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The primary cause of toxic shock syndrome is a toxin produced by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus.

Two conditions are necessary: The bacteria need an environment in which they can grow rapidly and release toxins (such as a tampon saturated with blood, menstrual sponge, diaphragm, or cervical cap that has been left in the vagina for a very long time).

Then the toxins must have a way of getting into the bloodstream. Sliding a tampon into place in the vagina may make microscopic tears in its walls, rupturing tiny blood vessels. A superabsorbent tampon -- especially if it's left in place too long, or if it is used when the menstrual flow is light -- can dry out the vagina, making such tearing even more likely.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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Read the Original Article: Understanding Toxic Shock Syndrome - the Basics