Shows like TLC’s Sex Sent Me to the ER have taught us people really do make some rash decisions in the heat of the moment, like lodging keys, ropes, and even Pop Rocks in human orifices. A 38-year-old woman from Scotland joins the mix, as doctors discovered a 5-inch sex toy lodged in her vagina for 10 years, unknowingly. According to a recent case report published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the unidentified woman originally went to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary complaining of severe weight loss, shaking, lethargy, and mild incontinence, to soon learn her symptoms derived from the foreign body protruding into her bladder from her vagina.

The medical staff at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary were more taken aback by the 5-inch sex toy in the woman’s vagina when she revealed she had used it with her partner 10 years ago. The Scottish woman admitted she was under the influence of alcohol at the time, and therefore couldn’t remember removing it or not. She had a normal IQ, no signs of depression or psychosis, and had not been a subject of abuse, the Daily Mail reported.

It is common practice for people to deny knowledge of or the origin of foreign bodies in human orifices when they are discovered due to embarrassment or fear. However, patients with Münchausen syndrome — a psychiatric condition where the person feigns symptoms to gain attention or sympathy — are prone to this practice. The Scottish woman did not display any of these symptoms.

5-inch sex toy lodged in vagina for 10 years Photo courtesy of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

"This case describes an extremely rare but potentially life-threatening case of obstructive uropathy caused by a chronically retained sex toy,” wrote the researchers. Vaginal foreign bodies, like sex toys, are a rare cause of vesicovaginal fistula, which is an abnormal tract that allows urine to flow into the vagina. The patient’s vesivovaginal fistula led to her obstructive uropathy, in which the blockage in her bladder was causing urine to collect in her kidneys.

The woman was discharged after doctors removed the sex toy and managed to repair the damage. One doctor at the hospital, who was not willing to comment on the patient’s specific case, confirmed it was highly unusual for such a large foreign object to go unnoticed by patients or their partners. This is because the vagina, specifically the clitoris, is composed of 8,000 sensory nerve-endings, making it the most sensitive body part in the human body.

There have been a total of 44 cases of vesicovaginal fistula secondary to foreign bodies, including 22 plastic caps from aerosol bottles, inserted for masturbation or contraception, and five pessaries, according to the study. In nine of these cases, the girls were either 18 or older, and had a foreign body in their vaginas for an average of 15 months after initial insertion. Surgical repair, specifically transvaginal, was done by doctors for the removal of the foreign bodies in the vagina.

It’s important for partners to use sex toys responsibly and keep them clean. They can pass on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and blood-borne infections such as chlamydia, syphilis, and herpes. Furthermore, it is advised to not share any sex toy that may draw blood from the skin, especially if there are any cuts or sores around the vagina, anus or penis, or if blood is present, according to Brown University Health. Infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV may be transmitted by sharing sex toys like this. To prevent urinary tract infections, and genital infections, cover or boil any sex toys or objects before and after use when masturbating.

Source: Abdel-Fattah M, Donaldson JF, Lam TB et al. Obstructive Uropathy and Vesicovaginal Fistula Secondary to a Retained Sex Toy in the Vagina. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2014.