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Tampon Causes Woman To Lose Both Legs, Faces Near-Death Experience


In a shocking and harrowing incident, Californian model Lauren Wasser faced a life-threatening ordeal after contracting Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). The use of a tampon causes woman to lose both legs. The 35-year-old survivor recounted her near-death experience on "The Diary Of A CEO" podcast with Steven Bartlett, shedding light on the severity of this often overlooked health concern.

Tampon Causes Woman To Lose Both Legs

At first, Lauren Wasser only experienced flu-like symptoms, not realizing the impending danger that lurked within her body. The situation quickly took a dire turn when the police discovered her unconscious and in a distressing condition on her bedroom floor, following a welfare check initiated by her concerned mother.

She was immediately rushed to the hospital, where her body temperature soared to a staggering 107 degrees (41.6C), leading to a heart attack that left her in a critical state.

The Diagnosis And Agonizing Decision

Lauren Wasser on a wheelchair, wearing a hospital gown.
Lauren Wasser on a wheelchair, wearing a hospital gown.

During her hospitalization, an infectious disease doctor ordered a test to determine the cause of her deteriorating condition. It was revealed that the toxic shock syndrome was triggered by the presence of a tampon. Regaining consciousness after being placed in a medically induced coma, Wasser was confronted with the heart-wrenching newsthat her legs had suffered irreparable damage due to gangrene. The only option left was to undergo amputation.

My feet were on fire, it was like someone was lighting my foot on fire, the burning sensation was insane.- Lauren Wasser

Wasser recounted during her conversation with Bartlett. The severity of the situation became evident as she learned that her right leg was in a significantly worse condition, leaving the doctors with no choice but to amputate it to save her life.

Unaware of the impending amputation, Wasser accidentally overheard a nurse discussing her case on the phone, mentioning the necessity of a below-the-knee amputation for a young girl - not realizing it was referring to her own case. Overwhelmed by fear and distress, she desperately cried out for her loved ones, shocked to confront the reality of amputation.

Pain And Persistence

Following the surgery, Wasser had to endure excruciating pain without the aid of any pain medication. She described the horrific experience.

So for 24 hours they put me in my own little room and I felt every single thing that was done to me, I was screaming, I was crying, I felt like a shark had just f***king ripped through my leg.- Lauren Wasser

The trauma of losing her leg was further exacerbated by having to endure the physical sensations of the amputation without any pain relief.

A Difficult Decision

With her left leg still salvageable, Wasser faced a difficult decision. Given a 50% chance of saving the limb, she chose not to undergo immediate amputation. Unfortunately, over the next six years, the pain in her remaining leg became unbearable, forcing her to eventually make the agonizing choice of having it amputated as well, shortly before turning 30.

Advocacy For Awareness

Lauren Wasser wearing a black leather jacket.
Lauren Wasser wearing a black leather jacket.

Having overcome her life-threatening ordeal, Lauren Wasser has dedicated her life to raising awareness about TSS. She highlights the potentially hazardous materials used in tampons, such as chlorine bleach, dioxin, and synthetic fibers, which she believes create a dangerous combination within the body.

Collaborating with Madeline Mosby, who lost her teenage daughter to TSS at the age of 18, Wasser aims to advocate for change and promote TSS awareness through initiatives like the DontShockMe.org foundation and legislative efforts.

Lauren Wasser's terrifying encounter with Toxic Shock Syndrome serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers associated with tampon use. Her story is a call to action for improved awareness and safer alternatives, inspiring efforts to protect women's health worldwide. Through her resilience and advocacy, Wasser continues to work towards a safer future, hoping to spare others from experiencing the traumatic consequences of TSS.

Shocking TRUE Story: “I Lost Both Of My Legs Because Of A Tampon” (Health Warning) - Lauren Wasser

What Is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare and potentially life-threatening condition caused by certain bacterial infections, mainly Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes.

Although TSS can develop as a complication after surgery or childbirth, women who are menstruating and use tampons are most at risk for this condition. The exact mechanism of TSS is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve the overgrowth of bacteria in the presence of a blood-soaked tampon.

Key Points About Toxic Shock Syndrome

  • TSS involves severe and life-threatening symptoms affecting multiple body systems.
  • It can be caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, or Clostridium sordellii.
  • Early symptoms resemble other infections but can quickly become life-threatening.
  • TSS requires immediate medical attention.
Toxic Shock Syndrome Infographic
Toxic Shock Syndrome Infographic

Symptoms Of Toxic Shock Syndrome

TSS encompasses a cluster of symptoms that can affect various body systems. Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome include:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A sunburn-like skin rash
  • Peeling patches of skin on the feet and hands
  • Muscular aches
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Red eyes
  • Confusion
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Joint pains
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Kidney failure
  • Collapse

The severity of these symptoms demands immediate medical attention. If you or someone you know experience these symptoms, especially during menstruation and tampon use, seek emergency medical care without delay. Timely intervention can be critical in managing and treating Toxic Shock Syndrome effectively.

TSS And Risks Of Tampon Use

The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, naturally present on the skin and inside the nose, produce toxins that cause TSS. To trigger TSS, specific types of bacteria must overgrow and produce substantial amounts of the TSS toxin, which then enters the bloodstream.

Tampons can increase the risk of TSS in two ways.

Firstly, if tampons, especially super-absorbent ones, are left in the vagina for extended periods, they may promote bacterial growth.

Secondly, tampons can stick to the vaginal walls, especially when blood flow is light, causing minor abrasions during removal, which can facilitate bacterial entry into the bloodstream.

Infographic on how tampons can cause of toxic shock syndrome.
Infographic on how tampons can cause of toxic shock syndrome.

Treatment For Toxic Shock Syndrome

If TSS is suspected, it is essential to discontinue tampon use immediately and seek emergency medical care. Treatment for TSS typically involves hospitalization, administration of antibiotics to combat the infection, intravenous fluids to stabilize blood pressure and address dehydration, and medical intervention for any complications, such as kidney failure. Prompt and appropriate medical attention is crucial to improve the chances of recovery and reduce the risk of severe complications.

Reducing The Risk Of Toxic Shock Syndrome

To minimize the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), it is essential to follow certain preventive measures when using tampons during menstruation. By adopting good hygiene practices and making informed choices about tampon usage, individuals can significantly reduce the likelihood of TSS. Here are some important steps to take:

  • Change Tampons Regularly- It is highly recommended to change tampons at least every four hours. Regular changing of tampons helps minimize bacterial growth and lowers the risk of TSS. Leaving tampons in for extended periods can create an environment conducive to bacterial overgrowth, potentially leading to TSS.
  • Avoid Super-Absorbent Tampons- Opt for regular absorbency tampons instead of super-absorbent varieties. Super-absorbent tampons may increase the risk of TSS because they hold more menstrual fluid, providing a potential breeding ground for bacteria. Choosing tampons with moderate absorbency is a safer option.
  • Practice Good Hygiene- Before and after inserting tampons, ensure that you thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. Proper hand hygiene minimizes the risk of bacterial contamination and helps prevent potential infections.
  • Be Gentle When Inserting and Removing Tampons- Avoid rough handling of tampons during insertion and removal. Gentle and careful use can prevent minor abrasions or cuts that might facilitate the entry of harmful bacteria into the body.
  • Use Pads Overnight- Consider using pads instead of tampons during nighttime sleep. This can reduce the risk of TSS associated with tampon use during extended periods of wear. Pads provide a safer alternative while allowing the body to rest and recover.
  • Maintain Personal Hygiene- During menstruation, maintaining proper personal hygiene is crucial to minimize the risk of infections, including TSS. Regularly change pads or tampons and cleanse the vaginal area with mild, unperfumed soap to maintain a healthy environment.
  • Avoid Tampon Use When Not Menstruating- Refrain from using tampons when you are not menstruating. Unnecessary tampon use may expose the body to potential risks and increase the chances of bacterial overgrowth, even in the absence of menstruation.
  • Consider Alternative Options- On the last day of your period or when the menstrual flow is light, consider using pads or panty liners as an alternative to tampons. Menstrual cups, if used correctly, can also be a safer option compared to tampons, although there are no clinical trials supporting their direct association with reducing the risk of TSS.

Remember, being aware of the symptoms of TSS and adopting preventive measures can play a crucial role in safeguarding women's health during menstruation. If any symptoms of TSS are experienced, especially during tampon use, seek immediate medical attention to ensure prompt and appropriate treatment.

What Everyone Should Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) | Tampax and Girlology

Tips For Your Health Care Visit

If you suspect or have been diagnosed with TSS, it is essential to get the most out of your healthcare visit. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your appointment:

  • Prepare Questions -Before your visit, write down any questions or concerns you have about TSS or your symptoms. Being prepared will help ensure that you address all your concerns during the appointment.
  • Bring a Companion -Consider bringing a family member or friend with you to the appointment. Having someone else present can provide support, help you remember important information, and ask questions on your behalf if needed.
  • Take Notes -During the visit, write down the names of any new medicines, treatments, or tests that your healthcare provider recommends. Also, jot down any new instructions or guidelines you need to follow.
  • Note Follow-Up Appointments -If you have a follow-up appointment scheduled, write down the date, time, and purpose of the visit. Keeping track of your appointments can help you stay organized and ensure you don't miss any important follow-up care.
  • Know How to Contact Your Provider -Make sure you have the necessary contact information for your health care provider. If you have any questions or concerns after the visit, knowing how to reach them can be invaluable.

Remember, effective communication with your healthcare provider is vital for managing TSS and ensuring the best possible care. Being well-prepared for your appointments and actively participating in your health care can contribute to better outcomes and a more informed approach to managing this serious condition.

People Also Ask

What Is TSS First Symptom?

The first symptom of staphylococcal TSS is often a sudden onset of severe pain. Other common symptoms include fever higher than 102°F (38.9°C), chills, and feeling unwell.

How Soon Will I Know If I Have TSS?

TSS symptoms can develop as soon as 12 hours after a surgical procedure. Other symptoms may include pain at the site of a wound, vomiting, diarrhea, signs of shock (low blood pressure and light-headedness), shortness of breath, and a sunburn-like rash.

How Painful Is TSS?

The first symptom of TSS is typically severe pain that comes on suddenly. Other symptoms may include very low blood pressure and shock, which can lead to insufficient blood flow to the body's systems.

How Long Can You Survive With TSS?

TSS can progress rapidly, and in severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure, shock, and death within 48 hours.

What Happens If TSS Goes Untreated?

If left untreated, TSS can cause organ failure, such as liver and kidney failure. Additionally, untreated TSS may lead to seizures, bleeding, shock, and heart failure. Timely medical attention is crucial to prevent severe complications and potential fatality.


In conclusion, the tragic incident where the use of a tampon causes woman to lose both legs, highlights the severe consequences of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) caused by tampon use. It serves as a stark reminder of the importance of raising awareness about TSS and practicing proper tampon hygiene. Immediate medical attention and adherence to preventive measures can play a critical role in safeguarding women's health and preventing such devastating outcomes.

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About The Authors

Professor Jhiz

Professor Jhiz- Professor Jhiz brings fun to teaching anatomy. Born in China, she shares her fascination for how the body works. Students say her lectures are lively with jokes and stories. She draws cartoon diagrams that highlight structures creatively. Professor seeks to inspire curiosity and joy in anatomy. She treats each class like a show using props and costumes. When not teaching, Jhiz enjoys karaoke and novelty socks. Her goal is passing on a spirit of wonder to students.

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