Woman Discovers Sex Toy Had Been In Her Vagina For 10 Years

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It sounds like a fake news headline, but it's true: A 38-year-old Scottish woman walked into a hospital to discover that a sex toy had been lodged in her vagina for 10 years, according to an article published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. STV News reports that the woman sought medical attention after contracting sepsis, a potentially fatal condition in which the body fends off severe infection by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream. These chemicals fight the infection, but also trigger inflammation that can cause organ damage and even organ failure.

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The woman had also been suffering from fatigue, shaking, dramatic weight loss, and incontinence. When doctors at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary investigated, they were understandably surprised to find a five-inch object protruding into the woman's bladder from her vagina. At this point, the patient recalled that she had once used a toy during a sexual encounter and had forgotten to remove it, 10 years prior.

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Questions abound: How did the woman not realize that her body contained a foreign object after she and her partner had finished their sexual activity? How did she not realize this the next day, or any day thereafter for the next 3,650 days — until she faced near-death? The woman wasn't suffering from depression or psychosis, she had a normal IQ, and she had not been abused, the Journal of Sexual Medicine article noted — ruling out obvious factors that might have explained the woman's obliviousness regarding the toy in her vagina. Yet, somehow, it went unnoticed until she developed a vesicovaginal fistula (an abnormal passageway through which urine flows into the vagina) and obstructive uropathy (in which urine flows not from the kidneys to the bladder but rather back into the kidneys, due to bladder blockage).

Fortunately, doctors were able to surgically remove the decade-old sex toy, repair the woman's internal damage, and send her on her way. This type of case is so rare that this story serves not so much as a sex-toy safety warning, but rather as an opportunity to ponder the astonishing and anomalous capacities of the human body.

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