Having your period can really suck (believe us, we know). Sometimes it feels like Mother Nature鈥檚 way of saying 鈥渃ool, you get to bleed like the hallway in The Shining, be a raging jerk, and have King Kamehameha level cramps! SO LOVELY TO BE A WOMANNNNNNNN!鈥 Not cool, Mother Nature, not cool.

Tampax

Recently, another point of period suckage has been making the rounds on the Internet. At this point, we鈥檝e all read (and unconsciously clenched during) the Vice article about model Lauren Wasser who lost her leg due to toxic shock syndrome that was caused by a tampon. Before you vow to only use period panties (like the ones from this Kickstarter) from now on, here are some essential facts to know about toxic shock syndrome.

1. It鈥檚 really rare:聽It鈥檚 important to note that toxic shock syndrome is rare (figure only a couple hundred people in the US are affected by it each聽year), so it鈥檚 not like the next time Flo is in town, you鈥檙e doomed.

2. It has to do with infections:聽According to the Mayo Clinic, TSS is a 鈥渃omplication of certain types of bacterial infections鈥 not just caused by tampon usage.聽As Vice put it: 鈥渁 person must already have Staphylococcus aureus present in his or her body鈥 to get TSS. This came into play in Wasser鈥檚 case because she ended up getting gangrene, which lead to the amputation of her leg.

3. It can be caused by sleeping with聽a tampon inside you:聽Most tampons have an advisory on them that say to change them every three hours or so. When you sleep in a tampon the absorbed blood (which is essentially the lining of your uterus and other things) hangs out in your body too long and could become a breeding ground for bacteria that could lead to infection.聽 Unless you want to get up every few hours to swap em out, just use an overnight pad.

4. Organic tampons may help:聽According to WebMD,聽the material your tampon is made of may also lead to the growth of bacteria. They suggest that tampons made with rayon and polyester foam make it easier for bacteria to collect on the tampon once it鈥檚 inside. You can avoid these materials by using organic tampons and always read the label before you buy.

5. Step away from the Super Plus: The University of Illinois McKinley Health Center recommends using a tampon with the minimum absorbency needed so you鈥檙e聽regularly switching it out and running less of a risk for聽infection.

6. FYI鈥 tampons expire:聽Who knew, right?? If you wouldn鈥檛 eat a yogurt that was past its date,聽you shouldn鈥檛 stick something past due up your vajazz. The expiration date is usually printed on the bottom of the box so make sure to double check any boxes you have under your sink. (Also, just anecdotally, condoms expire too! Check those bad boys out!)

7. If you feel something, say something:聽Symptoms of TSS include headaches, fever and vomiting. A lot of us may write symptoms like that off as standard issue period yuckiness but if you feel any of those symptoms more so than usual on your period, you should remove your tampon and go to a doctor immediately. TSS strikes hard and fast so the sooner you get help the better.

What other medical buzz聽do you want the scoop on? Ask us in the comments!