Toxische Shock Syndroom (TSS): een reëel gevaar

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Dit is een standaard samenvatting tekst.

Origin of the name Tampon disease

In the late 1970s, tampon users were particularly affected by Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). These tampons were made of synthetic fibers and had a high degree of absorption. Tampons were withdrawn from the market in 1980 and tampon brands began to make tampons that were safer and less absorbent. These tampons were also made of natural cotton. These incidents also made women more aware of their menstrual hygiene and started changing their tampons 3-4 times a day. While the risk of TSS has diminished these days, it hasn’t completely disappeared. 

Popularly referred to as tampon disease, TSS is a disease characterized by fever, hypotension, rash and vital organ failure. It is considered a life-threatening syndrome and is often caused by the staph bacteria that enter the body and release harmful toxins.

While this syndrome occurs mainly in young women as a result of tampon use, it can also affect anyone of any age, including men and children.

Symptoms TSS

One of the hallmarks of TSS is that it worsens very quickly and can be fatal if not treated right away, causing permanent damage to vital organs, necrosis, amputation and even death. However, if diagnosed and treated early, most people make a full recovery.

TSS symptoms start suddenly and get worse quickly. These include:

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms; headache, chills, exhaustion, body aches, sore throat, cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Sunburn-like rash
  • Vomit
  • Dizziness
  • Pass out
  • Redness in the lips, tongue and eyes
  • Hard breathing
  • Confusion

TSS, menstrual cups and tampons in Scientific Research

In a study entitled Association of the characteristics of tampon use with menstrual toxic shock syndrome in France published in 2011, it was concluded that the use of super absorbent tampons is one of the main causes of this syndrome, as they remain in the vagina for long periods . Because they are warm and moist, the vaginal canal becomes a suitable area for bacteria to grow, causing infection. The study also concluded that the risk of developing TSS increases when using a tampon for 6 hours or more, regardless of its absorption capacity. This includes the risk of tampon use at night.

For menstrual cups, there are conflicting studies when it comes to an increased risk of TSS. The Lancet published a study Use, leakage, acceptability, safety and availability of the menstrual cup: a systematic review and a meta-analysis published in 2019, in which 43 studies related to menstrual cups were reviewed. Based on their study, they state: ” Our review indicates that menstrual cups are a safe option for menstrual management and the cups are used internationally. There is a need for good quality studies in this area. Further studies are needed on cost-effectiveness and environmental impact. comparing different menstrual products ”.  

Although menstrual cups are considered safe menstrual products, it is important to be aware of TSS development when using menstrual cups. The study by Nonfoux et al. 2018 indicates a growth of Staphylococcus aureus and TSST-1 production on menstrual cups after 8 hours (in vitro). Even after 3 washes with water, the Staphylococcus aureus biofilm remained. Based on their research, they state: “A protocol with a second cup that allows sterilization by boiling the cup between uses should be recommended”

Since TSS is a rare disease, it is important to always be aware of the risk and symptoms of TSS.

Our tips to reduce the risk of TSS:

  1. Beppy Cup: 2 tegen TSS. Om het risico van TSS te verminderen, levert Beppy twee cups in plaats van één. Door elke keer een tweede cup bij je te hebben, kunt je de gebruikte cup opbergen en elke keer een schone cup inbrengen. Zorg ervoor dat je je gebruikte Beppy Cup grondig steriliseert als je thuiskomt, zodat je altijd een schone cup bij je hebt. Vergeet niet om je cup altijd om de 8 uur of minder te vervangen.
  2. Vermijd het te lang dragen van menstruatieproducten, dit geldt niet alleen voor tampons, maar ook voor menstruatiecups. Sommige merken menstruatiecups raden aan om de cup 12 tot 16 uur te dragen en andere merken geven aan dat het voldoende is om de  cup 1 of 2 keer per dag te legen. Er zijn zelfs merken die beweren dat je menstruatiecup de hele dag zonder zorgen kan worden gedragen. Wij raden je aan de cup niet langer dan 8 uur te gebruiken. Bij Beppy® staan we voor transparantie, goede hygiëne en gezondheid. Verwissel je cup  zo vaak mogelijk en zorg ervoor dat ze schoon en gesteriliseerd is, voordat je haar inbrengt. Zorg ervoor dat je je handen goed wast, voordat je in contact komt met de menstruatiecup. Je kan onze Essentiële Informatievideo bekijken voor meer informatie over het reinigen van cup.


  1. Schlievert, P. M. (2020, 19 marzo). Menstrual TSS remains a dangerous threat. The Lancet. 
  2. Billon et all., A. (2020, 10 marzo). Association of characteristics of tampon use with menstrual toxic shock syndrome in France. The Lancet. 
  3. van Eijk, A. M. (2019, 16 julio). Menstrual cup use, leakage, acceptability, safety, and availability: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Public Health.
  4. Nonfoux, L. et al (2018, June). Impact of currently marketed tampons and menstrual cups on Staphylococcus aureus growth and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 production in vitro. Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
  5. Ross, A., & Shoff, HW (2020, 10 August). Toxic Shock Syndrome . The National Center for Biotechnology Information.


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Ken jij Beppy al?

Beppy is een soepele tampon, die zich compleet naar jouw lichaam vormt. Past dus altijd, is ademend en bevat géén giftige (chloride) stoffen. Beppy zonder touwtje zie je en voel je niet.

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