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Phone: 480-820-6657 | Fax: 480-730-0803
Address: 6301 S. McClintock Dr
Suite 215
Tempe, AZ 85283

Toxic Shock Syndrome

Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, is a disease caused by a staphylococcal (staff-il-o-COCK-ul) infection somewhere in the body that releases a toxin into the bloodstream. Toxic Shock Syndrome was widely publicized in the early 1980s because of an epidemic caused by using super absorbent tampons. It may also occur with infected wounds, surgery, or other staphylococcal infections, but these are less common.

Women who use tampons exclusively during menstruation are considered to be at highest risk. Tampons provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, small scratches on vaginal walls from tampon fibers may provide an avenue for the bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Symptoms of TSS include the sudden onset of high fever, severe vomiting, diarrhea, aching muscles, and a rash that resembles a sunburn.

The syndrome may progress rapidly with skin peeling in layers from the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Women can help protect themselves from TSS by avoiding the use of super absorbent tampons, by changing tampons frequently, and by rotating tampon use with napkins.

Our East Valley Offices

We provide OB/GYN services for all women from their teens through maturity in our offices located in Ahwatukee, Gilbert, and Tempe, and our providers have privileges at Banner Desert Hospital in Mesa.