By Britni de la Cretaz for Ravishly.com
I once forgot about a tampon for nine days.
Yes, really. There was a tampon inside my vagina for nine whole days and I had no idea.
I know you’re probably wondering how that happened, so I’m going to tell you. (You’re welcome.)
The first sign something was wrong was the weirdly watery discharge. I’d never had vaginal discharge that looked like that before, and considering I’d just finished my period, the large-ish amount was confusing to me. But everything else felt fine. So I put a pantyliner on and went about my life, thinking it would stop soon.
But it did not. Brownish liquid kept trickling — sometimes gushing — out of my vagina.
The next indication that there might be a problem was the smell: It was rancid and kept getting worse. It took me a while to figure out where the smell was coming from.
Watch: What really happens when a tampon gets ‘lost’. (Post continues after video.)
I thought it was my underwear, so I put on a new pair. I thought I needed a shower, so I took one. I tried a bath. Nothing seemed to be helping.
I wasn’t completely sure that it was coming from my vagina, so I didn’t immediately head to the doctor. Instead, I soldiered on. Physically, nothing hurt. Everything felt normal.
Then, after having sex with my boyfriend, I asked him about the smell, only to find out that my biggest fear had come true — he admitted that yeah, my vagina smelled pretty bad. And that, yeah, it didn’t usually smell like that. That was when, on a hunch, I asked if he would dive in and check it out for me.
This experience taught me that it can and does happen. It happened to me, someone who is in touch with and educated about her body.
Looking back on it now, he was not a very body positive person. I’m shocked that he was not only willing to put his hand up there and see what was going on, but that he handled it in a sensitive manner and never made me feel bad about it. If he did anything right in our relationship, it was this. (Post continues after gallery.)