Women who use tampons have seen the warnings about toxic shock syndrome (TSS) printed on boxes for years and years.

TSS is rare, but it can happen with tampon use when Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria gets deep into bodily tissue and begins attacking internal organs. A young woman named Phoebee Bambury recently contracted TSS, and she wants to raise awareness about its symptoms and effects to prevent others from having to go through the same awful guessing game she did.

She said, “I was shivering really uncontrollably. All of my muscles were aching and I just really didn’t feel well at all.”

That’s when she realized her symptoms sounded familiar. “It was ticking over in my head and I thought I knew what it sounded like,” she said. “I went and got a box of tampons and read out all the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome. Everything matched.”

e spent almost two weeks in the hospital before she was strong enough to be discharged. She wants to raise awareness about TSS because she was careful to use tampons correctly but still contracted the illness.