Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne forced to take down podcast episode over 'misinformation'

"It's misinformation and it just shows you that misinformation on social media spreads so much faster, and so much quicker than the truth."

Brittany Hockley and Laure Byrne on Life Uncut
Brittany Hockley and Laure Byrne were forced to take down a podcast episode about toxic shock syndrome over 'misinformation'. Photo: Instagram/lifeuncutpodcast

Life Uncut podcast hosts Brittany Hockley and Laura Byrne have been forced to take down a recent episode about Toxic Shock Syndrome due to a "medically incorrect" comment. The former Bachelor stars spoke to American model Lauren Wasser, who lost both of her legs after she was diagnosed with TSS The hosts shared a lengthy statement addressing the fact that some of Lauren's comments weren't quite correct.

"Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare and potentially life-threatening illness that is thought to be caused by infection with certain types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes," according to Better Health Channel, who added that people who are menstruating and use tampons are most at risk.

"The underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, but one theory is that the bacteria naturally present in the vagina can over-grow in the presence of a blood-soaked tampon," they add. "For TSS to occur, these particular types of bacteria must first over-grow and make large amounts of the TSS toxin, which then enters the bloodstream."


Lauren claimed that people can get TSS even if they use tampons correctly and went so far as to say that most tampons on the market are "full of bleach, dioxin, chlorine" and even those that are 100 per cent cotton are "still sprayed with pesticides".

"We're putting that inside of us at such a delicate time and it creates a perfect storm. It takes one of those toxins to get inside your body and start acting like the flu and shutting down your organs, it's lethal, it's dangerous," she said.

Aussie-based doctor Dr. Michael Mrozinski took to TikTok to slam Lauren's comments and the fact Laura and Brittany allowed her comments to appear on the podcast and the Internet.

"I'm actually really disappointed [with] Life Uncut podcast here," he said. "They posted this video about toxic shock syndrome on Instagram, it got a huge backlash, they had to take the video down, but for some reason, they still feel it's acceptable for a video with millions of views to be still up on TikTok. And I reached out, and I said, 'Look, guys, you should be taking this down. It's misinformation, and it's dangerous, but the video is still up, and here we are.'"

The video has since been removed from the Life Uncut TikTok account.

"Toxic shock syndrome is a form of sepsis in response to the toxins from usually staph or strep bacteria," Dr Michael explained. "When you have a period or particularly heavy periods and use a tampon, there is a higher risk of some of the toxins being reabsorbed. So changing tampons regularly reduces that risk."

He continued, "Now they had a guest on who obviously had toxic shock syndrome but was allowed to peddle that it was caused by the chemicals or pesticides, as she says that are in tampons, which is absolute nonsense, absolute nonsense. You can actually get toxic shock syndrome from lots of other different causes. And it's not caused by what's in tampons. That is a dangerous message to send out."

Dr Michael said that he believed Life Uncut kept the video up on their TikTok page because it was performing very well and had much more views than their other content.

"I can see why [Life Uncut] want to keep it up," he said, before the video was removed. "It was good publicity for you. But it's misinformation and it just shows you that misinformation on social media spreads so much faster, and so much quicker than the truth."

He ended the video by saying, "If you want to do a podcast on that topic you should start with speaking to some experts and getting the opinions of the medical professionals that see this instead of just quite happily promoting misinformation. Do better."

The Life Uncut team then quickly released a statement about the episode, sharing that they had taken it down while they edited out the misinformation.

The statement read, "Recently we interviewed Lauren Wasser who shared her heartbreaking story about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Lauren contracted TSS as a result of using tampons. During that episode there was a comment made that was medically incorrect."

They shared the quote of Lauren's mentioned above, adding, "Although it is well documented that tampons may contain chemicals and dioxins, these are not responsible for TSS. TSS results from toxins produced by bacteria.

"There is a wide misconception that TSS from tampon use is only a result of leaving a tampon in for too long. Lauren's experience is that she contracted TSS from using tampons correctly, as she was changing it every four hours. Lauren lost both of her legs and nearly her life from TSS and, as such, is a fierce advocate for TSS awareness.

"The episode has been temporarily archived while make this edit, and will be available again soon."

Users shared their thoughts on the matter, with one listener writing, "It would be good to have some clarity from a medical professional! According to friends in healthcare, it was more than just that one comment that was quite inaccurate. Still a great interview, she's incredibly resilient."

"Completely agree with this," another user responded. "A lot of what she was saying was medically inaccurate. I actually did a lot of research after the episode to get some accurate info so I guess in a way - mission accomplished. She’s bringing awareness. Agree it would be great to have a medical professional on the pod to clear up any inaccuracies and give some advice now that we’re all confused."

"I usually listen to every episode but I decided to sit this one out," a third said. "Would have preferred if this was done with a medical professional on the episode. Other than that, I definitely love what you ladies do!"

"I think this should have never been put up without medical input," someone else added. "It’s dangerous to put misinformation out there - look how many people in the comments are now confused. Was quite disappointed."


Many users in the comments section asked questions about what they should be using, as they were left confused about whether or not the products they had used in the past were safe.

Mia Klitsas, the founder of Moxie, the period care brand, responded to a comment about safe products and said, "There is absolutely no concrete evidence to suggest that tampons made with certain materials are ‘safer’ than others from a TSS perspective. All tampons, and also menstrual cups and discs, carry the same risks associated with TSS (all these products have similar warning labels).

"It’s important to remember that these products do not contain the bacteria that causes TSS - anyone, including men and children can even get TSS, it is just more associated with tampon use. Use whatever period care works best for you/your lifestyle/your body, please just always always read & follow the instructions for use."

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