Doctor warns tampon shortage may lead to an increase in cases of toxic shock syndrome

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The nation’s tampon shortage is causing some women to ration their supply. But keeping a tampon in for too long comes with serious consequences.

News 8 spoke with Dr. Cameual Wright, Vice President, Market Chief Medical Officer at CareSource, who says even though times are difficult, it is essential to use tampons exactly as instructed 

“Oftentimes, there is a risk of bacteria growing and certainly that could lead to infection,” she said. “That is most serious with tampon use and there is something called toxic shock syndrome, which can develop from a certain bacteria collecting in a tampon.”

Toxic shock syndrome is a life-threatening condition and occurs when the bacteria build up enters your bloodstream through the uterus or vaginal lining.

Fortunately, Wright says, toxic shock syndrome is rare in the United States. However, if women are forced to use their menstrual supplies for longer than they should, we may start to see a rise in cases.

Instead of rationing supplies, Wright suggests switching to pads, menstrual cups, or menstrual underwear.