Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, life-threatening complication of bacterial infection. It has been historically associated with the use of superabsorbent tampons and occasionally with the use of contraceptive sponges.

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.

While the syndrome can occur in menstruating women, it can also affect men, children and postmenopausal women. Risk factors for toxic shock syndrome include skin wounds and surgery.

Signs and symptoms of toxic shock syndrome develop suddenly, and the disease can be fatal. You can take steps to reduce your risk of toxic shock syndrome.

May. 07, 2011