Object in the Vagina

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An object that is left in the vagina for too long can cause problems. The object might be a tampon, a birth control device, a pessary, or a vibrator. Sometimes a condom comes off during sex and stays in the vagina. In younger children, the object could be toilet paper, small toys, or other objects from around the house.

The object can cause pain, irritation, and an infection. It can lead to bleeding, a bad smell, and a discharge from the vagina.

It's important to get the object out as soon as possible. After the object is taken out, symptoms usually go away.

  • Removing the object from a child's vagina should be done by a doctor. This is safest. Young children might need medicine to help them relax (sedation). And special tools designed for children are most often needed.
  • Adults and teens who are comfortable inserting a finger into their vagina can try to remove the object themselves. Squatting or putting a foot up on the bathtub or toilet seat can help. If the object doesn't come out easily or it hurts when you try to remove it, a doctor will need to remove it.

How can you remove an object from the vagina?

You may try to remove an object from your vagina, especially if you think it might be a forgotten tampon or a birth control device.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Sit or stand in a comfortable position.

    Squat down, sit on the toilet, or stand and put one foot on the bathtub.

  3. Insert two fingers into your vagina.
  4. Try to feel the object or a string if one is attached.

    Sweep your fingers back and forth.

  5. Tighten your lower abdominal muscles.

    Tighten them as if you are going to have a bowel movement. This may push the object lower in the vagina, so you can reach it with your fingers.

  6. Once you feel the object, grasp it and pull it out of the vagina.

If you cannot find the object, you will have to see a doctor. It is important that you get the object out as soon as possible.


Current as of: November 27, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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.