Sometimes I think the whole concept that women are better multitaskers than men has its caveats. With everything we’re juggling 24/7, most of us have forgotten to grab our keys, take the daily pill, or buy a gift for our cousin’s birthday. It’s especially easy to forget if you your tampon was in or not!
Then there’s this. Chances are it has happened to all of us at least once in our lives, and it definitely falls under the category of “asking for a friend.” The dreaded forgotten tampon incident.
And I’m not talking about when you have to bum one off a friend at dinner. I’m talking about the loaded question (pun most definitely intended) of what happens when you forget to remove a tampon.
Lost and Forgotten Tampon Symptoms
Generally speaking, a tampon should be replaced every 6 to 8 hours, according to the Food and Drug Administration. There are times when you may insert a second tampon or have sex with your partner without removing the existing tampon, which can result in a lost at vaginalsea situation.
Or you could simply be going about your life and neglect to remove that last tampon when your period ends.
Either way, you can expect certain symptoms to arise as time passes. A few of the most common include foul-smelling, discharge that could be brown, green, yellow, pink, or gray and itching. Sometimes there will not be discharge, but normally a telltale sign will be the foul odor that will likely intensify with time.
How to retrieve a lost or forgotten tampon
If you’ve not yet gotten up close and personal with your anatomy, now is the time to introduce yourself. The most important thing is to stay calm as you attempt to navigate the cervix. You may be able to gently sweep it out, or you could try bearing down to make it a little easier to reach.
If that fails, do not fret. You could consider asking your partner, if you’re comfortable doing so, but, like anything, it’s important to only do what you are comfortable with.
If you or your partner sense symptoms of infection, or cannot remove the tampon, it is imperative to call your doctor and get in for an appointment as soon as possible. We want to help you, we want you to be healthy, and trust me – it’s something I see often, so there is absolutely no need to sacrifice your health for the sake of pride in this case.
What happens if the forgotten tampon leads to infection?
Why do I say that with such sincere sternness? Because the most common medical problem many of us are familiar with, Toxic Shock Syndrome, is a devastating illness in which your body reacts to a bacteria and your body goes into a shock state.
This leads to the person needing to go to an Intensive Care Unit for treatment – the unit for the sickest patients in the hospital. This condition can also lead to death! Pretty scary, right?
Sometimes life gets hectic and we forget things like that gift for the cousin, or maybe even that tampon. While it isn’t likely that you’ll get Toxic Shock Syndrome, it is incredibly important to act quickly when you notice an issue to avoid further problems – because let’s face it, gross smelling discharge is not pleasant!⠀⠀
We know this is just one of those questions you’re asking for a friend, and we want to know more of them. Contact me to share your best “asking for a friend” questions so we can keep the series fresh with new ideas! .