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Can a tampon get lost or stuck inside you? Take a deep breath and read this

If you’ve committed the folly of taking this as a joke, be prepared to get a major reality check ahead. Tampons need to be dealt with caution.
Woman holding a tampon
Many women are scared about the tampon getting stuck! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Sonakshi Kohli Updated: 27 Jan 2020, 15:49 pm IST
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Can a tampon get lost inside your vagina? There are only two possible reactions to this question: You’re either dismissive and amused or simply freaking out and shitting your pants. I am assuming the women belonging to the latter category make for the serious tampon users. 

As for the remaining amateurs, a tampon is basically a plug-like structure made with a soft material like cotton. It is inserted in the vagina to absorb the blood during menstruation with a thread attached to the other end that stays outside the body to enable you to pull it out after, say, three-four hours of insertion.

It is a saving grace for the bikini-lovers and water babies of the world for their lack of visibility and comfort—especially during swimming. Plus, they say, once you get used to a tampon, no force of nature can take you back to using sanitary napkins.

Getting back to addressing the concerns of the tampon-loving league, now.

No, a tampon can NOT get lost inside you
Biologically speaking, your vagina is only three-four inches deep. The opening on the other end of this depth is your cervix, which is just about big enough to let menstrual blood out and semen in. So, no chance for a tampon getting mysteriously lost inside your body forever. However, don’t take a sigh of relief just yet. 

can a tampon get stuck
Tampons can make handling your periods easy. But if you sleep with them, this is what you need to know. GIF courtesy: GIPHY

Because a tampon can get stuck in your vagina
What if you’re not able to find the string or catch the other end of the tampon because it has gone further inside the vagina than intended?  God knows, that’s one heck of a problem to deal with. And God knows, it’s quite possible.

Perhaps, you were too tired or drunk to remove the tampon the previous night, or you forgot taking it out after your period got over, or you somehow ended up having sex without removing the tampon—the reasons are as weird as the question of it getting “lost” inside you.

Also, read: Is it okay to wear a tampon to bed? This is what gynaecologists have to say

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However, even the stuck tampon is not to be taken lightly. And if you’re even a slight bit doubtful about the situation, there’s a way to be surer.

Symptoms of a tampon stuck inside your vagina
The symptoms of a foreign body like a tampon inside your vagina could be as follows:

  • Vaginal discharge, generally foul-smelling and yellow, pink, or brown
  • Vaginal bleeding, especially light bleeding
  • Vaginal itching or foul odor
  • Discomfort with urination
  • Discomfort due to vaginal discharge producing skin irritation
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain from placement of large objects or perforation of a foreign body into the abdominal cavity
  • Skin redness
  • Swelling of the vagina and its entrance
  • Rash in the vaginal area

Warning: The stuck tampon is not to be taken lightly
Yes ladies, please don’t assume that the tampon will self-destruct or get ingested or simply magically disappear inside your body if it is stuck in your vagina.

If you end up being too ignorant and leave it on its own, be prepared to face the following risks:

Bacterial vaginosis: It is one of the most common vaginal infections among women. An overgrowth of bacteria that is naturally found in the vagina can cause vaginal inflammation and further upset the pH balance. It is accompanied with foul-smelling vaginal discharge.

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS): A rare, life-threatening condition caused when the staphylococcus aureus bacteria gets into the bloodstream and produces toxins. Unfortunately, it has been linked with tampon use or retention by health experts and thus, is a possibility arising from a tampon left inside your vagina.

What to do then?
I can’t possibly change your nature of trying to be your own doctor first. So, fine! Try taking it out yourself first. But don’t forget to wash your hands before you begin.

Sitting on a toilet seat and trying to push it out like you push out a baby can help. Or spreading your legs, inserting your fingers inside the vagina to catch the other end of the stuck tampon could also work if you’re in luck. 

Just be sure not to injure yourself. And if you aren’t successful at this stint, get your pants back on and see a gynaecologist.

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