[Warning: slightly graphic, very embarrassing content ahead]


The waiting room smelled like asparagus pee. If I were coming in here because I was pregnant, I would definitely throw up. But thankfully, I wasn't pregnant. I was in the gynecologist office with a problem nearly as stressful as that would have been: a stuck tampon.

I should clarify: the entire tampon wasn't stuck. Most of it had come out with the string like the good people at Playtex designed it to. Most of it. The tampon came out with about an inch of cotton ripped off the top, like a bite had been taken out.

After a valiant 24 hours of reconnaissance attempts (“Take a bath!" my mom suggested), I called my gynecologist.

“Is this an emergency?" the receptionist asked right away in a bored voice.

I was one of three patients waiting to be seen in open hours: one was a shriveled woman reading an AARP magazine and the other was a very young and very pregnant girl. And I was a 22-year old with a broken tampon inside me. Three women walk into a gynecologist's office...we were like the start to some presumably sexist joke.