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The (Awesome) Lost Tampon Instructional Video from Doc Gurley

October 27, 2008

Doc Gurley, internist and Harvard med school grad, has created an awesome and humorous instruction video for those concerned about lost tampons – something she and I both have discussed on the blogs. The video explains how to know if you’ve lost a tampon, where it might have gone, and what to do, including advice for safely attempting to remove it yourself at home. I love this, and will just say that Gurley makes excellent use of props.

You can watch the full video at Doc Gurley’s blog, or in two parts via the embedded YouTube videos below.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    October 27, 2008 5:24 pm

    LOL!!!! … That is GREAT.

  2. Susanna permalink
    November 2, 2008 3:04 am

    Very good. Annoying background music, though. When she was in the ballcourt the echo and the music together totally drowned out what she said.

  3. November 2, 2008 8:08 am

    Susanna, I think she was planning on putting up a second version with no music, as well.

  4. kathy permalink
    November 29, 2008 2:53 pm

    Fab advice:) What a fab doctor 🙂

  5. lilah permalink
    January 10, 2009 11:39 pm

    this is cool i never thought it wud tske 2 videos to break down a lost tampon tutorial

  6. Kristen permalink
    March 19, 2009 10:12 am

    THANK YOU a million times for this forum and the video! I am now joining the ranks of the MIA Tampon Club only after I had to have the most embarrassing, horrific, “scent” during a good time with my man. I didn’t realize that the source was the elusive tampon… I googled and searched and figured it was “BV” a common bacterial infection that we as women are oh so fortunate to get. I called my doctor, got some Metrogel, and felt as if all would be fine. Thankfully, I used the gel and within 15 minutes of application when I went to the bathroom, I felt something emerging from my…. well, you know… and lo & behold – found the source floating in the potty. It had been a week and several sessions of love making with my man… so I’m assuming it was stuck pretty well. The gel must have been the key to dislodging it – thank goodness! It hasn’t been 24 hours yet but I’m hoping to be “100% fresh” soon! By the way, even the Yankee Candle air freshener is no match for this aroma. I’m thinking of inventing the tampon jewel clip. Ya gotta love being a woman!!!

    • wendy permalink
      October 6, 2011 6:14 am

      I have been on an antibotic for 2 weeks because of this smell, which apparently was not obvious to my doctor on a quite swab that indicated BV…oh my god, I could never imagine that it was a lost tampon. Thank god I found this website and decided to take things in my own hands..literally. So grateful to know what that smell was, and get it out.

  7. Nadia permalink
    January 11, 2010 6:11 pm

    Yes, thank you so much for this video! I was in the same situation as the woman with the previous comment. I also, had a few love making sessions with my man over a 1 week period and then I started to notice “the odor”. I also had discharge (not thick) and it was such a foul odor, words can’t describe. I googled my symptoms because I didn’t know what it could be. I was scared and the symptoms for a lost tampon are very similar to some other more serious conditions (like an STD). When I started to have the adominal pain I actually went to planned parenthood for and STD test (chlamhyia, ghonnorea). When I got home, I thought… what if I didn’t take out my tampon…?? So, it took one deep dig/search and I felt it immediately as far back as I could reach and I was so relieved! SOOO RELIEVED. I wasted $64 at planned parenthood but oh well. It was worth it. LOL

  8. October 20, 2010 7:54 am

    Hi Ladies, I watched the video ( i likled the music alot), I washed my hands clipped and filed my nails, went into the washroom, and with in 30 seconds I found the old tampon. I was affaid that I might lose it again, I used a secong finger, and the string appear out of no where, I got hold of the string and removed the tampon. The hole process took less then 15 minets. Clipping and filing my finger nails took longer than finding and removing the tampon itself. Thank you so much. Wanda

  9. Cat permalink
    December 7, 2010 5:11 am

    It would have been very good and factual, if I could hear it above that awful din, make another one without the background music, this topic is very important to women everywhere and all the information needs to be heard.

    • December 7, 2010 7:16 pm

      I’m pretty sure the creator made another version without the music, I just can’t dig it up at the moment. You might poke around Doc Gurley’s site for it.

  10. Jennifer permalink
    April 2, 2011 3:33 pm

    Was horrified when a tampon fell out weeks after my period while I was using the bathroom. I had been sexually active with my husband quite frequently since then. Then got freaked out thinking, oh my God, what else could be in there? I had noticed the smell only after sex but thought maybe BV, as I had treated for that previously. It was really quite a scary experience, glad to know I’m not the only one this has happened to. Guess I should prob follow up with my doctor. I am wondering, would I have inevitably gotten sick? I wouldn’t have had a clue it was there.

  11. April 17, 2011 7:07 pm

    Okay, I’ve lost my very first tampon at 47 years old:) I have friends freaking out. It happened Saturday morning and I’ve had horrible cramping. I’m just holding out until Monday morning. Thanks for the laugh and the information at the same time:)

  12. Katt permalink
    April 27, 2011 11:23 pm

    I lost my first tampon a few months ago and got it out sucessfully. But now my period is later and i have a foul smell and i can’t stop thinkin what if i forgot to take it out? What happened if its another tampon lost inside me? I tried to dig for it. When my fingers came out it was bloody. What does that mean? i am so afraid that i have actually had my period and the lost tampon has sucked all the blood up and made me believe tht i have not. i am freakin out!!!!! Not to mention i dont really have a female to go to about the situation and there is not a planned parenthood around!! PLEASE HELP!!!!

  13. Beck permalink
    May 8, 2011 7:13 pm

    I am in a similar boat… yesterday I was sure I changed my tampon at about 1:30, then at 5:30 when I went to change it, there was nothing there! My period stopped abruptly at the same time, so I’m worried that there’s one stuck up there! I felt around up there with one finger as far as I could go but couldn’t feel anything! Is it possible that it is stuck up even further, or have i probably just forgotten it? Is it possible to get TSS if I don’t find it? Please help!!

  14. jessica permalink
    June 24, 2011 3:05 am

    I lost a tampon a few months back and didn’t even know it for sure. My bf and I got a little tipsy and had sex and I did not remember taking it out. I was mortified! Not only was it stuck up there but he pushed it further up. I was too freaked out to fill up there for it that same day so I waited just like the video showed. The doc was right on the mark. I waited because I was panicked, embarrassed, and broke. I finally got in the shower the next day felt up there and knew it was gonna be hard to get out. It was a failed attempt I just could not grip it with one finger and two was not working either. I totally freaked and did major research on the internet and tried it again the next day. I only wish I had seen this video first it would have given me more reassurance. I pretty much did the exact same thing that she said to do except (and this is pretty gross) I went number 2 then got in the shower. Scrubbed everything really really good including finger nails. I wasn’t gonna get out of the shower until I got it. It was a grueling 15 minute process but ladies, it can be done. The smell is so – so- awful. It is important to have the plastics bags. Another little piece of advice don’t use tampons if you know your gonna drink alcohol and you are with your man and you both are very passionate. I know I never will.

  15. Kim permalink
    July 4, 2011 6:16 am

    I went to the Dr’s today because I had a foul smell coming from my vagina. The dr sent me to pathology for test. An hour later when I got home I felt something coming out of my vagina. My first thought was that the nurse had left her scrapping thing she used in the test inside me. It was a tampon which I worked out had been inside me for 2 weeks. I had been very sexually active during that time as my husband and I were on holidays. I felt so embarresed but after watching this video I realise it can be easily done and that im not the only person this has happen to. Im guessing that when the nurse took her sample she may have moved it and anhour later it came out by itself. Do I need any follow up treatment. I have to call my Dr in the morning to let them know I have solved the odour problem

  16. Nita permalink
    July 9, 2011 3:41 pm

    Wow! Thank you so much for your awesome video, assurance and know how?
    What a relief to know it is a common thing that we women have done.
    I am going to have a go myself as I think I may have left one in two days ago?
    Thank you Dr Gurley what a life-saver and cool lady!

  17. Libby permalink
    August 4, 2011 5:58 pm

    I had been having really weird symptoms since the beginning of July. More like pregnancy symptoms. Nausea, felt like I was under pressure and having heat exhaustion all the time. Then I got a sunburn and a rash. I had no reason to suspect TSS, in fact I’d been having sex with my bf the whole time. No icky symptoms to suspect anything either. He’d actually told me one day that my cervix felt really hard and was hurting him but when I “felt” up there I couldn’t feel anything but my cervix. A few days later I started having clear “gushes” of smelly discharge. Then I started to feel like I stunk all the time, my bf kept telling me I needed to shower. I shower 2 times a day prior so that didn’t make me feel any less insecure. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I started doing home treatments for infections like Vinegar in bath water. Which actually probably saved me because after 2 days of this I was standing up and all of a sudden felt like something was coming out down there. I reached up and it scared the crap out of me. I went to the bathroom and low and behold a broken tampon. All of a sudden the symptoms made sense. I called my regular OB and told them. They blew me off and told me not to be so paranoid that tss was so rare he was sure it was not even a possibility. Now I am not a hypochondriac, in fact I hate going to the doctor so I just don’t unless it’s an emergency. I have given myself stitches at home to avoid it. So my doctors reaction really upset me! He told me to go douche and if in a week it was still bothering me to come in. Now my sister has had tss before so I called my mom and she called her doctor. Her doctor said that because tss is a blood virus it was imperative to get checked even if it was just precautionary. I was skeptical after my doctor said not to worry but then my moms doctor new that I was hopeful of getting pregnant soon and told me it could affect fertility and damage my girl parts so I decided to go in. Turns out I not only had tss but I had the rarer strep strain of tss, bv, and a yeast infection. Good thing I didn’t listen to my normal doctor. Also, at the time I went in I took a pg test, it was borderline too early to tell but we had during all this been hopeful. It was negative then, but 2 weeks later I’m 5 weeks! So girls don’t not go see a doctor or listen to one who says not to worry. What can a blood test hurt? I’m so grateful I listened to my mom!

  18. Tracy permalink
    August 25, 2011 2:20 am

    Thank you so much for this informative, humorous video!!! Can you please be my Doctor???

  19. Steph permalink
    October 3, 2011 5:36 am

    That music SUCKED! it totally distracted from what she was saying. if that was my OBGYN I would immediately find someone else.

    • October 7, 2011 11:18 am

      Steph, somewhere (probably near the original posts at her site) she has posted another version without the distracting music.

  20. lou permalink
    October 8, 2011 7:48 am

    thank you, saved me a trip to the doctor. luckily it was easy to find and i managed to coax it out without too much bother and was over in less than a minute.

  21. October 15, 2011 10:41 pm

    I cant see that I have ever truly lost a tampon. Maybe misplaced for a few minutes but never really deserted entirely.

  22. Brittany permalink
    October 31, 2011 1:52 am

    Best video ever. Haha forever grateful.

  23. Brianne permalink
    December 2, 2011 9:47 pm

    Is it possible that a doctor can miss a lost tampon? I have the smell and enormous amount of pressure against my G-spot (sensation of having to pee) and I am thinking that perhaps this tampon is lodged in a crevice. I have tried several times to “remove ” it myself but am not quite sure if it’s skin I’m feeling or an actual tampon…:s Not quite sure what to do next. Should I see another doctor or wait to see if my symptoms get worse?

  24. Lisa permalink
    December 24, 2011 3:35 pm

    I have a wonderful gynecologist! His name is Dr. Michael Davis in Portland Oregon. I inserted my tampon on Friday afternoon and don’t remember it coming out. I tried all the instructions in Dr. Gruley’s video…Thank You! and I still couldn’t find it. Yikes! I felt my cervix I even felt my os. Thankfully my cervix is attached to my vaginal wall so no worries about tampons hiding behind my cervix. I still couldn’t find it. I called my gynecologist’s answering service and within 10 minutes my gynecologist Michael Davis calls me at home on Christmas eve. We figure out that I must have “released” the tampon while going to the restroom. I will monitor for any odors. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to have a professional opinion and such a responsive and concerned gynecologist. Michael is amazing so for all you womyn in the Portland area who would like to work with a gynecologist who is a feminist, responsive, concerned and who treats womyn of size in a respectful non-discriminatory way, go to Michael Davis Thanks for this informative site and for all the womyn for sharing. This information and your stories have given my peace of mind…Thank You!

  25. Helen permalink
    January 10, 2012 5:50 pm

    I have just found a tampon I think it’s been there there around four days. should I go c the doctor?

  26. angie permalink
    January 19, 2012 6:44 am

    Thank you so much. I just removed the tampon. You are my hero. I am laughing because I removed it at the same time as watching the video just as you “remove” your lost tampon at the same time. GOD thank you thank you thank you I was freaking out so much thinking I had a bacterial infection, or an STD, or a cyst, or god knows what. Then I realized. Wait. Where did that tampon go. Omg. That’s why my period was so short. Hahahaha AH SIGH OF RELIEF THANK YOU

  27. Maria permalink
    January 19, 2012 8:08 am

    Omg. Hysterical !! This is a great dr way to go!!

  28. Nicky permalink
    January 31, 2012 4:12 pm

    This would have been great – looked like it was just the advice I was needing – if only I could have heard it over the banging music. Too cool for school I think!

  29. angela permalink
    February 7, 2012 7:57 am

    This was super annoying. Just tell methe symptoms and how to find it. Thanks

  30. Chelsea permalink
    June 12, 2012 10:30 am

    Extremely well done! Excellent service to worried women.

  31. Tao permalink
    July 18, 2012 1:38 pm

    This is awesome! Very well done, and much appreciated by this too-old-for-this-to-be-happening me. Thank you 🙂

  32. Hyaena permalink
    August 2, 2012 1:06 am

    Um… maybe mention that a heavy woman may have a hell of a time finding it. I’m heading to the ER because I have all the symptoms and can’t find anything… might just be a piece, but not gonna play with it.

  33. Anne permalink
    September 9, 2012 3:27 am

    My fingers are not long enough what now??

  34. Crazedgurl permalink
    September 11, 2012 9:03 pm

    Great video. I wish there was a way to turn off that music. It was overpowering the doctor in some places

  35. Zahra permalink
    November 18, 2012 7:34 am

    You saved me a trip to my OBGYN. Great informative instructions I was able to find the lost tampon and pull it out. I was not sure if it is there, just the awful smell maid me suspicious. Do I need to do any other follow up? Thank you so much.

  36. Jules permalink
    June 26, 2013 9:21 pm

    Could be such a valuable resource if it wasn’t for the stupid humor and absolutely dreadful loop of obnoxious music. It’s really too bad.

  37. michelle permalink
    July 6, 2013 2:06 pm

    Thank You SO much!! I had a tampon in me for 9 days and was getting worried. I felt fine and didn’t have any foul odor, but I knew it was there. I tried to find it, but it was too far in. After watching the video it only took a few minutes to locate it and ease it out. I’m so grateful I didn’t have the embarrassment of going to the doctor and the bill to go with it.

  38. Marlies permalink
    July 23, 2013 12:10 pm

    Love it! Great way to make light of an embarrassing subject! Thanks!

  39. Kate permalink
    September 5, 2013 2:54 am

    just back from the emergency room where i had a ‘lost’ tampon removed that had been there for 5 days. I’m completely freaked out that that is even possible – I went to take it out on the last day of my period and when i couldn’t find it assumed i must have done so already and forgotted. I couldn’t feel a thing, and didn’t realise anything was wrong until the odour started – just like the doc says. When i booked in, the receptionist said that this happens loads and there had been more and more cases recently. 1) Why doesn’t it make this clearer on the packet? 2) Since i’ve been using the compak applicator ones i’ve noticed that the string can be difficult to find – is there any research saying that this type is more likely to go missing? In fact, what are the stats on this in general – how many women a year? Given the lack of info on this from tampax I’m feeling a bit of consumer rage coming on……

  40. Lauren permalink
    November 16, 2013 7:22 pm

    Did you hear what the music was saying though? Hilarious, I thought it made up for it 🙂

    Also as just a general comment I thpught this was great! I was so panicked about this issue when I faced it I was almost crying. The tone of this video helped. Really would have helped.
    Although tightening your lower abdominal muscles or “bearing down” was really key! I wish she had mentioned that


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