Oops, I Forgot: Retained Tampon

Tampons inadvertently forgotten can remain retained in the vagina for a fairly long time. Generally speaking odor and discharge occurs that is bothersome enough that patients will seek evaluation, and your gyno will quickly be able to diagnose and resolve the situation! It's not uncommon to actually insert a new tampon mistakenly thinking that you have removed the previous one, especially at night. The fancy term is 'neglected vaginal foreign body
' and the most common symptom reported is odor after intercourse. Surprisingly few women will develop secondary bacterial infections with retained tampons, and the odor is literally due to the tampon itself. Because the tampon gets wedged so high in the vaginal vault, it is difficult to feel and actually difficult to remove without seeing your gyno. Strong odors are not normal, and a simple gyno exam can determine the cause if you oops, forgot to remove a tampon. Often she will want you to use a round of antibiotics, but often the removal alone is all that is necessary to restore the normal vaginal health!


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