Object in a Child's Vagina: Care Instructions

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Female pelvic anatomy in child, showing side view of bladder, urethra, rectum, anus, ovary, uterus, cervix, vagina, and clitoris.


If something is left in the vagina for too long, it can cause pain and irritation. In teens, this may be a tampon or a birth control device. In younger children, it could be toilet paper, small toys, or other objects from around the house.

Something left in the vagina for too long can also cause an infection. This can cause vaginal bleeding or discharge. There may also be a bad smell.

After the object is taken out, symptoms usually go away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If the doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Talk to your child about how to prevent future problems. For example, make sure they change tampons at least every 4 to 8 hours.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has new or worse pain.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child has unexpected vaginal bleeding.
  • Your child has new or worse vaginal itching or discharge.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.