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Object in the Vagina

Topic Overview

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 water.
  • Squat down, sit on the toilet, or stand and put one foot on the bathtub.
  • Insert two fingers into your vagina. Sweep your fingers back and forth and try to feel the object or a string if one is attached.
  • 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 possible.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised June 13, 2013

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