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  • Justice for My Jewel

How one woman had to have both of her feet amputated after using a menstrual cup

Updated: Jan 28, 2020

The discussion surrounding Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) has been one that is most widely centered on the usage of tampons. There have been countless stories, some with very tragic endings, over the years that have magnified the dangers that come with using tampons-- TSS being one of the biggest detriments to a woman’s health. In the case of Sandrine Graneau, a 36-year-old, mother of three from Loire-Atlantique, France, she fell victim to toxic shock syndrome after using a menstrual cup while on her period.

In April of 2019, Graneau chose to use a menstrual cup while on her period. According to her, the unclear packaging of the menstrual cups was to blame for what happened to her. She states that she was not given a clear indication of how long to keep the cup in. Menstrual cups have been in the spotlight over the years for being a “safer” and health conscious option for women looking for an alternative to tampons. However, one fact remains true for these period products… they’re being inserted into a woman’s body the same way a tampon is.

Toxic shock syndrome, as you may or may not know, is caused by bacterial toxins and can be a sudden/potentially fatal condition for those that are exposed to it. Graneau’s infection, caused by her menstrual cup, spread to her internal organs which led to both of her feet and some of her fingers being amputated. The toxins spread to her lungs, liver and kidneys. In order to prevent the infection from spreading to her vital organs, doctors took the proper precautions and moved forward with the amputation.

This case of TSS is rare and possibly one of the first you’ve heard about as it relates to menstrual cups. However, the risk that comes with using tampons are just as high as using menstrual cups. A 2018 study showed that menstrual cups are just as much of a breeding ground for bacteria as tampons. This is why, at Jewel, we prefer to keep things on the outside so that you know you’re being protected in the safest and best way possible. Fortunately, Sandrine Graneau lived to tell her story so that others can continue to see the real dangers that come with using menstrual cups and tampons as well. Nine months later, Graneau is on her journey to getting used to her new life, going to rehab to learn to walk with prosthetics.

It’s not only important for women to know what they're putting into their bodies, but also to know what risk they’re taking. For Sandrine Graneau, she had know idea that her life would be forever changed after using a menstrual cup, but unfortunately, she became an example to others of what could happen. This story of toxic shock syndrome should not be another one meant to scare you, but to educate you and raise your awareness of the things that are out there that aren’t always in the best interest of a woman’s health.

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