Tampons are made from cotton or synthetic fibers. They are absorbent and have a high flow rate. When they come into contact with moisture, it causes them to become sticky and lose their elasticity. If you are using tampons, then chances are that there is some kind of liquid residue left behind in your underwear. This residue may cause the tampon to stick inside you.
How to remove a stuck tampon?
There are several ways of removing a stuck tampon. You can try using these different methods one at a time. You may have to try a few times to get the tampon out, but they should come out eventually.
1. Try the string
If you can feel the string of the tampon, then gently and slowly pull it until the tampon starts to come out. If you can’t feel the string or it isn’t working, then try again after applying coconut oil or vegetable oil to your finger and trying to coat the tampon as much as possible.
2. Use a cleansing douche
You can buy these types of douches from the store. Follow the directions on the box and wait the recommended time before trying to remove the tampon. These types of douches are very effective and may be able to break down the residue on the tampon, which is causing it to stick.
3. Massage the area
Gently and slowly massage the area with your finger where you believe the tampon is stuck. This should be very easy to do because there will be a tampon sticking partially out. Keep massaging the area until you can easily pull the tampon out.
4. Put on a glove
Wearing a latex glove, put some coconut oil or vegetable oil on your middle finger. Very slowly and gently, try to work the tampon back and forth until you can pull it out.
5. Go to the hospital
If you’ve tried everything listed and the tampon still won’t budge, then it may be best to go to the hospital. They can give you medicine to help remove the tampon.
What to do after removing a lost tampon
After removing a lost tampon, it is very important that you give your body time to heal. In the case that your tampon was lost for months at a time, you may have some foul discharge or an odor coming from your vaginal area. This can usually be cleared up with some rest and healthy eating habits.
It is normal to have a little odor, but if it becomes overpowering then you may have an infection or other issue that needs medical attention.
In addition, you may see some spotting. This is a normal side effect of removing the lost tampon and will go away after your period. For the next few months, you may want to use pads instead of tampons, just to be on the safe side.
Finally, make sure to change your tampon every few hours. Leaving a tampon in for too long can cause toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which is a serious and sometimes deadly illness. Always remember to be safe and keep yourself healthy!
by Lucy Hall
Last updated 1/23/19
WebMD: Tampon Safely
Mayo Clinic: Toxic Shock Syndrome
ACOG: Tampon Use
GirlsHealth.Gov: Lost Tampon
KidsHealth: My Tampon Is Stuck
KidsHealth: My Vagina Itches
Sources & references used in this article:
- Tampon having saturation indicator (JS Krim, LL Crawley – US Patent 9,241,840, 2016 – Google Patents)
- Retained tampon or other object (H Australia – 2020 – healthdirect.gov.au)
- Tampon retainer (EM Keiper – US Patent 10,702,422, 2020 – Google Patents)
- Bleeding Women Dry: Tampon Taxes and Menstrual Inequity (J Ooi – Nw. UL Rev., 2018 – HeinOnline)
- Package assembly for or with a tampon applicator (S Buell, R Timmers, P Nigam, R De Oliveira… – US Patent …, 2020 – Google Patents)