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Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome: Encourage Proper Tampon Use to Limit Risks

Inserm’s new educational video on staphylococcal toxic shock. © Camille Henry/Inserm

Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome is linked to the presence of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in the vaginal microbiota of some women for whom the misuse of intravaginal protection (tampons, menstrual cups, etc.) could increase the likelihood of developing it. Toxic shock is characterized by multiple symptoms that include digestive disorders, high fever, and skin rashes. In the most severe cases, it can lead to multi-organ failure and death.

Although the incidence of toxic shock remains very rare, researchers from Inserm, CNRS, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and ENS Lyon within the International Center for Research in Infectious Diseases and the National Reference Centre for Staphylococci have identified the risk factors that may in some cases favor it. In a study published in March 2020 in the journal EClinical Medicine, Prof. Gérard Lina’s team suggests simple measures to put in place for better tampon use during menstruation.


All the advice can be found in Inserm’s new educational video aimed at raising awareness and reassuring tampon users. 

Do not hesitate to share this prevention tool on your platforms and distribute it widely.