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Doctors now link dirty pads to infertility

Women have been warned against staying with dirty sanitary towels or tampons for long as this increases the risk of infertility.

Western Kenya’s lead gynaecologist Aggrey Otieno Akula said most women were not aware that having dirty pads could result in infections that may block tubes and lead to barrenness.

CAUSE BLOCKAGE

Dr Akula said that if the pad or tampon is not changed after five hours, fungus may form on the blood, get into the uterus and cause blockage.

In an interview with the Nation in his Kisumu office yesterday, he said that using soiled tampons or pads for long could lead to an infection known as “toxic shock syndrome” which can even cause death.

“Toxic shock syndrome” is a condition caused by the release of poisonous substances from the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus, which is found in many women’s bodies.

Dr Paul Mitei, also a gynaecologist and obstetrician in Kisumu, said that once the blood leaves the body, it gets contaminated with the innate bacteria and, since the pad is still damp, will attract more organisms.

INFECTIONS

“When bacteria remain in a warm and moist place for long, they multiply and lead to various conditions, including urinary tract infection, vaginal infections and even death,” Dr Mitei told the Nation on the phone.

He said that if a tampon is left in the body for long, bacteria could penetrate the body, leading to severe infections and complications.

“Women tend to stay with pads and tampons for long, especially when travelling. This should be avoided at all costs,” he said.

Dr Akula said schoolgirls faced the greatest risk of infections.