Originally Published: September 27, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: May 31, 2012
I had in a tampon, and now I can't find it. It was there. I tried to find it, but I can't. Is that possible? I am really worried about it. It was in for about one day. Please help.
A tampon cannot get lost in your body. The vagina is a potential space that can expand, and the tampon can get lodged near the back. It will remain there until you find it. It seems as though the string may have become twisted behind the tampon, or pushed way back in the vagina, making it difficult to reach.
When this happens, it takes some time for the vagina to relax and change position so that the tampon will return to its usual place, or at least to a more accessible location. Try "fishing around" for the tampon or string with your clean index finger. If you're not able to find it, try asking a partner.
Otherwise, see your health care provider. Explain the situation, and tell her/him that you are concerned about the loss, the odor, and toxic shock syndrome (TSS) [see postscript below for more information]. As a last resort, you can go to the emergency room. It is important to do this not only to regain peace of mind, but because the tampon will begin to smell bad, and, ultimately, because there may be a small risk of infection, including TSS.
- Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare, but life-threatening, bacterial infection that affects between one and seventeen menstruating women per 100,000. Studies have shown that using the super plus tampons, and leaving tampons in the vagina for long amounts of time, increase the risk of developing TSS. Symptoms include a sudden high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting, dizziness, or a sunburnlike rash. To minimize the risk of TSS, wash your hands before inserting a tampon, change your tampon every four to six hours (especially on heavy flow days), and use the lowest absorbency tampon that is reasonable given the amount of your menstrual flow.
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September 3, 200921582
Yes, it's embarassing. I've done it too, had sex with a tampon in and "lost it." My partner was unimpressed that I had to enlist assistance to remove it, but we got past...
Yes, it's embarassing. I've done it too, had sex with a tampon in and "lost it." My partner was unimpressed that I had to enlist assistance to remove it, but we got past it. In a way, that experience in the first 6 months we were together has made it easier to get past the pleathora of unpleasant bodily fucntions and dysfunctions each of us has gotten though in the 7 years since. Many "uhm I think something might be wrong with me, but I can't see/reach it for myself" problems can be quickly overcome by soliciting the help of your partner. It's not easy early on the the relationship, but in the years we've been together it's been a great help in determining that a doctors visit is either entirely unncessessary or that a trip the the ER should be in our immediate future.
A partner worth keeping long term will understand, help you out, and won't mention the situation again — unless they need similarly icky help from you.
July 21, 200921576
I went into the ER for the same thing. They couldn't find anything, and I was so humiliated that I stopped using tampons. 5 months later, at my next annual, it was found in my...
I went into the ER for the same thing. They couldn't find anything, and I was so humiliated that I stopped using tampons. 5 months later, at my next annual, it was found in my posterior fornix. Very uncool.
So just because you can't "find it" doesn't mean it hasn't been misplaced. Squat when you "look" for it. Apparently, that helps. If you're still not sure, go to Planned Parenthood.
July 28, 200821377
To the reader:
I too have just returned from my doctor and she found a tampon up inside me. It has been there over a week. Ewwww! I was so embarrased, she said not to be, that she had seen...
To the reader:
I too have just returned from my doctor and she found a tampon up inside me. It has been there over a week. Ewwww! I was so embarrased, she said not to be, that she had seen it many times before. The smell was very bad. The weird smelly discharge had lessened but I still knew something wasn't right. I blows my mind and I feel totally humiliated. I should feel glad that it was nothing worse. I wish I had been able to find your site when I was googling my symptoms about the discharge. I don't know if I will ever be able to use a tampon again.
June 6, 200621090
Well, you can imagine my immense relief when it turned out all it was WAS a lost tampon. I work in a very public facing industry and was mortified by the odor - I had no...
Well, you can imagine my immense relief when it turned out all it was WAS a lost tampon. I work in a very public facing industry and was mortified by the odor - I had no discharge or discomfort, but could not for the life of me figure out what that odor was. I am glad this site encourages women to know their bodies and what is normal for them so they are aware when something is "not right". I would like to share that it may not be a bad idea to be checked out by your doctor if this does in fact happen, even if you are able to retrieve the tampon yourself. In my case, although I had no symptoms that I was aware of, I did have bacterial vaginosis (sp) from this incident and am glad my doctor caught it and prescribed a course of Clindamax for me. He explained that left untreated, BV can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing a much more serious infection and possible PID. Just food for thought for women that find themselves in this situation! Thank you for an informative, honest, and sometimes humorous forum!
August 31, 200420790
I just retuned from the doctor's office and he found the problem of my odor...
I just retuned from the doctor's office and he found the problem of my odor & dark discharge. I was in total shock. I had no idea what to say or how to react. I am relieved knowing the cause, but still embarrassed. I do feel better after finding your site. The doctor did tell me "it happens," but I thought surely I was the only one stupid enough to lose & forget about a tampon. I just wish I would have found this earlier.
July 22, 200420773
Thank you very much for having this information posted. I recently started having the most offensive odor and had NO idea what was going on. I looked on several sites searching for...
Thank you very much for having this information posted. I recently started having the most offensive odor and had NO idea what was going on. I looked on several sites searching for vaginal odor/dark discharge and could not find anything that fit my symptoms. I was at such a loss I even went as far as to check out STD symptoms even though I am in a monogamous (sp) relationship with my husband whom I trust completely. I was planning on going to the Dr. tomorrow. I found your info and knew exactly what the problem was (especially when one woman said "it smelled like something crawled up inside of me and died." Exactly! It really was THAT bad). I figure my tampon was "lost" for about 5 - 6 days with terrible odor after maybe 2 - 3. I followed your advice and "fished" for it (it took maybe 30 seconds) and sure enough... a HUGE relief. I will still call my Dr. today to make sure I don't need to be seen, in case there was an infection of some sort caused by it. But I think all is well.