An Introduction to Toxic Shock Syndrome
Let’s be real. Toxic Shock Syndrome is a scary thing that can lead to serious stuff like losing limbs, organ failure and even death.
Although tampons are most often associated with TSS, it can happen after surgery, abortion, childbirth, with a cut or scrape, or when inserting just about anything into the body.
It’s caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, or staph. Staph is naturally found in, or or most of our bodies but it’s usually kept in check. It’s only when it grows too quickly and in too great of quantities that it becomes a problem.
More information about Toxic Shock Syndrome here: TSS Warning Signs.
How Long Does it Take to Get TSS?
Toxic Shock Syndrome symptoms usually occur within 12 hours to five days of an infection. The first things you’ll usually notice are a rash, fever or pain.
The most obvious clue that you might have TSS is the sudden onset of symptoms. You’re feeling fine one hour, but then you start to deteriorate very quickly. Toxic Shock Syndrome can sometimes get mistaken for the flu.
However, the length of time that TSS takes to occur can vary depending on the infection.
According to Healthlink BC, Toxic Shock Syndrome can occur as soon as 12 hours following surgery. It can also take longer than that as well. According to the North Dakota Department of Health, TSS usually develops around 2 days after infection.
However, it often takes 3-5 days to develop among women who are menstruating and using tampons.
In reality, there just isn’t that much information about how long it takes to get Toxic Shock Syndrome. Who really knows how long the infection has been developing inside someone’s body before the infection starts to show symptoms? It’d also be very unethical to introduce Staph bacteria into an open wound to test it out!
Lauren Wasser and Toxic Shock Syndrome
What if Leave a Tampon in for Too Long?
You’re probably used to seeing the warning labels on tampons about leaving them in for a maximum of 8 hours. This is done to reduce your risk of TSS.
But, what happens if you forget about a tampon and leave it in for say 24 hours? Will you automatically get TSS?
The easy answer is, “NO!” Very few people get TSS each year around the world, and it’s actually relatively rare, considering how many people use tampons.
The 8 hour recommendation is just to reduce to your risk. Below 8 hours, levels of the bacteria that cause TSS are very, very low and it’s extremely difficult to get sick from it. Beyond that, the levels of bacteria can increase to more dangerous levels, increasing your risk and potentially lead to problems.
How Do I Know if I’ve Forgotten a Tampon?
Okay, so it’s the end of your period and you put in a tampon just to be safe. Because it never fills up, it can be pretty easy to forget about it.
The biggest giveaway will be a foul-smelling discharge that may be an odd colour (brown, pink, green, yellow, etc).
How Long Does it Take to Get Toxic Shock Syndrome: Have your Say!
What are your thoughts about TSS? Any questions, or things you’d like to know? Leave a comment below and let us know.