Toxic shock syndrome can’t be avoided by using organic tampoon or menstrual cups, according to a study released last Friday. Organic cotton tampons are often touted to be safer than conventional ones but, in reality, they are not more effective at preventing toxic shock syndrome (TSS), according to the American Society Of Microbiology.
More and more specialists recommend women to frequently change the tampon to avoid TSS, a rare but a possibly fatal reaction caused by Staphylococcus Aureus.
In recent years, new products have appeared, such as organic tampons made of 100% cotton and washable menstrual cups.
The researchers tested 11 brands of organic cotton tampons and 4 menstrual cups in the laboratory to study their effect on the development of Staphylococcus Aureus, and compare the results with those of regular tampons use. They placed the tampons and menstrual cups in plastic bags and then injected a liquid containing bacteria sampled from a woman who suffered from toxic shock.
Organic tampons and menstrual cups not preventing toxic shock syndrome occurrence
The type of tampons does not make any difference while the amount of air between the fibers seems to increase the risk of growth of the bacteria, the researchers said.
“Our results do not support the hypothesis that those tampons composed exclusively of organic cotton could be inherently safer than those made from a blend of cotton and rayon,” said Gerard Lina, a professor of microbiology and one of the study’s authors.
The spaces between the fibers that contribute to the airflow into the vagina area are also the perfect environment for the growth of Staphylococcus Aureus, agreed the scientists.
Menstrual cups, on the other hand, seem to allow an even greater growth of bacteria than organic tampons, which could also be explained by the additional airflow they allow. Accordingly, menstrual cups expose women to a risk of developing toxic shock syndrome even greater than regular tampons.