What is that horrendous odor?!? Could it be a forgotten tampon?!?


by Rachel Burt, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Roswell OB/GYN………………………………….

You are not the first and you certainly are not the last… every few months we have a patient that comes in complaining of a horrendous smell for the best Alpharetta Gynecology services.  When I say horrendous – I mean you have started to wonder if your co-workers can smell you walking around the office.  It is true that bad!  But, don’t panic.  Usually, this is a very easy fix.

Think back to your last period… is it possible you put the last tampon in right as your period was starting to slow down?  Perhaps you were having just a little spotting and wanted to wear a tampon instead of a panty liner.  Maybe the flow totally stopped that day, so you forgot to take out the tampon – oops!  (Don’t ask me what happened to the string… I don’t know how it disappeared up in the vagina – but sometimes it does!)

If you find yourself in this predicament, all you need to do is go fishing.  The vagina is a closed environment.  The tampon did not float up somewhere into your abdomen.  If you can reach it, typically you can, go ahead and pull it out.  Be prepared to tie that sucker up in a plastic bag to put in the outside trash – because it will stink!

You should come see us if the vaginal odor persists after you have removed the tampon or you think you may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection.  You will want to get this checked out to make sure it’s not a recurrent bladder infection. Patients ask about toxic shock.  It is truly very rare.  Toxic shock is caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria.  Providers saw it more in the early 1980s.  Symptoms of toxic shock include fever, rash and low blood pressure. It is also important to have a healthy sexual life at every stage.

Please schedule an appointment with us if you have any concerns or questions:

770 751 3600

4 replies on “What is that horrendous odor?!? Could it be a forgotten tampon?!?”

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