- Melanie Galeaz started experiencing body aches and pain “down south” when she was 14.
- She said was treated for Lyme disease, but she was afraid to speak up about her vaginal distress.
- It turned out she had a tampon lodged under her cervix — possibly for 2 years.
A young woman who didn’t know she had multiple tampons lodged inside her at once is sharing her story on TikTok, and she’s asking her followers to be kind.
During Melanie Galeaz’s sophomore year of high school, she said she started experiencing mysterious body aches accompanied by some “gross” symptoms affecting her nether regions.
At the time, she said she told a doctor about her body aches but was afraid to speak up about her gynecological issues. She was 14 years old.
“The doctor was kind of disregarding me, and he was being mean and scary,” Galeaz, now 22, said in the video. “This was really disgusting and embarrassing, and I just didn’t want to deal with it.”
Two years later, Galeaz said she saw a gynecologist who discovered the source of her discomfort. She said the doctor inserted a speculum, looked inside her vagina, and gasped.
“That’s not what you want to hear,” Galeaz said in the video. “You don’t want to hear someone gasp when they’re looking inside you.”
Although she feels nervous sharing what people may view as a “dumb mistake,” Galeaz told Insider she thinks her story could remind everyone who gets their period to be careful if they choose to use tampons.
The doctor thought her pain was linked to Lyme disease
When Galeaz was 8 years old, she said, she was treated for Lyme disease. She told Insider she had a deer tick bite and symptoms of Lyme disease — which can include joint pain, headache, fever, and chills.
Lyme disease is notoriously difficult to diagnose with a test, and Galeaz said her results were inconclusive. But when she told her doctor she was experiencing similar body aches at age 14, they assumed it was a Lyme flare-up.
The medicine she was prescribed for Lyme disease helped with her pain, but the gynecological symptoms persisted.
Galeaz did not specify what was wrong with her vaginal area, but she said it smelled “very bad” at times.
According to Healthline, other signs of a stuck tampon or retained object in the vagina may include:
- brown, green, yellow, pink, or gray vaginal discharge
- foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- itching inside your vagina or on your vulva
- rash or redness around your genitals
- uncomfortable or painful urination
- abdominal or pelvic pain
- swelling in or around your vagina
- fever of 104°F (40°C) or higher
She said she had 3 tampons in at once
At the gynecologist’s office, Galeaz learned she had a tampon “stuck horizontally under [her] cervix.”
“Taking it out hurt because it was dissolving inside me,” she said in the video. “It kept breaking apart and it was such an unpleasant experience.”
Galeaz said her doctors told her she likely had an infection caused by the stuck tampon, but her gynecologist did not believe that the same tampon had been inside her for two years.
During that two-year period, Galeaz said there was one occasion when she pulled out a tampon and a second one came out with it. She said she thinks there may have been three tampons inside her at once, although she does not have proof that the same tampon was stuck for the whole two years of her illness.
“Me and the tampon have since parted ways, which is a good thing,” she said.
Looking back, Galeaz said she thinks she never actually had Lyme disease, and that all her issues had stemmed down to the tampon (or tampons) being stuck.