Tampons are made from cotton or synthetic fibers. They come in different sizes and colors. Some brands include: Durex, Kimberly Clark, L Brands, Pampers, and others.
There are two types of tampons – absorbent and non-absorbent. Absorbing tampons have a small amount of liquid (usually water) that allows them to hold their shape when inserted into your body.
Non-absorbing tampons don’t contain any sort of substance that holds it’s shape once they’re in place. If you’ve ever had one fall out while inserting it, then you may have experienced a “stuck” tampon.
When a tampon gets stuck, it can cause discomfort and pain during urination. You might feel like you need to go pee immediately, but instead of letting yourself pass urine, you end up holding it for longer than usual.
Then eventually you’ll either stop passing urine altogether or start leaking menstrual blood. This happens because the fluid inside the tampon doesn’t move with your flow and stays in place until something causes it to move again.
How to remove a stuck tampon
Removing a non-absorbing (lost) tampon is easy. You can grab the string and pull it until you feel resistance, then slowly – but firmly – pull it out.
If you’re still leaking when you do this, try changing your pad or tampon and give it another go. You can also use your finger to push the tampon further into your vaginal canal if you can reach it.
Removing an absorbing (stuck) tampon can be a little trickier. Similar to the lost tampon removal process, you can grab the string and pull it until you feel resistance and slowly – but firmly – pull it out.
But you’re more likely to still have some of the tampon left inside your body after this, especially if it’s been in there for a long time. That’s why it’s really important that you use a lot of lubrication when removing the tampon. Check out this article for some great suggestions on how to do that.
Once you’ve got your hands on some lubrication, you’re going to want to apply it to the tip of the string as well as the opening of your vaginal canal. This process is very similar to when you insert a tampon, only in reverse.
Try to angle the string so that it points upward. You can do this by either lying on your back (with a towel under you) or standing with one leg up (on the edge of the bathtub or toilet, for example). Then push the tampon in slowly but as far as it can go.
If you’re still experiencing discomfort or pain, try pushing down on your genital region while leaving the string hanging out of your body so that some of the fluid can drain out. As long as you’re not experiencing a fever or any other concerning symptoms, like sharp pains in your abdomen or nausea, you should be able to leave the string hanging out at night without having to worry about it.
Just use additional pads or tampons while you’re sleeping and change them regularly. You can start trying to put it back in during the day once you’ve reduced your symptoms. Don’t forget to use more lube than you did the first time around!
You can also use a gently massage your abdomen in small circles motions while the string is hanging out, this helps drain the fluid that has built up behind the tampon. If you do this for long enough, some of the fluid will actually leak out of your vaginal opening.
Don’t forget to wipe it away or it will leak all over your panties!
You can also try using a soft toothbrush to gently massage your vaginal opening in small circular motions while the tampon string is hanging out. This is a great method that will help break up any clots that have built up as well as push the tampon further into your vaginal canal if it isn’t far enough inward already.
If none of these methods help and your symptoms remain, you may want to head to the doctor because you may have an infection. If you’re having sharp pains in your abdomen or if you’re experiencing nausea, these can be signs of a serious problem that needs immediate attention.
Be sure to call your doctor right away and don’t waste any time heading to their office or the emergency room.
Hopefully, you won’t have anything worse than some built up fluid or an infection and will be able to treat the problem at home. Remember to keep track of how you’re feeling and if your symptoms get worse, see a doctor immediately.
Sources & references used in this article:
Tampon having saturation indicator by JS Krim, LL Crawley – US Patent 9,241,840, 2016 – Google Patents
Retained tampon or other object by H Australia – 2020 – healthdirect.gov.au
Tampon Retainer by EM Gahr – US Patent App. 15/689,369, 2018 – Google Patents