If you’re new to having periods, there’s a whole array of products to choose from – and they all have their pros and cons. While the traditional tampon is a classic for a reason, being unfamiliar with how to put a tampon in and take it out again can lead to the panic of thinking you’ve got one stuck inside you for, well, life!
Fear not. Stuck tampons (which won’t be lodged in forever) are more common than you think. Find out how to remove your stuck tampon with these easy steps.
Is a stuck tampon dangerous?
You might worry that a stuck tampon could lead to a health issue arising, but don’t be alarmed. Vaginas are no more than 3 – 4 inches deep, and your cervix is only designed to let bodily fluids (blood and semen) through, meaning the tampon will never go in so far that you can’t remove it.
Signs you’ve got a tampon stuck
In some instances, you might not know or feel that a tampon is stuck up your vagina. But there are clear signs to tell you if you’ve got a tampon (or any other foreign object) up your vagina. You might experience some of these:
- Uncomfortable urination
- Itching inside and/or just outside of your vagina
- Foul-smelling and/or coloured discharge; grey, green, brown, pink or yellow
- Swelling around your vagina
- Inflammation around your vagina
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- A fever
How to remove a stuck tampon
Wash your hands, trim your nails (this helps!), cover any cuts or scrapes and take a few deep breaths to relax:
- Sit on the toilet seat (ideally with your feet on a stool) and relax your pelvic muscles as much as you can
- Push like you would during a bowel movement. This will help move the tampon down, and you might even be able to push it far enough to easily pull out.
- If not, gently place one finger inside your vagina and move it in a circular motion to find any signs of the tampon, reaching as far inside as you can. Try to reach near the cervix where the tampon is likely to be stuck. Keep relaxed as much as you can to avoid any discomfort.
- If you can feel the tampon inside, use two fingers to gently grab the tampon and pull it out. Lubrication can make it easier if you’re finding it uncomfortable. If you can’t get a hold on the tampon, try to find the string to pull it out that way.
Once you’ve removed it (good job!), check the tampon to see whether there might be pieces left in your vagina.
If you can’t get the tampon out or think there are remnants of the tampon left that you can’t remove, book in to see a doctor right away – especially if you develop any of the symptoms above. Tampons that remain in your body for over 8 hours increase the risk of infection and toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
Natracare’s organic tampons don’t shed fibres. They have long, curly fibres of organic cotton that stay together much better than short, straight rayon fibres. Regardless of which tampons you’re using, remember to change your tampon regularly.