What Happens If a Condom Gets Stuck in You?

You’re at risk for STIs if a condom slips or becomes stuck in you. But stay calm.

Contrary to popular belief, a rogue condom cannot get lost up there forever. If your partner puts a condom on properly and uses lube, it will likely stay in place, according to Nemours Teen Health.

Symptoms

The first thing to do if you think you have a condom stuck in you is to stay calm. You may feel a bit embarrassed, but your vagina or anal canal isn’t an endless abyss — it’s fairly easy to reach in there with clean fingers. If you remain relaxed, you can usually wriggle the condom around with your fingertip or even use two fingers in a pinching motion to grab it and pull. (Don’t use lubrication, though, as it could make it slippery and difficult to grab.)

If you’re unable to get the condom out, call your doctor or gynecologist. They might need to reach inside your vagina or anal canal with a speculum to retrieve it, but they won’t be as embarrassed as you might be, and they’ll have the best chance of getting it out quickly, before it has a chance to cause infection.

If you’re worried about pregnancy or STIs, ask your gynecologist if they can prescribe emergency contraception for you, such as Plan B or the copper coil IUD, or tell you where to buy it over-the-counter. It’s most effective when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex. And, if the condom you had was old or dirty, they can give you a STI screen to see if it’s harboring any bacteria.

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Treatment

It’s not exactly a common occurrence, but it’s still possible for a condom to slip off a man’s penis during sex and then get stuck inside the woman’s vagina. This can happen if there’s not enough lubrication or if the man has an erection that is too big for the condom to fit around.

A condom that’s stuck in a woman’s vagina or anus is often hard to get out. This can cause irritation and may lead to a discharge, says Dr. Dweck. And it can also be a source of infection if semen leaks into the uterus and irritates the area.

If a condom gets stuck in you, it’s important to remain calm and figure out a way to remove it. This will help reduce your risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, she says.

You can try squatting or getting on all fours and reaching into your vagina with clean, trimmed fingernails to feel for the condom. It may not be easy to find, but it should come out eventually. You can also ask your gynecologist for assistance. In the meantime, you can use a different type of emergency contraception to protect yourself. You can buy Plan B One-Step over the counter at pharmacies and drugstores, or you can talk to your doctor about other forms of EC, such as Ella or copper coil IUDs.

Prevention

It’s not as common as you might think, but it is possible for a condom to slip off of a man’s penis during intercourse and end up stuck in a woman’s vagina. That’s why it’s important to always use protection during sex, even if you know your partner is STD-free.

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While it may be alarming to discover that a condom got lost inside you, there’s no need to panic. The cervical opening in your vagina is too small for a condom to pass through, and it can’t become stuck up there forever.

The best thing to do if you lose a condom during sex is to immediately seek out emergency contraception. Over-the-counter emergency birth control pills, like Plan B, are available at most drugstores and are up to 89% effective against pregnancy when used within five days of unprotected sex.

If you’re worried about becoming pregnant, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the best forms of birth control for you and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), too. STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, can cause serious health problems and should never be ignored.

It’s also a good idea to avoid using anything other than your fingers to reach in and pull out a condom that gets stuck in you. Using tweezers, chopsticks, or scissors can seriously injure your vagina and lead to infection.

Diagnosis

Thankfully, it’s rare for a condom to get stuck inside a woman. But, when it does happen, “it’s very dangerous for both the partner and the unborn child,” says Dr. Dweck.

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It could be a sign that there was sex without protection, which can lead to pregnancy and the spread of STIs. That means the woman should call her gynecologist and make an appointment to have the foreign object removed as soon as possible. (And if she’s on birth control, like the pill or implant, she should still have a follow-up appointment to make sure everything’s safe.)

Before heading to the doctor, try to retrieve the condom yourself. But don’t use anything other than your clean fingers — trying to reach in with something else can cause an injury and, according to Nemours Teen Health, could even result in a foreign body injuring the urethra.

First, relax. The good news is that a condom can’t actually get lost inside your vaginal canal — the top of the canal ends at your cervix, so it can only go as far in as your penis or sex toy. And, don’t douche — that won’t help prevent a condom from slipping off during sex and it can cause infection. Instead, sit in a warm tub or squat over the toilet with your legs extended and try to feel around with your fingernails.

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