Is tampon usage safe for vaginal dilation after vaginoplasty

January 22, 2016

Dear Dr. Reed,

I have a question.  I have been using my stents daily.  But I have read that
some transwomen are using tampons to aid in dilation.

Is it a safe practice?  I don’t do it for more than a few hours and only do
it a few times a week.   Katrina

Good afternoon Katrina,

I have no experience with tampon usage but recall that tampons (a cellulose product, I believe) has been associated with the toxic shock syndrome

What follows is from the Mayo Clinic.

Have a restful weekend,

Harold M. Reed, M.D.

Toxic shock syndrome


By Mayo Clinic Staff

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, but the condition may also be caused by toxins produced by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.

Toxic shock syndrome historically has been associated primarily with the use of superabsorbent tampons. However, since manufacturers pulled certain types of tampons off the market, the incidence of toxic shock syndrome in menstruating women has declined.

Toxic shock syndrome can affect men, children and postmenopausal women. Risk factors for toxic shock syndrome include skin wounds and surgery.

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