Everyone has a toxic shock syndrome story. You remember the first time you heard that keeping a tampon in for over 12 hours could potentially kill you, right? It was like the early 2000s boogeyman for the girls' locker room, except worse, because it was actually true. Usually, when things scare us, we take time to figure out what the truth is. But toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is still largely undiscussed. I know that I spent the first 10 years of "womanhood" (cringe) knowing only one thing about it: that girls had died from it, and because of this, we had to be careful. But what are the symptoms of TSS that we actually need to be aware of?
And given the fact that it's a literally life-threatening condition, shouldn't we be discussing the legitimate medical background of TSS, rather than just treating it like a scary story around a campfire? It's 2017, and we've still never seen a female president, and I still know little to nothing about TSS. The good news, though, is that I can change at least one of those things.
First of all, what you need to know about TSS is that it's a bacterial infection caused by staph. But here's the real kicker: You cannot get toxic shock syndrome by tampons alone. You have to already have a strand of the virus inside of you, at which point it can potentially turn into a bacterial infection through a blood-soaked tampon.
In other words, TSS is way more complicated and difficult to contract than simply sleeping with your tampon in overnight. With that said, it's always important to be the strongest advocate for your body. So here are five lesser known signs of toxic shock syndrome we all should be aware of.