What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome, or TSS, is a rare condition that can be fatal. It can be caused by bacterial infections from Staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus or Clostridium sordellii. When toxins from these types of bacteria enter the bloodstream, illness and life-threatening complications can occur. Learn more about TSS below. Contact your gynecologist in Jacksonville immediately if you think you have symptoms of toxic shock syndrome.

Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome

Symptoms are different for each individual and are often sudden. Symptoms to take note of include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Sudden high fever (above 102° F)
  • Chills
  • Low blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle achiness


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye redness
  • Redness of the mouth and throat
  • Seizures
  • Rashes

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. Especially if you’ve been using tampons or have an infected cut or wound. Call your gynecologist in Jacksonville.

Causes & Risk Factors for Toxic Shock Syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome is usually caused by an infection from Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes. When these bacteria enter the bloodstream through a wound or cut, for example, an infection can occur.

Toxic shock syndrome is most commonly associated with the use of tampons. But it doesn’t solely impact women. Children, men and even women who no longer have their periods can be affected by toxic shock syndrome. About half of all TSS cases from Staph occur in menstruating women, with the rest occurring in children, men and postmenopausal women. TSS from Strep is seen in male and female patients of all ages. Risk factors include:

  • Cuts on the skin
  • Open wounds
  • Burns on the skin
  • Recent surgery


  • Use of super absorbent tampons
  • Recent childbirth or miscarriage
  • Recent abortion
  • Use of contraceptive sponge or diaphragm

Serious and fatal complications can occur from toxic shock syndrome. Contact your physician right away if you’re concerned you may have TSS. Call your gynecologist in Jacksonville or visit an emergency room for immediate treatment.

How Gynecologist in Jacksonville can Diagnose TSS

There is no specific test for toxic shock syndrome. Your physician will have you undergo diagnostic testing to check for Staph and Strep. These may include blood tests, blood cultures, lumbar puncture, and urine tests. Your doctor may swab your throat, vagina or cervix. In some cases, an X-ray or CT scan may be ordered to check for any organ damage.

Toxic Shock Syndrome Treatment

If you have toxic shock syndrome you will most likely be hospitalized. This rare condition is considered a medical emergency, and you will need immediate treatment and monitoring. You’ll be treated with intravenous antibiotics to help fight off the infection. You may also receive medications to address hypotension (low blood pressure). You’ll also receive IV fluids to hydrate you. You’ll also go home with a lengthy course of antibiotics.

Contact us immediately if you think you may have toxic shock syndrome.

By | 2018-10-03T11:10:59+00:00 September 19th, 2018|Advice, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Advice, Women's Health|0 Comments