Retained tampons are tampons that have never been removed from a vagina and are stuck in the vaginal canal. Ob/Gyn Nicole Bullocks reassures that it is nothing to get too worried about, but the retained tampon needs to be taken out in order to avoid infections. A tampon that was forgetfully left inside a vagina can be noticed by the presence of a strong, foul vaginal odor and discharge. Dr. Bullocks suggests trying to get the tampon out by feeling your cervix and sweeping behind it while keeping the pelvic muscles relaxed. If you are not comfortable with this method or if there are symptoms of an infection, Dr. Bullocks encourages seeing a doctor. She reassures that seeing things stuck in the vaginal canal isn’t rare for Ob/Gyns and that removing the object with the help of a vaginal speculum is a quick, painless procedure.
For Further Reading
Tampons aren’t the only thing that can get stuck inside of a vagina. Here you can find helpful information on what to do if something gets “lost” in a vagina.
Have you ever been too embarrassed to ask your doctor what to do in case something gets stuck inside your vagina?
Not every woman has access to tampons or other menstrual products. Period poverty is a widespread problem, and organizations such as PERIOD are working hard to end it. Find ways to get involved here.