When I was a senior house officer in Accident and Emergency, I had a patient with a lost tampon. Lost tampons occur relatively frequently and probably we had about one a month come in for a good rummage.
The vagina is not a straight tube, it is not like a tube of mini eggs for example. It has secret crannies and crooks and is generally an amazing and incredible orifice, provider of fun and producer of children. It stretches and shrinks and bleeds and if a man had a vagina it would be celebrated and loved I am sure.
In came a girl one Sunday evening, she had put a tampon in on Friday morning. She had been drinking alcohol all weekend and had had sex several times without a condom and then realised, thanks to a funny sort of smell, that she had left a tampon in. The problem being of course that she now couldn’t retrieve it.
I had a feel, it was lying horizontally under her cervix. I began to pull gently and it didn’t budge. It was wet and full and very slimy and hard to get a grip of.
I yanked and tugged to no avail. We tried a change of position, got her to lie on her side instead of her back with her legs splayed open. This worked and I had a grip on the string, I tugged again and suddenly with an almighty slurping sound the tampon came whizzing out. It flew through the air, showering me, the nurse and the curtain in a mixture of old menstrual blood and her boyfriends semen. The smell was appalling. “That’s it now you can get dressed.”
I bent double as I retched and gagged behind the curtain and wiped it from my face. The smelly tampon was surrounded in a slimy coating of pubes and God knows what else.
“Don’t worry” I said cheerfully. “It happens all the time.”
I lie to patients sometimes, if I didn’t they wouldn’t like it.