So what actually is it?

You’ve probably heard about TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome before. We know it sound’s scary and it's incredibly rare but it is a serious illness that can sometimes be fatal so it’s best to get all the facts.

It’s believed to be caused by toxin producing strains of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and it can occur in men and women of any age (through burns, insect bites and following surgery), with around half of all cases occurring in menstruating females. Girls and women under the age of 30 may be more at risk because their immune system may not be fully developed.


Symptoms can develop very quickly and may seem like flu to begin with: sudden high fever (usually over 39°C (102°F), dizziness or fainting, vomiting, diarrhoea, sunburn-like rash, sore throat or muscle ache.

All of this may not occur at the same time but if you're worried and are experiencing these symptoms while on your period, remove your tampon and seek medical advice immediately.

Just so you know, we also provide this information inside every packet of tampons we supply. We frequently update this information so it's important to read the leaflet regularly.

The good news

When recognised quickly, TSS can be treated successfully and most people make a full recovery.

How do I reduce the risk?

Here's how to reduce the risk of contracting menstrual TSS:

  • Wash your hands before and after inserting a tampon
  • Change your tampon every 4-8 hours or more often if you need to
  • Use the lowest absorbency tampon for your flow
  • Use a pad or pantyliner from time-to-time during your period
  • Never use two tampons at once
  • Always remove your last tampon at the end of your period
  • When using a tampon at night, insert a fresh one before going to bed and remove it as soon as you get up in the morning.
  • To find out more, visit