beta-glucosidase, cellulase, alpha-mannosidase, beta-galactosidase, and N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase were tested for their ability to hydrolyse the carboxymethylcellulose contained in 'Rely' tampons (R-CMC). The end-products of the hydrolysis were determined by chromatography. Only beta-glucosidase and cellulase hydrolysed R-CMC and the major product detectable after enzymic degradation was glucose, as confirmed chromatographically and by the glucose oxidase test. The enzymic-degradation products of R-CMC were able to support the growth of a toxic-shock-syndrome strain of Staphylococcus aureus. This finding suggests that as it is degraded by enzymes in the vaginal cavity R-CMC may become an exogenous source of nutrients for pathogenic organisms.