Since I've put this site together in 1995 (wow), I've gotten a lot of email from people all over the world. Here are some of them. Some are words of praise and others are women sharing their personal experiences.

I just happened upon your website and thought it was great! I had TSS when I was 15 and had gotten it from synthetic tampons. I was probably the only teenager who actually knew about the illness - I was scared to death of it after reading the warning insert in the box. So I never kept it in too long and never slept with it. But I still got it. All of the symptoms listed on the insert are true to word - I had every single one of them. The illness progresses so rapidly that it caught me and my family by surprise. I knew I had it immediately - somehow I just knew - and no one believed me. My friends and family thought I had the flu but after 2 days my parents realized how serious I was and had to take me to the hospital. There I was treated like a freak show, with every doctor within, what felt like, a 20-mile radius dropping by to observe my symptoms. To a 15-year-old girl it was rather terrifying because I didn't know if I was going to die or not. Once they finally diagnosed me I was well on my way to recovery though.

Afterward I was ashamed to tell people what had happened to me. Most people thought it was my fault. They automatically assumed that I had been careless and left it in too long! I would have to say most people don't even believe me that I got it b/c of a reaction I had with the tampon. I'm not ashamed anymore and tell people my story whenever I can to warn them about the dangers of tampons and to be very careful. All through college I had friends saying, "You're the only person I know of who had it! I can't wait to tell my other friends!" I don't even care anymore who tells who. I haven't nor would I ever use tampons again, although at times it would make my life easier. I can't even use the natural kind unfortunately because I am more susceptible to getting the illness again and more severely. Once was enough for me. Reading other people's stories about their experiences with TSS was comforting. Thank you.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! and did I say . . . THANK YOU?!! Your web-site is fabulous, informative and has contributed SO MUCH information to an already growing 'file' for an article I'm writing! I appreciate having your articles/articles available to reference. I have only recently thrown my budget off the deep end by purchasing a good portion of GLAD RAGS and LOVE them! It literally felt like my body started changing within the first WEAR! I have suffered from LONG periods (7 to 10 days) with HEAVY bleeding for 17 years. I never had the option of pads, but was introduced to Tampons as the only alternative and would bleed so heavily that they would literally FALL OUT! I also dealt with yeast infections and was literally sore from having to insert and remove tampons every hour to hour 1/2. You can only imagine the money I was spending! After switching to cloth pads, my cycle shortened to 4 days (what is THAT all about), my yeast infections were GONE (not decreased - THEY ARE GONE) and my flow changed to what I'd call 'regular.' I was concerned when I purchased the Glad Rags that I would pour over the sides of them and it would make for a mighty big mess, but the opposite was true. I found I only had to use ONE of their inserts and didn't even really need the NIGHT-TIME cloth pads I purchased. Anyway, all that to say the investment was worth it - if not for the savings of the future, but also for the environment and my HEALTH (and my two daughters' health that will one day be taught by their NOW EDUCATED MOTHER that their cycle is just one more way they are linked to this earth).
Thanks again - and thanks for letting me share!

I just have a quick story that may be useful to some of your readers. I am a tampon user and I have been plagued with bacterial infections for several years. I have been tested for every STD under the sun, have avoided bubble baths and wet bathing suits, and still I suffer with them. However, after doing some research about what tampons may actually contain, I decided to do a test on my own. I switched to pads for two months, and what do you know- no more infections. Just this past month I switched back to tampons as a test. I now have yet another doctor's appointment this week.

I just took a look at your web site. I was interested in the page informing the public about Toxic Shock Syndrome. My wife also had TSS. She had it twice. The first time was from a tampon when she was 17. In those days, 1980, most didn't even know what it was. It wasn't until she was almost fully recovered (about two months later) that my father-in-law read an article in the paper about the decease and all her symptoms matched those described in the article. From that point on, she has quit using tampons.

But the second time was from a diaphragm in 1982. We had even asked the doctor who prescribed it if it could cause TSS. Of course, he wasn't aware of the possibility because the businessmen at Ortho Pharmaceutical decided it would be a bad business idea to inform the public, even after they had 12 different pieces of evidence (letters from doctors treating patients suffering from TSS with the diaphragm as the only link), that told them their product was related to TSS.

The onset of this second bought with TSS took place three months after she gave birth to our first child. A sweet little baby boy. Poor little guy. He had mom just yanked out of his life for a while.

At the time, she was the worst case that had survived. She did have heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, respiratory failure, exploratory surgery, was in a coma for 17 days, hospitalized for forty, given ten minutes to live at one point and less than one percent chance of survival.

We won a precedence setting "failure to warn" case against Ortho Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (The ones that take care of your baby . . . until they become a young woman) in 1986. It was the first case in the world that was over a diaphragm. Our attorneys ended up with more money than we did. They got over 50%.

Anyway, I really appreciate your efforts to inform the public. However, I was hoping that you could mention that there are other products on the market that can cause TSS, such as diaphragms and cervical sponges. Thanks.

Hi! My friend told me about your page and I was really happy to see it. I read WHitewash about a year ago and put it in the back of my mind until a couple of weeks ago. Now I want to tell all the women on campus and every woman i know. I am amazed at the lack of info. out there about such an important issue, but I guess the large companies are to thank for that. anyway, i am glad that this is out there.

Wow, thanks for the info. I appreciate someone caring enough to put this on the web.

I am very pleased to see that you have put together such a comprehensive Home Page on a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I have been working ont the TSS issue on the legal front for years in the aftermath of getting Rely off the market. Nothing upsets me more than to hear that the popular concensus is that TSS went away a long time ago. There is nothing farther than the truth. Your format in getting exposure on the issue is commendable, both as a womans' health legal advocate and a mother oof a 10 year old daughter. I would like to see this information put out in school curriculum versus the brainwashing that the video tapes from the corporate gaints. Again, thank you for your efforts and concern.

hey! just wanted to thank you for disseminating important health news. your page is great & when i (eventually) get mine up on the web, this'll be a link for sure. cheers!

Dear Tracy,
I found your site while browsing the women's health stuff at yahoo looking for info on pms. I just had to tell you - this is fantastic. This is what women should be using the net for, to combat the disinformation that is foisted on us in konsumer kulcher and let us make REAL choices. Thank you for putting this stuff up. I hope you get the encouragement and positive feedback you deserve, 'cos getting information out there is crucial. Keep it up, and have fun.

Dear Tracy and Mia,
Discovered the SPOT page and I'm spreading the word- the word of the page and the news it carries.

Hey Tracy,
THANKS for the great page on tampons! I had heard some rumblings in the past regarding potential dangers of tampons but were never really sure of what they were...
I will be ordering the all-cotton, organic tampons in the future.
Keep up the GREAT work!

hey there, tracy. first, let me say that i love your homepage; it's full of important (and suppressed) information. i also love the little pink uterus/tubes/ovaries logo. cool!

What a delightful page. As someone who came of age in the early 60s, I really appreciate the openness of your material. I personally stopped using tampons about 7 years ago. I have a daughter just reaching menarche and she wants to use tampons. I never would have thought that TSS would still be a problem until my daughter's best friend's sister had TWO episodes of TSS related to tampon use. I was happy to see that you list places to get 100% cotton tampons. I'll probably seem like a weird mom to my daughter but I'll only let her use those.

I just recently entered your site and was pleased to see that there are women who inform the rest of us about women issues. There should be more of you.

I feel like I've been living in a cave. Dont know how I missed hearing about this for the last year and a half. just heard on a radio program.

Searched the web for the last day and a half and finally found your resource.
Thanks for putting it up - now back to info overload and reading the stuff you put together.

Hi Tracy - Great page. So exciting to see someone has pulled together something like this!!

Great job on your research. It sure is interesting knowing the efects of tampons.

Hello Tracy,
Congratulation, your site is very useful.

Hello Tracey;
What a terrific job you have done with this web site - and what an important service you are offering women.

I think you have a very admirable goal in wanting to inform women about the health risks of commercial tampons. I read the same article in the Village Voice by Ms. Houppert and it prompted me to write a research paper for my humanities class about the connection between tampons and TSS & endometriosis. I'm currently writing another paper - a historical analysis of tampon advertisements. Keep up the good work!

Loved your info and thought I would contribute something I heard on TV. I was watching an early morning exercise show and the aerobic instructor was talking about PMS and its relation to the rayon in tampons. Seems that low magnesium levels is a factor in PMS and the rayon in the tampons is suspected of "draining" the magnesium from a woman's body. I was very interested in this as I have very bad PMS (just ask my husband!). I don't know if this information can be scientifically proven, but it's food for thought to us PMS sufferers.

Dear Tracy,

Your site got me all riled up again, so I am taking the time to write...Here goes:

I have a page called "Trust is not Tampax Tampons" I don't recall the url because it's not linked from my site (I was worried about a lawsuit back then, though don't give a hoot about that now...so I will make that link..)

Here in BC in 1992, Tambrands put plastic applicators on the store shelves, reduced the number per box by 20% and increased the price by 25%. I wrote them a letter challenging them to explain the influx of plastic applicators on our shores, explaining how embarrassing that was for a teacher to have to explain to her students (we tortured ours..; ), and how they were now adding to the problems with the environment. I challenged them to explain the sudden decrease in the number of tampons per box and the corresponding increase in price. Where there a sudden cotton shortage? Why were we paying more and getting less? They were ripping us off. They responded by leaving numerous messages on my answering machine, but I was much too annoyed to call back.

I stopped using Tampax for years after that, as did numerous women. Then, there was a special note on Dateline as to how soooo many women had reacted years earlier that this company couldn't sell a box. Their stock plummeted so badly as no one would buy their stock, and the company nearly went bankrupt. I think that was around 1995.

During this time, my pap smears were coming back abnormal, and had been for a number of years. Finally, my doctor sent me in saying I had precancerous cells on my cervix, but that it was nothing to worry about. I haven't been able to have sex for the past four years (which affects my love life with my fiancÚ), as it is too painful to have sex. I also have a bleeding discharge afterward, and I was quite concerned about that.

I had cryotherapy for my cervix, but the problems didn't stop. At that time, I decided to call Tambrands to ask about what they were using in the product. I just had the feeling that something there was not right. It was at that time that I asked them if they were whitened, and they responded "Yes!" They were being whitened with, of all things, bleach!

Well, I freaked out at the girl on the phone. Was there nothing else they could use? I had heard some companies were using hydrogen peroxide. They explained that their studies showed that women wanted "whiter" tampons, to which I responded, "Give me a break! We can't even see them, they're inside us!" I still, to this day, would like to see that study.

I immediately went out and purchased a box of Ecofem tampons at the health food store, much to my personal relief. Having just had the cryotherapy, I read the list of "do's and don'ts". One don't was, "don't use tampons for 10 days..." So, after the 10 day mark was up, I reached around under the sink, but could only find a Tampax tampon. I thought it would be alright. After putting it in, I IMMEDIATELY had a shooting pain on my cervix. I took it out and searched the house for something else. Thank goodness I had those EcoFem tampons, I put that in, instead. There was no reaction from the EcoFem tampon. None.

Well, that was proof enough for me. I will never use another Tampax tampon as long as I live. The problem is, I'm now thinking, "How many of these cervical/uterine cancers are being caused by this?" How many women _know_ that this problem even exists? As I said before, I am more than ranting mad at these people for subjecting women to this. If they dare take me to court regarding my webpage, I will sue them right back.

The end result is this: I had a biopsy last month on my cervix, and a hystercopy exam. If that test comes back negative, it would be good news all the way. If it comes out positive, I will form a class-action suit against this company and try to put them out of business..if not that, then have them change the practises they use.

I'm sorry for going on like tis, but one your pages asks how many women actually went out of their way to speak out in 1992. Since I did speak out, and will continue to speak, I just wanted you to know, "I did!"

I hope you will put this on your website so other women will know there might be a connection between cervical problems and bleached tampons. And you have done a great job at getting this website out (I had no problem finding you on the engines...)

Thanks for your time, and peace

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