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
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.
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!
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.
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
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
Searched the web for the last day and a half and finally found your
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.
Congratulation, your site is very useful.
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.
Your site got me all riled up again, so I am taking the time to
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