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Foreign Body, Vagina (cont.)

Vaginal Foreign Body Symptoms

Common symptoms of a vaginal foreign body include the following:

  • Vaginal discharge, generally foul-smelling and yellow, pink, or brown
  • Vaginal bleeding, especially light bleeding
  • Vaginal itching or foul odor
  • Urinary symptoms such as discomfort with urination (dysuria)
  • Vulvar discomfort due to vaginal discharge producing skin irritation
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain from placement of large objects or perforation of a foreign body into the peritoneal cavity

Symptoms accompanying the presence of a foreign body include the following:

  • Skin redness (erythema)
  • Swelling of the vagina and entrance to vagina
  • Rash in the vaginal area

Symptoms associated with chronic foreign body placement in the vagina or due to complications of chronic foreign body placement (such as fistulae) include disorders of urination or bowel function, loss of bladder control (incontinence) or abnormal bowel function. Moreover, blood in the urine or stool can result from these complications. Larger objects may obstruct urination. Foreign bodies that perforate the vagina may also result in serious systemic symptoms such as abdominal pain, distortion, fever, or signs of serious infection (sepsis).

Pressure from the presence of the foreign body against the vaginal walls and adjacent structures (such as bladder) causes the tissue to be compromised and allow perforation or fistulization.

The presence of a vaginal foreign body may alter the normal bacterial flora of the vagina, thus resulting in repeated efforts to treat a "vaginitis." The symptoms of a vaginal discharge may be interpreted as a vaginitis, a sexually transmitted infection, or a yeast infection by the patient or unaware health care professional. Repeated use of antibiotics or other medications will not "cure" the symptoms if a foreign body remains in the vagina.

Objects left in the vagina very rarely lead to serious complications. However, the medical literature has had several case reports of pelvic abscess and subsequent scarring as a result of foreign bodies in the vagina.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/20/2013
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