I can't remember if I took my tampon out. What should I do?

I can't remember if I took my tampon out

Women know that feeling of dread all too well. You're out and about, going about your day when suddenly you panic – did I take my tampon out? Unfortunately, it's not an uncommon experience for women who use tampons to forget whether they've taken them out.

Sometimes, it can even be dangerous, as leaving a tampon in for too long can lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). So how do we make sure this doesn't happen?

The answer is simple: being aware of our bodies and taking the necessary steps to ensure our safety. In this article, we'll look at what causes forgotten tampons and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

Table of Contents

I can't remember if I took my tampon out. What should I do?

It's okay if you can't remember whether or not you took out your tampon. It is held in place by the walls of your vagina and won't go anywhere. Some women may have a routine when they are on their period, including removing the tampon, while others might forget altogether.

To check if you have forgotten a tampon, try these steps:

  • Perform a visual check. Use a mirror to look down below and see if there is anything visible in your vagina.
  • Do a manual check. Feel inside the vagina with clean hands to see if you can feel a tampon string or something else that shouldn't be there.
  • Change your panties. Change into fresh panties and examine them for any telltale signs of spotting or leaking from your period.

If you forget to take out your tampon, it's essential to remove it immediately and keep an eye on any symptoms of TSS, such as fever, rash, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Common Reasons Why People Forget to Take Out Their Tampons

Woman that forgot to take her tampon out

Most often, people forget to take out their tampons because of inattention. For example, they may be busy with other things and not pay enough attention to remember that they have a tampon.

Other reasons why people may forget are:

  • Long-term use - Wearing a tampon for too long can lead to distraction and forgetfulness as the body becomes accustomed to it being there.
  • Anxiety or stress - When we're feeling stressed or anxious, it's easy for our minds to wander, causing us to become distracted and more likely to forget about our tampons.
  • Change in routine - If you have recently changed your way and no longer go through the same steps when inserting or removing a tampon, you might forget to take it out.
  • Exhaustion - Being tired can cause us to make mistakes and overlook important details, such as taking out our tampons.

5 Tips to Help You Prevent Forgotten Tampons

Since forgetting to take out a tampon can have serious health consequences, it's essential to be mindful of your body and practice good hygiene. Here are some tips to help you remember:

  1. Set the alarm on your phone or watch as a reminder when it's time to change your tampon.
  2. Put the used one in a plastic bag before disposing of it so you know the old one is gone.
  3. Keep a spare tampon or pad in your bag if you forget to take out the one you are using.
  4. Take a break from tampons now and then and opt for pads instead.
  5. Be sure to get adequate rest to remain alert and focused when dealing with your period.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that you don't forget to take out your tampon and potentially put yourself at risk of TSS. Always practice good hygiene when managing your menstrual cycle, and never be afraid to speak up if something doesn't feel right!

Finally, if you frequently forget to remove your tampon, talk to your healthcare provider about other options for managing your period. There may be a better solution for you that is more comfortable and less likely to lead to forgotten tampons. However, taking the necessary steps can help prevent any potential health risks associated with forgetting a tampon.

Signs You May Have Forgotten to Take Your Tampon Out

Dr. Nathaniel states that it is not uncommon for a tampon to be forgotten in the vagina or have another one inserted without removing the previous one, and this frequent occurrence often leads to consultations at Gynecological Emergency Departments.


The million-dollar mystery: have we forgotten about it and carelessly created a new one, leaving the old one lost in limbo? How can we possibly be aware of its existence? Signs to look out for include an unpleasant odor - the leading indicator.

According to our specialist, when a tampon or any other object is not removed from the vagina in time, it makes it easier for bacteria to stick and reproduce. This causes an initial boost of discharge with a very unpleasant smell.

It is critical to be aware of the initial signs since, during this time, you can take action and remove it without having any significant repercussions other than discomfort or inconvenience. However, a more severe infection could develop if these symptoms are overlooked and left in for too long.

You may experience pain beneath your abdomen or even fever in extraordinary circumstances. However, as the gynecologist stresses, these are extreme and quite rare cases- usually, we can detect forgetfulness before it's too late.

One of the worst consequences of not washing your hands is called toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The growth of Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria causes this. TSS can start with a high fever, sore throat, muscle aches, and a rash similar to a sunburn. If TSS is not treated, it can lead to multi-organ failure.

Try to remove it

Some things that can happen to your body might be scary, like finding a discharge or strange odor. The first thing you should do is rule out the possibility that there is a forgotten tampon. This is important because losing your nerves won't help, and there is no need to be scared because it's not lost in the vagina and won't stay there forever. Instead, try to relax, get into a comfortable position, and insert a finger to locate the tampon so you can remove it. Most of the time, you won't need help other than yourself.

Sometimes, we can't remove a tampon by ourselves because we're nervous or because it's too high up. It becomes harder to remove if we wait too long, especially if we insert another tampon. In these cases, we might need to go to the emergency room and ask a health professional for help.

How Long Can a Tampon Stay in Your Body Before it Becomes Unsafe?

Tampons should be changed every 4 to 8 hours at the most. However, if a tampon is left in for too long, it can cause an infection or Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). TSS is a life-threatening condition that needs prompt medical attention. It is caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus, and its symptoms include fever, chills, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Be aware of your body's needs and act accordingly when dealing with your menstrual cycle. For example, always check for signs indicating you have forgotten about your tampon, like an unpleasant odor or abnormal discharge. If anything feels off, visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible to ensure everything is okay and get professional help.

Remain Hygienic

Finally, it's essential to remain as hygienic as possible throughout your menstrual cycle. Dr. Nathaniel recommends washing your hands with soap and water before and after changing your tampon and avoiding contact with the applicator or string, which may have bacteria on them. This will help reduce the risk of infections that a forgotten tampon might cause. Additionally, remember to change your tampons regularly to avoid any risks associated with failing one in your body for too long.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you are correctly taking care of yourself and avoiding any health-related issues related to a forgotten or misplaced tampon!

Final words

Forgetting to take out a tampon can be an unnerving experience, but it doesn't have to be. You can prevent this by being aware of your body and taking the necessary steps to ensure your safety. Plus, if you forget to take out your tampon, don't panic—remove it and keep an eye on any potential symptoms of TSS.

Remember: always listen to your body and trust what it's telling you! Good luck!

DISCLAIMER: buildyourbody.org does not provide medical advice, examination, or diagnosis.

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.