Some foreign bodies in the vagina are designed for vaginal use, whereas there are times when foreign bodies also accidentally insert themselves in the vagina. The presence of foreign bodies may be asymptomatic for an extended period of time or produce minimal or evident symptoms. This usually leads to vaginal discharge or bleeding. It is more common for children, rather than adult women, to have foreign bodies in the vagina as this may be done out of curiosity. In adult women, foreign objects are usually found in the vagina from deliberate placement as part of sexual encounter or sexual abuse.
Generally, small objects inserted in the vagina do not cause pain, however, larger and oddly shaped objects may result to vaginal pain. Moreover, if left untreated, foreign bodies in the vagina may lead to complications, such as infection. There are very minimal cases of the infection spreading to the whole body. Although it does not always pose serious harm, removal is necessary.
Causes of Foreign Body in the Vagina
The following are the most common causes of foreign bodies in the vagina.
- Forgotten tampons
- Broken portions of condoms
- Toilet paper
- In children, small amounts of fibre and small toys such as, crayons, marker caps
Symptoms of Foreign Body in the Vagina
Foreign bodies do not always cause pain because they are sometimes small in size and do not necessarily break the hymen, thus no bleeding may occur. However, symptoms of foreign body in the vagina may include:
- Vaginal discharge, typically with an unpleasant odour
- Pink, yellow to brown in colour
- Vaginal discomfort and pain
- Light vaginal bleeding
- Vaginal itching
- Pain during urination
- Pain during intercourse
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Redness and swelling of the vagina
- Urinary retention
- Bladder incontinence
- Increased urinary frequency
- Presence of blood in the urine
- In serious cases, fever and sepsis
Complications from Foreign Body in the Vagina
If left untreated, complications may arise. These complications may make this condition more difficult to treat and longer to heal. Some of the common complications are the following:
- Objects become embedded in the vaginal wall
- Painful intercourse
Treatment for Foreign Body in the Vagina
It is necessary to treat the presence of foreign body in the vagina immediately by applying first aid to minimize risks for complications.
- If a woman feels it is possible, and without any trouble, remove the foreign body in the vagina by self. If it cannot be done, seek medical help.
- In cases of children, do not attempt to remove foreign object as it may push the object further inside and exacerbate the situation.
- If there is pain, painkillers may be taken but ensure that this is approved by the doctor.
- For cases of infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
- If this occurs from sexual abuse, advise the doctor and seek appropriate treatment.
Join in First Aid Courses to learn proper handling of cases related to presence of foreign body in the vagina or other entrances in the body.