Sepsis simply refers to a person’s body responding to infection. It sounds simple but in the health world, it is an emergency that is life threatening. It occurs when the body decides to respond to an infection which damages its own tissues ; it requires immediate attention or it may progress and turn into septic shock. Sepsis is not contagious and it doesn’t happen except a bacterial, fungal or viral infection is already present in the body which will then trigger a chain reaction. The kind of Infections that lead to sepsis usually starts in the lung, urinary tract, skin, or gastrointestinal tract. Our concern is the one that starts in the urinary tract which is what is directly connected to a woman’s uterus. When you suddenly begin to have high heart rate or low blood pressure, disorientation, pain that you cannot ignore, frequent fever, shortness of breath, sweaty skin even in cool conditions then, you need to see a healthcare professional to confirm if it is sepsis or not. Sepsis can happen to babies, old people, diabetes patients, HIV and AIDS patients, people with weak immune systems, people who were recently operated on or suffered from an illness but women are more susceptible to it year in, year out. Women who just gave birth, miscarried their babies or had an abortion, are exposed to lots of germs and women who use sanitary pads. Which is 90 percent of women by the way. Sanitary pads make a lot of women vulnerable to sepsis. Sanitary pads made with nylon covers and an unknown gel like substance for better absorption, can lead to rashes and infections which triggers sepsis.
This is as a result of:
Heat and moisture: while the sanitary pad is fulfilling its purpose, trapped sweat, urine causes irritation in the vulva.
• Friction: running, walking, horse riding, bicycle paddling and other forms of physical activity can cause friction.
• Allergy: Many women are allergic to certain materials in sanitary pads. This can lead to dermatitis which means an allergic reaction, adding unnatural fragrances to the vulva.
• Infrequent pad changes and poor sanitary hygiene: this can also be a trigger. It can cause bacterial vaginosis and even yeast infection.
All of these can grow into bacterial and fungal infections which are a trigger for Sepsis in women but there are ways to prevent it.
Pads should be changed every 3-4 hours whether it is full or not.
Stay healthy, maintain proper hygiene, and stay up to date with vaccines. To prevent a trigger, care for your wounds before they turn into an infection, and take all your prescribed antibiotics till they finish even if you are well to prevent the sickness from coming back. Once you notice any symptoms of sepsis, please contact a doctor immediately! If you're having trouble seeing a doctor, you can bring one to you using the HealthAid app. Get a doctor at your doorstep in minutes for a thorough diagnosis.
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