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One Less Menstrual Migraine

Filed Under: Women's Health at 9:17 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Venus SymbolMenstruation is a sign of fertility, a symbol of womanhood. It illustrates our ability to create and nurture life. It reminds us that we are female, separates us from the men, and annoys us like nothing else can. Once a month, for a week, we bleed, ache, bloat and snarl. We add tampons and pads to our purses, not to mention chocolate, and we wait impatiently for it to end. The last thing we need during those seven days is something else to worry about, something else that can go wrong because of our periods. But regardless of what we want, we have it: Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

In middle-school health, they spent one day talking about TSS. We retained hardly any of the information, aware only that it existed and that it was rare. And in fact, it is. Only two or three women, out of 100,000, contract TSS each year, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it. TSS is caused by a buildup of bacteria that is commonly found in women during menstruation. Tampon use, particularly super-absorbent tampon use, seems to encourage the bacteria’s reproduction and helps send the toxins into the bloodstream.  Once overrun by the toxins, a woman will experience muscle aches, confusion, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting and fever, and will likely develop an unexplained rash. If the illness is not treated immediately, death will follow. It is an extremely serious condition, one that we should try to prevent, at all costs, but how?

The answer to that question should be a little easier in a few months. Scientists have developed a new tampon that reduces the risk of TSS. Lined with glycerol monolaurate, a fiber-finish, the tampon has proven to lessen the amount of bacteria present and improve overall vaginal health in menstruating women.  It should be available soon, but until then, you can avoid TSS by practicing safe tampon-use. Always select the lowest absorbance level you can. If you aren’t heavily menstruating, don’t pick the super. Once you’ve put it in, change it regularly, as directed on the box. Never use more than one at a time, and occasionally trade the tampon in for a pad. If you notice any TSS symptoms, remove the tampon immediately and call your doctor. Even if it’s not TSS, you’re better safe than sorry. By preventing the syndrome you can ensure that your period won’t be a . . . well, it will still be a pain, but it won’t kill you.

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One Response to “One Less Menstrual Migraine”

  1. Tina says:

    I couldn’t agree more TSS is horrible. I myself found an alternative from this website I found doing some research on tampons and pads one day. Tampons seem to have so many health concerns. I never really realized how much they contributed to my overall well being during that time of the month. I came across these pads that have made my life much nicer. I don’t mind wearing pads again they are made of soft cotton they have super absorbency and don’t leak. To many benefits to list but most of all it is safe for for women they also have whats called; which helps to regulate body functions and lesson cramping. It works wonders and should be looked at by all women.

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