Infection Increases With Prolonged Tampon Usage

A gynaecologist warns that menstruating women stand the risk of toxic shock syndrome with lengthy use of tampons

Women who wear tampons for a longer period during their menstrual cycle stand the risk of infection, a gynaecologist has warned.

Dr Fidelis Bakut of Garki Specialist Hospital, Abuja, said that prolonged use of tampons for hygienic purpose has been associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

Tampons are absorbent items worn by women while menstruating to absorb the flow and should be changed at least twice or thrice daily, according to Bakut.

“Toxic Shock Syndrome is caused by an infection of the staphylococcus bacteria that progresses fast and potentially fatal,” he said. “People who are otherwise healthy suddenly develop a serious fever, accompanied by a rash that can appear on any region of the body.

Some of them will have excessive abdominal pain, offensive vaginal discharge and all the other symptoms of severe infection. This can quickly progress to stupor, confusion, low blood pressure, coma, multiple organ failure and then death.

Tampons actually make a lady very comfortable, and with a busy life, it is very easy to forget it and leave it for more than eight hours. Also many women who take long bus trips prefer to wear a tampon instead of sanitary pads which they would be forced to change at dirty roadside restaurants.”

Bakut stated that although tampons were also useful for activities like swimming, anyone with symptoms of TSS should seek immediate medical attention.

He advised women to make a choice between the use of sanitary pads and tampons, when necessary.