The Grapevine

Bad Effects Of Tampons Leave Woman With Deadly Blood Infection

You may want to rethink before using that tampon. A woman from North Carolina suffered from a life-threatening blood infection after using the feminine hygiene product on the first day of her period. 

Greta Zarate, of Jacksonville, N.C., suffered from a toxic shock syndrome (TSS) early this year. She started to feel the symptoms of the infection within the day she used a super-absorbent tampon. 

The 32-year-old mother of five said she thought it was just flu and decided to stay in bed for a few days and take over-the-counter medications. She experienced nausea, diarrhea, dizziness and muscle pain. 

Despite taking medications, Zarate’s condition did not improve and continued to worsen.

"But I was getting sicker and sicker. My fever was so high, I was shaky and weak,” she told South West News Service. 

Zarate was then rushed to the hospital to check her disease. Doctors at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville initially found her blood pressure was very low and her spleen was enlarged, Fox News reported Tuesday

They conducted a series of tests, such as x-ray, ultrasounds and a CT scan, but failed to determine what exactly is affecting her body. It was only when a nurse suggested Zarate might be experiencing TSS because of her period. 

Doctors took a vaginal swab for tests and later confirmed that it was a toxic shock. They also found that the infection occurred when Zarate removed her super-absorbent tampon, which left microscopic cuts on her vaginal wall. 

TSS occurs due to Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which can lead to complications like kidney failure and even death. The common symptoms of TSS include sudden high fever, low blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, muscle aches, headaches and seizures. 

“I never knew that the size of the tampon should move with your flow,” she said. “When you pull a dry tampon out of your body, it actually leaves tiny scrapes on your vaginal wall which allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream and that's what happened to me.”

Zarate received a blood transfusion and antibiotics to treat the infection. 

Women's Tampon Paris city councillor and member of the French left-wing Parti de Gauche (PG) Danielle Simonnet shows a menstrual tampon during a meeting to mark the International Women's Day in Bobigny near Paris. Myths about menstruation distinguished from period facts. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images