Foreign body in the vagina

Pelvis | Gynecology | Foreign body in the vagina (Disease)


Some objects are designed for use in a woman’s vagina. These include tampons, vaginal suppositories, and medications delivered through the vagina. Others are not intended to be inserted and may be placed there accidentally or intentionally. Doctors referred to objects found in the vagina as “foreign bodies. ” These foreign bodies may produce symptoms or be asymptomatic for long periods of time.

Small objects inserted into the vagina, do not generally cause pain. Unusual objects, generally those larger than the customary vaginal diameter or size of the introitus, may cause pain because of distention. Other objects may cause pain due to sharp edges. While a variety of symptoms may result from a foreign body in the vagina, the most common symptoms are bleeding or foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Less common symptoms may include pain or urinary discomfort.

Symptoms that occur with a vaginal foreign body include vaginal pain, vaginal discharge, or vaginal itching. Additional symptoms may include pain during urination, decreased urination, or increased urinary frequency.

Causes and Risk factors

Rarely do foreign bodies produce a systemic infection except in circumstances such as severe immunocompromise or disruption of the vaginal wall with secondary infection. Perforation through the vagina into the abdominal cavity may also result in acute abdominal symptoms.

Diagnosis and Treatment

A health care provider should be consulted when any change in vaginal discharge is present, particularly discharge which is foul-smelling or abnormal in color. The presence of a foreign body may cause abnormal vaginal bleeding.

If a foreign object was placed in the vagina and may still be there, the health care provider should be informed. Occasionally, an adult or adolescent woman may remember placing a tampon, but then be unable to remove it from the vagina. Recollection of the placement of a foreign body may assist the practitioner in the best method of care. If a person places an object in the vagina and then is unable to remove it, a health care provider should be consulted promptly.

Unusual objects may need to be removed using sedation or anesthesia in order to avoid pain. This may be particularly true of objects placed in the vagina of a small child or an adult who is unable to be cooperative with a vaginal exam. Some emergency departments allow sedation and removal in the emergency department without going to an operating room. ...