You're in the middle of an intimate makeout sesh with your partner, and you both agree to take things to the next level. Everything's going smoothly, until you notice the string: uh, oh, you're still wearing your tampon from earlier that night. Do you potentially ruin the mood and run to the bathroom to take it out? Do you just go ahead and have sex with a tampon in? Is that even safe? We're here to answer all the questions.
It's totally normal to want to have sex more than ever when you're on your period (though you're also not alone if sex is the last thing on your mind). But for those who do get into the mood, you know that when you're in the moment, it can be easy to either forget about precautionary measures or worry about making things awkward with your partner.
While you'll probably be fine if you have sex while wearing a tampon, it's not really recommended. But what exactly happens if you accidentally (or lazily) have sex with a tampon in? Seventeen talked to Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, family physician at One Medical, to get the scoop.
What can happen if you have penetrative sex with a tampon in?
If you put anything into your vag when you have a tampon in there, like a penis or finger, it can push the tampon to the back of your vaginal canal or even tilt the tampon on its side, says Dr. Bhuyan. When your tampon gets pushed far back, it can be difficult for you to reach its string to pull the tampon out. This is how you end up with a retained tampon, which is when your tampon gets stuck in your vaginal canal.
Luckily, your tampon can't really go anywhere further. "Because the vaginal canal is a contained space, the tampon can't migrate into your belly or your abdomen," Dr. Bhuyan says. "It really can't move outside of the vaginal canal."
That being said, the longer your tampon is stuck and sitting in your vaginal canal, the more likely it can contract different bacteria that can cause an infection. But if you're able to take out your tampon immediately afterwards, you probably don't need to worry about an infection.
Is it dangerous to have sex while wearing a tampon?
According to Dr. Bhuyan, it's not dangerous in the moment you're having intercourse, so you shouldn't be worried about that. The concern comes when a retained tampon is left in your vaginal canal for days or even weeks, resulting in a possible infection.
Can you still have sex when there's a tampon in there?
Though you'll likely to be able to have sex, it might be an uncomfortable experience for both you and your partner. "With intercourse, you have natural lubrication," says Dr. Bhuyan. "But when there's a tampon in there, it's absorbing that lubrication." This might cause discomfort or even pain, as the tampon can prevent your partner from fully penetrating your vagina.
Does the tampon prevent you from getting pregnant?
No! Wearing a tampon while having sex is certainly not a method of birth control. While you might think you can't get pregnant because your tampon is blocking your cervix, this is a common myth. "You certainly can get pregnant if you have sex with a tampon in, and it will not block the sperm from getting into the cervix," says Dr. Bhuyan.
And while we're at it, it's also important to note that while it is uncommon, you can still get pregnant if you're having sex on your period. Though your risk is lower during that time of your month, you can still get pregnant, especially if your have an irregular cycle. While penetrative sex isn't pregnancy proof, oral sex is. So if you prefer oral sex on your period, that's totally safe.
How do you get a stuck tampon out?
First, try removing the tampon on your own. Dr. Bhuyan suggests removing the tampon by getting into a squatting position or putting one leg up on the toilet seat, and reaching into your vag (with clean hands!) to see if you’re able to hook the tampon and remove it.
If you're struggling to get it out yourself, don't freak out. Your best move is to see your doc as soon as you can. Luckily, it should be pretty simple for your doctor to spot and remove the tampon.
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