Alert: Tampons can cause heart attacks

Alert: Tampons can cause heart attacks

Using tampons may seem comfortable, but there are many reasons you should avoid them completely. Read on to know more.


Tampons, if left unchanged, can cause the life-threatening Toxic Shock Syndrome

Tampons if left unchanged, can cause the life-threatening Toxic Shock Syndrome

Lauren Wasser had everything going for her. The 24-year-old resident of Los Angeles is the daughter of two models. After giving up a basketball scholarship, she was pursuing a career in modelling. But what happened to her, will leave you shaken!

Wasser used a tampon and woke up in a hospital a few days later. She had suffered a massive heart attack and contracted something called the Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This result was later found in the tampon when she sued its manufacturing company. Wasser’s right leg had to be amputated from below the knee due to this incident. A small tampon did this to her. Experts say, it could have happened to anybody.

Dr Lovleena Nadir, senior consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis la Femme, Delhi, says, “TSS is a rare medical condition which has been associated with the use of super-absorbent tampons in a menstruating woman. Tampons, if left in the vagina for a long time, may attract bacterial infections like Staphylococcus Aureus. Sometimes, tampon fibres may scratch the vagina, making it easier for bacteria to enter the blood stream causing low blood pressure, confusion, shock or kidney failure.”

Dr Nadir adds that generally patients recovers on oxygen, antibiotic support, dialysis to filter toxins from kidneys and immunolobulins to fight toxins. “If delayed, it can affect other organs and cause serious complications as in the case of the US model,” she says.

Dr Poorti Channana, consultant, Apollo K H Hospital, Vellore, agrees. “Indian population prefers using a sanitary napkin, which is a better option than a tampon. But I would not recommend women to use one at all. That’s because of the possibility of contracting TSS complications,” she says, adding that if used, they must be changed within three hours.

However, the two experts advise the following preventive measures that one must consider while picking up the tampon box:

  • Read the labels on the box
  • Prefer to buy low absorbency tampons
  • Wash your hands before inserting the tampons
  • Change the tampons every 4-6 hours
  • Insert only one tampon at a time
  • Alternate tampons with sanitary pads
  • Change a tampon before going to bed

So, the next time you shop for tampons, change them at frequent intervals. If you cannot, then head straight for the aisle that houses sanitary napkins instead.

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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