In 2017 comedian Tiffany Haddish did an interview with The Breakfast Club in which she spoke about suffering from Toxic Shock Syndrome at the age of 13. This interview started a real conversation within the black community about women’s health. Of course, the threat of Toxic Shock Syndrome is nothing new, but not too many of us have experienced it or know anyone who has. Being able to link a face and a story to the condition makes it real. Many of us are also unclear on what exactly causes the condition and how it affects the body.
Toxic Shock Syndrome is directly related to the use of tampons. Although rare, it is a life-threatening infection that is caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (Staph), which is already present in the vagina. By using tampons, especially those with high absorbency, the vagina becomes the perfect environment for rapid bacteria growth. TSS occurs when the poisons released from the bacteria enter the bloodstream, which can also be related to the use of tampons, as the skin of the vaginal wall is thin and can easily be torn by the tampon applicator or the tampon’s surface itself.
Tampons have been a popular choice for feminine hygiene since the 1970s. Sanitary napkins, or pads, have been around for even longer, the first commercial disposable one being released in 1888. The two are considered to be traditional forms of menstrual protection, both having their pros and cons.
Honestly, tampons seem like the better option when considering the immediate benefits, like feeling dry and seemingly odor-free, thus more confident. Unlike tampons, pads are not directly linked to TSS, but just like tampons, they are toxic to the environment. These products end up in landfills and water treatment facilities. When considering the plastic materials used for tampons, it gets even worse because not only are they difficult to break down, but may also contain BPA and other plastic chemicals.
So convenient and trusted, yet so unhealthy. Luckily, there are more options than there have ever been! From organic cotton products to menstrual cups, there are plenty of ways to protect ourselves from TSS while being kind to the environment.
Organic/Natural Tampons and Pads
Organic and natural tampons and pads are a better
Source: Black Doctor – Healthy Living