash that looks like sun-burn

  • Dizziness

  • Fainting spells

  • Aches in joints and muscles

  • Redness in eyes, mouth, throat

  • Headaches

  • Low blood pressure


TSS, if not detected and treated can lead to seizures and organ failure. This condition can spread rapidly, and is fatal enough to cause death. Complications include

  • Kidney failure

  • Heart failure

  • Liver failure

  • Shock

  • Death

How will it get diagnosed?

Toxic Shock Syndrome, cannot be diagnosed with just one single test, simply because the early symptoms do not point towards the condition. Several blood tests may be needed to detect the infection. Urine samples are needed, the vagina, cervix, and throat needs to be swabbed for testing



If TSS has spread, the first aim of treatment is to remove the infection and to restore normal functioning of the organs. All sites of infection need to be drained, and further treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

  • Antibiotics are given ( often through an IV)

  • Fluids are given

  • Some people may need dialysis

  • Patients also may need to be in intensive care

 Reduce the risk

tss wound

Here’s what  you can do to reduce the risk

  • If you’ve just had surgery, inform the doctor about any open wounds

  • Make sure you get tested if you have four or more of the symptoms

  • If you use tampons, make sure you change them often.

  • Even contraceptive sponges, female condoms, and diaphragms can be dangerous. Make sure you don’t wear these for two long.

  • Treat all open cuts and burns immediately.

  • Be extra careful during your periods.

Toxic shock Syndrome is dangerous, even fatal. But if diagnosed early is treatable.

This is All You Need To Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome.

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