“Twenty years after the fact, the mere thought of that “forgotten” tampon still terrifies me. I remember the moment like it was yesterday: 9pm on a school night; I was a 17 year-old in a panic, calling my forever Ob/Gyn, Dr. Sherry, way after hours (I wonder if she ever regretted giving me her cell phone number). I don’t even recall if I said hello before blurting out, “I know I left a tampon in my vag and I have to see you!
Dr. Sherry could tell I was not going to take “come to my office in the morning” as an answer, because I was sure I’d be dead from Toxic Shock Syndrome by then, so she told me to come to her house for a special visit—it was only later I found out that it wasn’t unusual for her to have patients over for these “reverse” house calls. When I arrived at 10pm, apparently horror-stricken, she was calm and reassuring as she showed me to the empty bedroom of her 14-year-old son, Michael, where I had to undress from the waist down. She handed me a beach towel, and as professional as she was, I suddenly found it hilarious to be surrounded by posters of Pikachu, Mandy Moore and Star Wars! Equipped with her usual sterile speculum and gloves—with the added help of a household flashlight—Dr. Sherry rolled a computer chair closer to me. As I scooched to the edge of her son’s bed, my legs spread eagle in the air—Mandy and Darth Vader looking down on me from opposite walls—I swore to myself, this will never happen again.”
-Sara Foster, Actress
Have you ever wondered whether you’ve taken out the last tampon you put it? If the answer is an emphatic “yes,” you might be relieved to know how often I treat what is medically called—get ready for it—“lost tampon.” Certainly it’s at least testament to how often we multitask, causing us to forget certain basics such as our last tampon change.
Not only are tampons “lost” more often than one would realize, the fact is that tampons can easily be pushed into the back of the vagina, hiding them from not-so-plain sight. Normally a tampon runs along in a parallel direction inside the vagina. If a second tampon is accidentally pushed inside the vagina, the original tampon can turn sideways, perpendicular to the end of the vagina, and the second one would completely obscure it.