Foreign objects or forgotten tampons may cause a vaginal infection.
Young girls might insert pieces of toilet paper, small toys, or household
objects into their vagina. Teens and adult women may forget a tampon or a
birth control device.
The most common symptoms of a vaginal infection caused by a foreign
object include a change in vaginal discharge and a bad odor. Immediate removal
of the object usually relieves these symptoms.
Removal of an object in a young girl requires treatment by a doctor to reduce the risk of complications and to evaluate the
possibility of abuse.
Removal of an object in a teenage girl requires evaluation and
treatment by a doctor so sexual activity, high-risk sexual
behavior, and birth control can be discussed.
How to remove an object from the vagina
You may attempt to remove an object from your vagina, especially if
you think it might be a forgotten tampon or a birth control device.
Wash your hands with soap and
Squat down, sit on the toilet, or stand and put one foot on
Insert two fingers into your vagina. Sweep your
fingers back and forth and try to feel the object or a string if one is
Tighten your lower abdominal muscles as if you are going
to have a bowel movement. This may push the object lower in the vagina, so you
can reach it with your finger.
Once you feel the object, grasp it
and pull it out of the vagina.
If you cannot find the object, you will have to see a doctor. It is important that you get the object out as soon as
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine