Question:

What do I do if my tampon gets stuck?

PEER ANSWER

It’s a tricky situation, but manageable. The immediate solution for this would be to use your fingers to pull it out. Actually, that’s the only solution that comes to mind. I know how to avoid the situation, so I can provide at least some advice around that. When inserting a tampon, I always make sure the string is hanging and not lodged in with the tampon. As I’m inserting a tampon, I hold onto the string with two fingers. This way, I know I’m not putting that up with the rest. If there’s a string hanging, there’s a way to pull it out. If there’s not, there’s this situation you’re in. If you’re unable to take out a stuck tampon using your fingers, you’ll need to talk to an adult and/or health professional. You should get it out of you as soon as you can.

MOM ANSWER

I have heard of this happening only once to a friend and this is how she handled it (there is a happy ending): She tried unsuccessfully to get it out and was getting pretty scared. With a friend’s encouragement she went in to see her healthcare provider. Everything came out just fine, and there was no pain, just a bit of embarrassment on her part, but it was no big deal! Do the best you can with taking care of your body and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

EXPERT ANSWER

First thing -- don’t panic. This will make removing the tampon more difficult. Your vagina is not an endless vault; it has a beginning and an end, so lost tampons can’t end up somewhere else in your body! One method would be to position your body the way that you would for tampon insertion. Apply a lubricant made for vaginal use on your finger and insert into the vagina.  If dryness is the problem, the lubricant may help loosen the tampon and ease the removal. If you aren’t able to grasp the tampon or the string and your tampon is missing or stuck and you aren’t able to remove it, call your healthcare provider right away for removal. This is not an uncommon problem, so don’t feel embarrassed. It is important that you get the tampon out as soon as you can to prevent infection.

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