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)
The practice of shenzhu (divine pig) “fattened pig” contests today play only a small role in Taiwan’s folk religion, but they are still held within a minority of temples. On Aug. 27, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Rosalia Wu held a news conference advocating for the shenzhu sacred pigs, objecting to the longstanding allowances given to breeders, and calling for strict enforcement of fines against the practice. Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) researcher Tsun Fang-chu said private breeders keep the animals in cages and force-feed them to fatten them up, and over the long term this increase in weight means
The Western Section of the Taipei Metro’s Circular Line (the Yellow Line) in New Taipei City has been in operation since Jan. 31. On Sept. 6, someone riding in a Metro train car saw the quite moving scene of an elderly workman sitting on a paint pail that he had with him because he was afraid of dirtying the seats. Some netizens were moved to tears by the story. The person posted a photo on the “Baofei Commune” Facebook group. He said that when he was on the Circular Line in New Taipei City, he had come across an elderly workman
VieShow Cinemas’ Taipei Sun, a digital IMAX movie theater located in Taipei’s Ximending area, closed its doors on Sept. 8 in preparation for the building to be torn down for an urban renewal project. The fate of the mosaic mural The Rising Sun, which is 18.5 meters long and 3 meters high and is located on the second floor, has since become a focus of controversy. The mosaic mural was created by Yen Shui-long (1903-1997), an important figure in Taiwanese art, whose work ranged from painting, crafts and pottery to advertising design, and who was a pioneer in Taiwan’s arts
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (2/5) 坐我的新車去兜風吧（二） A: How about we organize a road trip to test out my new set of wheels? B: Alright. Any thoughts on where to go? A: I’m thinking of driving along the east coast and staying in Taitung for a long weekend. What do you think? B: That’s a great idea — but does your vintage car have air conditioning? A: I’m afraid not, but at least the weather is starting to cool down now. How about this Saturday? B: Sure. Let’s do it! A: 我們來規劃一趟公路旅行，試試我的新車，你覺得如何？ B: 好啊。你有想到去哪裡嗎？ A: 我打算沿著東海岸開，然後週末連假待在台東。你覺得呢？ B: 那真是太棒了──不過，你的經典車有空調嗎？ A: 恐怕沒有哦，反正天氣開始變涼了。星期六出發怎麼樣？ B: 當然。就這麼做吧！ （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文: