If you use (or have used) tampons in the past two years, we have a bit of terrifying news for you. Kimberly-Clark is recalling countless packs of regular-absorbency U by Kotex Sleek tampons, as the products may unravel or come apart inside your body. No, that wasn’t a typo.
The tampon recall was issued on Dec. 11, and according to the press release affects Kotex Sleek tampons sold in Canada and the United States. The products were manufactured between Oct. 7, 2016, and Oct. 16, 2018, and distributed between Oct. 17, 2016, and Oct. 23, 2018.
The good news — if one can call it that — is that only specific lot numbers were affected, and a full list of recalled lot numbers is available on the U by Kotex website.
As for the basis of the recall, Kimberly-Clark announced it was pulling the product after receiving numerous reports that the regular-absorbency tampons were “unraveling and/or coming apart upon removal and, in some cases, causing users to seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”
Kimberly-Clark also received complaints of vaginal infections, irritations, injuries and/or other problems.
This isn’t the first time the company has recalled one of its feminine-hygiene products. In 2012, Kimberly-Clark recalled its Natural Balance Security Tampons after bacteria was found on its applicator, but this reason is new.
“I’ve seen recalls for bacterial contamination of the applicator and tampon, but not this kind of recall,” Dr. Jennifer Wider told Yahoo. And “this recall is actually a pretty big deal… pieces left behind can cause irritation, inflammation, swelling and infection. Women can also injure themselves trying to get it out. It’s not a good situation.”
If you have any of the affected products, you should stop using them immediately and contact Kimberly-Clark’s consumer service team at 888-255-3499 because you matter — and your vaginal health definitely matters.