A certain type of Kotex tampon has been recalled from select stores across the United States and Canada after the manufacturer received "a small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms" from women who apparently had the products unravel inside of them.
In a news release issued on Tuesday, consumer-products company Kimberly-Clark said that the recall specifically affected “U by Kotex® Sleek® Tampons, Regular Absorbency, that were manufactured between October 7, 2016 and October 16, 2018 and distributed between October 17, 2016 and October 23, 2018.”
The release also noted that the recall had been prompted by consumers who had experienced the tampons “unraveling and/or coming apart upon removal, and in some cases causing users to seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”
Even properly-functioning tampons come with an inherent set of health risks: According to Mayo Clinic, incidences of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) have long been associated with the use of super-absorbent tampons, which can produce higher amounts of the toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria.
But, as the Mayo Clinic website notes, occurrences of TSS have decreased over the years to coincide with manufacturers pulling some of the worst-offending types of tampons from store shelves.
Kimberly Clark — which also produces products like diapers and tissues — said in its statement that consumers who have purchased the products being recalled should stop using them immediately and call their customer service hotline at 1-888-255-3499 for more information.