I am a victim of tampon related TSS.
I started my first period at 15. My only option was thick, bulky, ill fitting pads. They leaked—often through my clothes and onto the chair I sat on. I came to hate my period.
At the age of 17 I discovered the freedom tampons could bring to my red days.
So, when Rely tampons offered to last longer, absorb more and leak less I tried them.
Within three days I was too ill to get out of bed without help. Tampon related Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) was ravaging my body—and my doctor said it was the flu.
It was my GYN who diagnosed my as having TSS when I saw him a couple of months later—after I recounted my illness to him and how I slowly began to improve after removing the Rely tampon.
I was told to NEVER use tampons again.
Never is a long time when you have heavy periods and an active life. My only solution was to wear a pad and leak or return to tampons.
Tampons once again ruled my periods—for a while.
A new line of pads came on the market and I put tampons aside. Then one day while browsing the "feminine aisle" I cam across a box of Instead Softcup. I had heard of reusable menstrual cups but here was something different—a disposable and discrete product. I bought a box. I tried them. And, afterward I bought more and handed some out to my friends.
Each time I inserted a tampon I thought of TSS and the horrible risk I was taking. With Instead Softcup I have no such worries.
I am a survivor of tampon related TSS.
Hardly a day goes by that I don't find myself wondering if my health problems originated with TSS. And, if continued us of tampons following TSS further impacted my life in a negative way.
I am a volunteer for You ARE Loved, a nonprofit organization founded by Lisa Elifritz after the death of her daughter, Amy, due to tampon related Toxic Shock Syndrome. We strive to raise awareness of TSS and provide factual information about menstruation.
You ARE Loved
Director of Connectivity