Aunt Vadge: pain after putting two tampons in

Hi Aunt Vadge,

Four months ago, a missing string in a tampon caused me to believe there was not one in. I then inserted a second and realized my error. I gently reached in and removed both. Later when putting in a fresh tampon, I felt extreme pain.

This continued throughout my period and was not until the end of my cycle that I realized I was bleeding from whatever happened and it took three days for the bleeding to stop.

In between cycles I was fine.

However, every month since, when my cycle starts, the issue comes back. I have been examined and they claim they saw nothing but I am bleeding and in pain from this fissure. Have any ideas what sort of damage this may have caused so I can be more clear with an obgyn on next visit?

Age: 32
Country/Area: U.K.

Dear Damaged,

It is very hard to say what is causing the bleeding and pain. So far as I know, simply having an extra tampon or two in your vagina can’t cause damage. It’s just a double up, which I’m pretty sure we’ve all done at some point.

Losing a tampon and having to retrieve it can be a trying time logistically, but at no point should it cause any damage that recurs every period. That seems very unusual in that respect, and I would not think it was a fissure.

Cyclic pain is not caused by fissures, since any kind of cut or abrasion would have well healed up by the time your next period came around. Cyclic pain is therefore related to another issue. What this issue is remains to be seen, but your symptoms will help to determine the cause.

Since you have been examined, and they couldn’t see anything, you definitely need a second opinion. When you visit your new doctor, it would pay to be very clear about where exactly the pain is, because this will determine where the hunt begins for the cause.

How to prepare for your next appointment:

  • Use a diagram from the Vag Basics page (or any other diagram of your choosing) to really pinpoint where the pain is. Print this out and draw on the page where you can feel the pain, and take it with you to your appointment. Enlarge the image (so don’t use a tiny image) and use this diagram as your discussion point during your appointment.
  • Keep a detailed diary of pain levels and changes on which day, bleeding (colour, smell), symptoms (anything unusual), and have your cycle details (cycle length, etc.) so it is clear when the pain is occurring and patterns will become more obvious.
  • Add to your diary any changes in sexual or other habits or practices that affect your pelvic area, including masturbating or changes to exercise routines. This might include change of lube, toy, sex partner, use of condoms or not. Don’t be shy here – your doctor can’t help you properly unless they know everything. Write down everything, since problems can sometimes stem from unexpected sources.

Good luck! I’d love to know what it turns out to be, so write back anytime!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

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