Can You Get Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) From Fingering?

TSS

Be super careful about super tampons.

Hi Heather,

My boyfriend likes to finger me and I am worried that I could get TSS. Is it possible?

Toxic shock syndrome (or as it’s better known, TSS) is usually associated with tampons. TSS is a serious disease, and while everyone should know the facts about it (especially gURLs who use tampons), it’s also really rare and shouldn’t be something you worry about on daily basis. In this case, there’s no evidence that fingering can cause TSS, so as long as your boyfriend’s hands are clean and you’re both being safe, enjoy yourself!

The disease is caused by a certain kind of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, NOT a tampon itself. Half of the reported cases are brought about by tampon use, but no need to swear them off forever — as long as you’re careful, you don’t have to stress. Tampons aren’t meant to be kept in for longer than 8 hours, so make sure you change it every few hours, especially if you have a heavier flow or use super-absorbent tampons. TSS can also happen from skin infections, burns or after surgery.

The symptoms of TSS are similar to the flu, which can make it confusing to diagnose. They include a sudden and very high fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and confusion. If you think you could possibly have toxic shock syndrome, it’s really important to get yourself to a doctor or hospital right away — it moves through your body quickly and can be fatal. If it’s caught quickly, it can be treated with antibiotics.

TSS sounds really scary, but don’t worry about it too much. It’s extremely rare, and is only reported in one out of every 100,000 menstruating women every year.

WDYT, gURLs? Did you ever think you had TSS? Do you know anyone who’s had it? Share your stories and advice below.

take care,
heather

What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at heather@gurl.com.


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