Q: Are there any side effects from getting a condom lost inside the vagina for a couple days? I'm asking for, uh, a "friend."
A: Sure, you are, dear. Sure, you are. To be truthful, I initially questioned the legitimacy of your question. How can a woman not only be unaware of something rustling around inside her like a soggy candy wrapper, but also (along with her partner) neglect to notice that what went in did not come out? Well, I have been enlightened. A Google search revealed an abundance of women wondering whether they should worry about finding a condom in their undies after morning coffee.
If you use condoms to avoid getting knocked up, then I strongly suggest you take the morning-after pill as soon as you realize what's happened. That lost condom could contain potent sperm, regardless of whether or not the man ejaculated, and all those little guys want to do is get all up in your ovum. The morning-after pill can be taken up to five days after intercourse, but it's most effective within 72 hours. Anyone, male or female, who's 17 or older can buy it from any pharmacy counter without a prescription. You can also pick up a morning-after pill at any Planned Parenthood location. If you have access to hormonal birth control pills, there is a nifty chart at ec.princeton.edu (the Emergency Contraception website) that lists which pill brands can be used as emergency contraception, as well as instructions on how to do it.
I'm assuming you've retrieved the condom, but for future reference, that should be done right away. The easiest way to get a condom out is to just reach in with one or two fingers while bearing down. You should be able to grab onto part of it and gently pull it out. The average non-aroused vagina is about 3 inches long, so you should have no problem locating the lost item. The vagina does expand significantly during arousal, though, so if you have something stuck up in there, it might be easier to wait until sexytime is over before trying to get it out. If you still can't seem to grab onto it, you could be involuntarily clenching the muscles surrounding your vaginal opening. Just relax and try again, it'll come out. The fact that vaginas are so small with only a tiny cervical opening at the top leads me to wonder how so many women end up in the ER to have everyday objects removed from theirs. If you get acquainted with your body parts, you should never need to get acquainted with a pair of forceps.
The only other major concerns are a latex allergy or toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Latex allergy symptoms usually include a burning sensation inside and out, rash and itching, all of which dissipate once you're no longer in contact with the condom. Severe allergy sufferers can experience rapid heart rate, loss of consciousness, throat swelling and trouble breathing, all of which require immediate medical attention. TSS is caused by bacterial toxins in the bloodstream and can be fatal if it's not treated as soon as symptoms appear. Sudden high fever, sunburn-like rash, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, hypotension and seizures are all signs that something is very wrong and should be treated with emergency care. TSS is rare, and I couldn't find any evidence of it being caused by condoms, but I won't say it's impossible. However, symptoms appear quickly, so if you feel OK then you're probably OK.
You can get an infection from the condom or semen affecting your vagina's pH, so if you notice unusual odor or discharge, see your doctor. Most likely, you'll experience no side effects at all, except of course making sure this never happens again.