Toxic Protection / Confidence Shock /  Why Am I Sick? /  The Teflon Training Tampon





Despite considerable attention being given to such matters, mistakes continue to be made...



-- Denti et al., “Tampon Outer Surface Having Increasing Number of Written Identifiers To Indicate Absorbancy,” United States Patent #US 7,166,100 B2, Filed Dec. 9, 2005; Date of Patent Jan. 23, 2007











Medical anthropologist Sabine Wilms has noted that in 7th century China:


"women’s medical treatment...was performed by and contested between a large variety of practitioners..."


In the late 20th/early 21st century United States, research as to the causes of trTSS has been "performed by and contested between" numerous researchers, particularly Philip Tierno Jr. and Patrick Schlievert. 


Although trTSS is an illness affecting only females, the leading voices in the debate over its causes are both male. 


A similar gender dynamic is at work in the debate over menstrual suppression.  Click here to learn more.















Philip Tierno, Jr.  Not funded by tampon companies.


Patrick Schlievert, funded by tampon maker Procter & Gamble, as is the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.












# Cases

Per Month



St. Paul

Metropolitan Area


# Cases

Per Year



St. Paul

Metropolitan Area



In 2004, Patrick Schlievert et al. reported an increase in toxic shock cases ("menstrual or nonmenstrual") in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area over the previous 4 years, 2000 to 2003.  They also noted this was consistent with the Centers for Disease Control finding of an 18% increase in the incidence of toxic shock from 2002 to 2003.


Schlievert et al. stated that "the reason for this increase is unclear," yet also claimed:


"It is unlikely that increases in menstrual cases are due to changes in tampons since there have not been significant changes in these products since 1984; it is possible, however, that there are changes in tampon usage patterns."

Includes BOTH "menstrual or nonmenstrual" cases










































However, is it true that tampons have not signficantly changed since 1984?  In his response to Schlievert, Tierno pointed out:


" 1999 the Food and Drug Administration proposed an amendment to tampon labeling...which provided an absorbency term for tampons that absorb 15 to 18 [grams] of fluid, namely, ultra.  Soon thereafter tampons with this increase in absorbency became widely available on the marketplace..."


Schlievert et al. responded that: 


"Although such tampons are available, they are not highly used today."


To the right is the cover of a report published by Frost & Sullivan, a "business research and consulting firm."  It includes a section entitled: 


"Total Tampons Market: Market Share Analysis and Trends of Major Market Participants (U.S.), 2001-2003


Such a report could have been cited by Schlievert et al. regarding ultra tampon market share.  But it was not.




US$1,950 allows single-user electronic access to the above report, published December 1, 2003.
















Instead, Schlievert et al. presents the following scenario:


"...recommendations for tampon use advise women to use tampons of lowest absorbency to control menstrual flow.  These recommendations suggest the majority of women will not use tampons of ultra absorbency."


However, a patent application filed by Procter & Gamble on September 1, 2000, offers this scenario:


"Because of the concern of accidental soiling, first time and novice users often tend to try the use of a tampon at "low risk" times in their cycle.  Such a time typically includes days when menstrual flow is light such as when it is first starting.  Additionally, because of the fear of soiling or pre-mature leakage, such users may also tend to seek a higher absorbency product such as a "super," "super plus" or even a "regular" absorbency tampon.  Such a combination of light flow and higher absorbency often leads to an uncomfortable insertion experience, however. [...] The novice or first time user, then, in order to minimize the risk of leakage, tends to want to use  more absorbency than might be necessary at the time when flow may be the lightest for her.  This is particularly true for teens or young users who may tend to have lighter flow and smaller bodies in the first instance."


[bold/blue MOLT]


As Procter & Gamble has been a long-time funder of Schlievert's research, perhaps they could have provided him with a copy of this patent, to help him "build a better scenario" of "menstrual toxic shock."  But P&G did not.


Question:  Does Procter & Gamble's scenario account for the fact that 40% of trTSS cases are among 15- to 19-year-olds, as well as the increase in total TSS cases between 2000 and 2003?


Drawing from Procter & Gamble "Feminine Hygiene Kit" patent application, granted Dec. 5, 2006.  Kit "fell flat" in May 2002 [the same month as the annual Menstrual Monday holiday] because it was distributed to "...teen girls who were too old for such hand-holding."


Note piece of candy (Fig. 5E), "a small reward to the consumer which she may give herself for successful tampon insertion," possibly a "non-absorbant" "training tampon" "made of any suitable material including Teflon, polyethylene, and polyester," using either the disposable hand glove or  finger glove. Click here to see contents of Menstrual Monday Starter Kit, distributed each Spring since 2000.


[bold/blue MOLT]

















Mission Statement / Critique of the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health:
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of the Menovulatory Lifetime

From Protection to Expression: The Future of Menstrual Advertising

Menstrual Monday

Broken Tampon Memorial Fountain


Menovulography:  the years from puberty to menopause, told as a story with pictures


Toxic Protection / Confidence Shock



Menstrual Synchrony, Suppression and Globalization

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