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Health Risks of Feminine Products

written by: JazminEspinal•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/6/2011

On television, tampons are advertised as a way to prevent leaks and live comfortably while on your period. However, health risks due to menstrual products include toxic shock syndrome, one danger of using tampons.

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    Health Risks Due to Menstrual Products

    Most women see tampons as convenient because of the level of discretion that it allows. No one has to even have the slightest idea that you have your period when wearing tampons. Tampons are easy to use, inexpensive and great at preventing leaks. All of these benefits are true, but there is a deadly hidden health risk due to this menstrual product.

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    The History

    About three decades ago, more and more women were being diagnosed with Toxic Shock Syndrome. In less than ten years time, 800 cases were reported and out of those cases 38 women died. It is believed that there were far more cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome, but they went unreported. According to Dictionary.com, Toxic Shock Syndrome is defined as “a rapidly developing, sometimes fatal infection characterized by sudden onset of fever, gastrointestinal upsets, a sunburn like rash, and a drop in blood pressure: caused by a Staphylococcus aureus toxin and occurring esp. in menstruating women using high-absorbency tampons.”

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    The Media

    We are bombarded with tampon commercials on a daily basis. These commercials boast about the high level of absorbency and “leak protection” that their tampons provide. More than any other age group, these commercials are targeted towards teen girls. However, what they fail to mention is the danger of tampons. These companies are well aware that their tampons may cause their customers to develop Toxic Shock Syndrome, but yet they feel that it is not their responsibility to inform their loyal customers about the health risks that may be incurred from continuously using their tampons.

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    How to Avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome

    Steer clear of any tampons, regardless of the absorbency level. Even if it has a low absorbency level, it will be pointless to use since you will have minimal leak protection. Your best bet is to stick with feminine products that do not enter the body, such as sanitary pads and panty liners. You also have options such as organic tampons which use unbleached cotton, reusable pads or menstrual cups.