Organic cotton tampons are often advertised as safer alternatives, but a study on Friday said they are not better than regular tampons at preventing toxic shock syndrome. Menstrual cups can also raise the risk of toxic shock, and should be boiled in between uses, said the report in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
Women have long been advised to change tampons regularly to avoid the risk of toxic shock syndrome, a rare but life-threatening condition that arises from a bacterial infection. Symptoms may include fever, vomiting, rash, muscle aches and organ failure.
In recent years, a number of new female hygiene products have hit the market, including tampons made from organic cotton and menstrual cups that can be rinsed between uses.
To see how they measured up, researchers tested 11 kinds of tampons and four menstrual cups in the lab to study their effect on growth of a pathogen called Staphylococcus aureus, and also toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1) production. They inserted the tampons and cups into plastic bags, injected a liquid and a trace of bacteria isolated from a patient who had toxic shock in 2014, then sealed the bags and left them for eight hours.
They found it didn’t seem to matter what kind of material was in the tampon, rather it was the amount of air in between the fibers that seemed to raise the risk of bacterial growth.
“Our results did not support the hypothesis suggesting that tampons composed exclusively of organic cotton could be intrinsically safer than those made of mixed cotton and rayon,” said Gerard Lina, professor of microbiology at University Claude Bernard, in Lyon, France. “We observed that space between the fibers that contributes to intake of air in the vagina also represents the major site of S. aureus growth and TSST-1 production,” he added.
Meanwhile, menstrual cups seemed to allow even more bacteria to grow than tampons, again likely due to the additional air involved. At least one case has been documented in scientific literature of a woman coming down with toxic shock after using a menstrual cup.
“Over the years, it was postulated that perhaps if tampons were made from natural materials, toxic shock would be averted. The new research recently published clearly illustrates that this is not true,” said Adi Davidov, director of gynecology and robotic surgery at New York’s Staten Island University Hospital, who was not involved in the study. “Toxic shock can occur with any tampon material and even more frequently with the menstrual cups.”
According to Jill Rabin, co-chief of the division of ambulatory care at Northwell Health, a network of medical providers in New York, women should change tampons frequently. “If tampons and menstrual cups are used be sure to see your doctor at the first sign of any fever, chills or rash, and of course, remove the cup or tampon immediately.” (AFP)
1. tampon n.
衛生棉條 (wei4 sheng1 mian2 tiao2)
2. toxic shock syndrome phr.
(zhong4 du2 xing4 xiu1 ke4 zheng4 hou4 qun2)
3. menstrual cup phr.
月亮杯 (yue4 liang4 bei1)
4. bacterial infection phr.
細菌性感染 (xi4 jun4 xing4 gan2 ran3)
5. gynecology n.
婦科 (fu4 ke1)
Since its premiere on Oct. 2, US comedy series Emily in Paris has caused a sensation across the world. The Web TV series, starring actress Lily Collins, tells the story of Emily, a young woman who moves from Chicago to Paris for a job, as she struggles both at work and in love while experiencing culture shock. The show has topped streaming giant Netflix’s global chart and is the most-watched show in Taiwan. But the American perspective of the lead character has offended some French critics, who say that the “City of Lights” is not just about berets, croissants and cafes,
A: We can rest here. This is a good place to catch our breath, drink some water and enjoy the waterfall. B: It’s not the highest waterfall I’ve ever seen, but I like the way the water is cascading down those fallen boulders. A: Can you see that rock halfway up the waterfall? Is that two people sitting on it? B: I think you’re right. It’s a great vantage point to see the top of the waterfall. I wonder how they got up there. A: 我們可以在這裡休息一下。這地方很適合喘口氣、喝點水，還有欣賞瀑布。 B: 雖然不是我見過最高的瀑布，但是我喜歡瀑布落在這些倒下的大石塊的樣子。 A: 你看到瀑布往上中間的石頭嗎？那是兩個人坐在上面嗎？ B: 說的對，那是看瀑布頂端的絕佳位置。不知道他們是怎麼爬上去的？ （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文:
A: How are your legs? Not too tired? This is the final stretch. We’re almost at the top. B: So do we need to walk up that path? I think I’ll be fine: it looks like a gentle ascent, and there are steps all the way. A: Appearances can be deceptive. The path gets quite steep further on, and the steps become broken and irregular. We’re not out of the woods yet. B: What does that signpost say? If we take the right fork we will get to a temple in 25 minutes. A: Nice try. We’re going