One version of U by Kotex tampons are being taken off shelves across the U.S. and Canada after women reported needing to seek medical attention to remove the pieces of tampon stuck inside their bodies.

By Faith Brar
Photo: Instagram / U by Kotex

Kimberly-Clark, the parent company of U by Kotex, has issued a recall on one of their products. U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, Regular Absorbency, which are sold across the U.S. and Canada, are being taken off the shelves for having a "quality-related defect" that could impact their performance.

The recall was issued after Kimberly-Clark received reports of the tampons "unraveling and/or coming apart upon removal." If that doesn't sound scary enough, some users have already had to seek medical attention to remove the pieces of tampon stuck inside their bodies. There have also been a small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms, according to the release.

Of course, one manufacturer defect isn't a reason to ditch tampons altogether. But it's a reminder to be mindful of the dangers you may be exposing yourself to inadvertently. Prolonged use of even a properly made tampon can cause remnants to be left behind. While that can cause irritation and infection (as reported in the cases above), it can also up your chances for toxic shock syndrome, or TSS. ICYDK, TSS occurs when toxins spawn from the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that naturally occurs in your body. Tampons (especially the extra-absorbent kind) can cause specific strains to go wild, producing a ton of TSS-1 toxins that can get into your bloodstream. From there, TSS-1 can cause high fever, drastic drops in blood pressure, and in extremely rare cases, organ failure and death. (Related: There May Soon Be a Vaccine to Prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome)

If you have bought U by Kotex Sleek Tampons recently, know that the products included in the recall were manufactured between October 7, 2016, and October 16, 2018, and distributed between October 17, 2016, and October 23, 2018. They can be identified by looking for specific lot numbers on the bottoms of packages, which can also be found on U by Kotex's website. So far no other U by Kotex–branded products are a part of the recall, the company noted, and retailers have been alerted to both remove the products from their stores and post a notice about the defect.

Kimberly-Clark is urging customers who've experienced itching, irritation, swelling, bleeding, or other symptoms such as hot flashes, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting after use of the product to seek immediate medical attention.


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