What Should You Actually Do If Your Tampon Gets Stuck?

Step 1: Don't panic

There are few things on this planet scarier than thinking you’ve got your tampon stuck – we’ve all experienced the heart-stopping moment, even if it was just a false alarm, and any menstruating person would tell you they wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy.

In the unlikely case that a string has detached from your tampon, you’ve inserted a second one forgetting you already had one in, or you simply can’t get the damn thing out – the good news is, it’s not lost in there forever.


There is NO way that a tampon can get lost inside your body. The vagina, where the tampon is inserted is only 3/4 inches long, and the entrance to the cervix, which is the area above your vagina is far too small for something such as a tampon to pass through.

It’s important to remain calm and not panic if you find yourself in a situation where your tampon isn’t coming out with ease. Take a deep breath and remind yourself of the above, a tampon, or any other object for that matter can’t go any further than your vagina, meaning it is retrievable. Remaining calm is key as when you’re stressed out your muscles clench up, thus making it harder for the tampon to come out.


Now that you have taken a few minutes to compose yourself and regulate your breathing again, it’s time to work on getting it out. Wash your hands well, and begin to squat down on the floor. Then, put your finger index finger in your vagina and feel around in a sweeping circular motion to locate the tampon. If you have difficulty getting your finger inside you can lubricate your fingers with some water, or if you have time you can buy lube from your local shop or chemist to apply on your fingers and insert them with ease.

Inserting your fingers and feeling around will not damage your vagina, so do not worry about hurting yourself once you are gentle. The average finger length is 6 inches, with the vagina 4 inches, meaning your finger should be able to feel something once you concentrate. When you figure out where exactly the tampon is and how high up it has lodged itself you can begin the next step.


If you can feel the tampon, insert your middle finger along with your index finger and try to grasp it. Depending on how high up and in what position the tampon is, this may or may not work. If you cannot grab it between the two fingers and pull it out you can bring it downwards in your vagina by pushing.

Like you would if you were pooing, continue to squat on the ground with your fingers inserted and bear down. This pushing should eventually move the tampon downwards so that it allows you to get a grip on it.

I can’t do it, now what?

If you still can’t get it out after trying all of the above for some time, you still don’t need to panic. A stuck tampon isn’t an immediate emergency, but it is something that will need to be taken care of sooner rather than later. If you’ve tried everything and are out of luck, ring your GP or a local sexual health clinic and ask to make an appointment ASAP. There’s really nothing to be embarrassed about in this situation as it can happen to anyone.

There, the doctor or nurse will have all of the necessary equipment to retrieve the tampon. It’s recommended not to leave a tampon in for longer than 8 hours as although rare, a bacterial infection called toxic shock syndrome can happen. In this case, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms to get help if needed. They include:

  • Headache
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever/Chills
  • A rash

If you experience any of the above seek medical care immediately.

Read more on periods here.