Can I get Toxic Shock Syndrome while using a menstrual cup?
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) affects both men and women. By adulthood most people will have immunity to this bacteria, however, some will not, and there is no way of telling who is immune and who isn’t.
TSS has been associated with individuals who have recently had surgery, soft tissue and bone infections, and insect bites, as well as people who have menstruated, used intra-uterine contraceptive devices, and used intra-vaginal contraceptive devices, menstrual cups and tampons.
Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare, though serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by toxin-producing strains of the staphylococcus aureus bacterium. If you experience the TSS symptoms below while using a menstrual cup, take it out and seek medical advice immediately.
We recommend you follow these steps to reduce your risk of developing TSS:
- Do not use any internal vaginal devices, including a menstrual cup, if you have been previously diagnosed with TSS
- Clean your MCUK thoroughly before using it for the first time, as described in the Usage Guide
- Remove, wash and reinsert your menstrual cup at least every 4-8 hours during your period. This means that you will need to do this at least 3 times in 24 hours
- Wash your hands before and after handling your menstrual cup.
Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome
TSS symptoms often mimic flu and can include:
- sudden high fever
- rash rather like sunburn during your period or some days after
If you have more questions about Toxic Shock Syndrome, please contact our Advice Service.