Several dozen batches of U by Kotex Sleek tampons were voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer after users reported the products were coming apart inside them. The manufacturer is warning women not to use any of these products, as serious medical issues could ensue.
The product has been coming apart inside women’s bodies, raising new concerns over toxic shock syndrome, a potentially deadly infection that can occur with tampon use.
Kimberly-Clark, makers of Kotex, have recalled regular absorbency tampons in their U by Kotex Sleek product line. The recall includes lots manufactured between October 7, 2016 and October 16, 2018. If you’re concerned about a product you’ve been using and want more information, you can call Kimberly-Clark’s customer service center between 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. at 1-888-255-3499. Kimberly-Clark posted a helpful guide for consumers here and you can also check the full recall list here. Anyone who has used the tampons on the list and experienced any symptoms such as vaginal pain, bleeding or irritation should consult a doctor right away.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
The recall raises fears of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which became a household name in the ’80s after hundreds of women became ill while using super-absorbent tampons, 38 of those women died. The condition, usually caused by a Staphylococcus aureus infection, causes a high fever, confusion, vomiting and diarrhea, head and muscle aches, seizures and a sunburn-like rash. Most cases are caused by high-absorbency tampons, which can become breeding grounds for bacteria. If left untreated, TSS can lead to renal failure, systemic shock, and death.
Tampon-induced TSS has become much rarer over the decades as manufacturers and consumers have learned from past mistakes. Still, infection can occur if tampons--or pieces thereof--are left too long in the vagina. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you have TSS. U.S. consumers can also report any issues they've experienced to the FDA via Medwatch; Canadians should contact Health Canada.
Tampons have become much safer over the decades, but users should still be aware of the risk factors. Mayo Clinic recommends using the lowest absorbency tampons you can, making sure to change them every 4 to 8 hours without fail. Kimberly-Clark is assuring the public that it is working to make sure future products are safe, but you can also nearly eliminate your risks of developing TSS by switching from tampons to sanitary napkins.
~ Here’s to Your Health and Wellness