Q: About two years ago I began masturbating with a battery (AAA, about 1 inch long and pencil width). I recently had a pelvic ultrasound for other health reasons, and although the doctor said everything was normal, I was wondering if the battery is still in my vagina. I have put my fingers in there up to my cervix and felt around and haven't found anything battery-like. Is it possible that the battery isn't there and I'm just paranoid?
A: Know what's fun? When readers send in questions related to sexual anatomy and I get to spend two days researching physiological phenomena in resource books and medical journals. (Well, it's fun to me, anyway.) I was nearly 1,000 percent sure that no object has ever been permanently lost in a vagina, but I thought I'd dig around -- ha! -- and see if maybe there was some incident I'd never read about before.
Sure enough, I found something that made me wince and clutch my gut. In 2007, a woman arrived at a hospital with severe abdominal pain, fever and vaginal bleeding. After cutting her open, doctors found a broken sandwich bag full of cocaine packets in her abdominal cavity. She was a drug mule who had stuffed multiple bags into her vagina to get through customs inspection, but forgot one when it was time to unload her stash. Some of the cocaine had leaked from the bag, and over the course of three months, degraded a large enough patch of her vaginal wall that the bag passed through it and into the abdominal cavity. Are you clutching your gut yet?
Unless it's inserted snugly inside a vibrator, a battery is not a sex toy! It probably even says it somewhere on the package: "This battery is not a toy." Alkaline batteries create power via a spontaneous reaction of the chemicals inside. While those chemicals are generally harmless to your skin if a battery ruptures or leaks (which is common), they're still mildly corrosive and don't belong in your body. Do you want to end up like the drug mule? No, of course not. Don't do that anymore.
Now, the vagina is not a thoroughfare; it's a 3- to 4-inch long tract more like a cul de sac. The only place for something to go past the vagina is into the cervix, but the opening to that passage is usually less than 3 millimeters in diameter, unless you're giving birth. No AAA battery is getting in there. The cervix does protrude slightly down into the vagina, leaving a tight pocket where an object could temporarily reside. You said you've reached up into that area to check for the battery and didn't find anything, so there's virtually no chance it's still there. Even if your ultrasound technician wasn't looking for a battery, they almost certainly would have seen a large solid mass where one doesn't belong. Hopefully you have had at least one annual pelvic exam in the two years since the masturbation incident. It's highly improbable a battery would go unseen during one of those.
You may have noticed that there are several adverbs in the above paragraph. That's because, while I am quite certain that there is no AAA battery in your vagina, I'm neither a doctor nor someone who has looked inside your vagina. Despite the overwhelming amount of empirical evidence and inductive reasoning I can provide, I still can't be certain your vagina is empty. If you're genuinely concerned about a battery still being up there, or just want peace of mind, then make an appointment for a pelvic exam and tell your doctor why you're worried. Trust me, she's seen and heard stranger things.