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The Use of “Natural” Substances for Menstrual Hygiene: A Case Report of an Embedded Vaginal Sea Sponge

  • Sarah A. Golub
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Sarah A. Golub, Seattle Children's Hospital, Division of Adolescent Medicine, 4540 Sand Point Way NE Suite 200, M/S CSB-200 PO Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98145-5005; Phone (206) 987-2028; Fax (206) 985-3499
    Affiliations
    Division of Adolescent Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Washington

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
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  • Do-Quyen Pham
    Affiliations
    Division of Adolescent Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Washington

    Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
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  • Anne-Marie Amies Oelschlager
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington
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Published:September 23, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpag.2022.09.006

      ABSTRACT

      Background

      In early adolescence, irregular menstrual bleeding patterns are common and are frequently due to anovulatory cycles or bleeding disorders. As such, the diagnosis of a vaginal foreign body might initially be missed.

      Case

      We describe a 14-year-old adolescent female presenting with ongoing irregular menstrual spotting despite reassuring laboratory workup and ultrasonography. She was found to have an embedded vaginal sea sponge eroding through the vaginal wall. On further discussion, she reported using a natural sea sponge for menstrual blood absorption.

      Summary and Conclusion

      In cases of persistent vaginal spotting, vaginal foreign body should be considered in the differential diagnosis. Use of nontraditional menstrual hygiene products could lead to medical complications and negative health outcomes in adolescents.

      Key Words

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