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Tampon Test question Tampon Test question

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Unread 03-07-2004, 09:10 PM
Tampon Test question

Hi, I am still trying to find the reason for my leaking.

I had the cystoscopy and it showed nothing. The urologist decided to give me medicine to change the color of my urine and told me to insert a tampon to see if it is vaginal. Has anyone done this test at home? How long do you leave the tampon in? I never used them anyway - because I didn't like them. And to use it with a shorter vagina (due to TVH) and being dry is very uncomfortable to me. I am not sure how long I need to do this.

I can definitely confirm the leaking is urine now - because my pad has blue on it.

Any advice?

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Unread 03-08-2004, 01:22 AM
Tampon Test question

Hi Danette,

How frustrating for you to still not know what is going on. The tampon test should only need to be done once. I would insert the tampon and try to have it in when the bladder feels full because if you have only a microscopic hole then it is more likely to leak when the bladder is full. You shouldn't need to leave it in for long and you should only have to do it once. My cystogram and IVP didn't show a fistula because it was so small but the tampon test did show some blue at the tip. I would take it out before you empty your bladder.

Good luck and I hope you get some answers soon. Let us know what your result is.

Unread 03-08-2004, 05:52 AM
Tampon Test question


Thanks so much your response. I know we have discussed this before. So some of your tests were negative, too? What did you do after the tampon test? What was the next step?

The urologist and I both suspected I had a fistula, but he said he saw no hole. I asked if it could have been very tiny - and he said he would have expected it to irrated where the hold would be. Of course, I had been on Detrol for two weeks - so I'm not sure whether that would have masked anything.

Did/do you have any pain with yours? I had some pain before I start Detrol in January. I'm not taking it right now - the urologist wanted me to stop.

Thanks for your help!
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Unread 03-08-2004, 08:36 AM
Tampon Test question

sorry you are having problems. Ruth gave you some good answers since it sounds like your situation is somewhat similar.

I had the tampon test, and just left it in a few hours. Maybe you could lubricate it with something--ask your Dr if KY Jelly or something is OK--I don't see how that would interfere with the test result.

I did mine for about 4 hours, but I had a pretty big hole, so it was obvious quickly. I put the test tampon in a sandwich baggie to take to the dr. hehe.

Hope all goes well for you.

Fluffy Lemur
Unread 03-08-2004, 09:03 PM
Tampon Test question

Thanks for your reply, Fluffy

I keep coming back to the suspicion that I have a fistula - but this has been going on for three months now.

I like your idea about the lubricant.

To tell you the truth, when I did the test yesterday, it looked like there was faint blue on the most inner part of the tampon - but I want to repeat the test to be sure. I don't know how long I left the tampon in - because I can't stand them and I am uncomfortable - I always have been.

I noticed that you also had a hematoma, like I did. I was wondering if that could have caused the leak. I actually had a hematoma/cellulitis thing two weeks post op.

I definitely have leaked every day since I had my hysterectomy - but at first there was more than urine leaking. I brought up my concern at my 6-week check -up and then have been pursuing it more aggressively since 11 weeks post op.

I dread further surgery and catheterization - but leaking from now on doesn't seem like a good long-term situation.

This is such a tough thing to deal with, isn't it?

Thanks for the support!
Unread 03-08-2004, 11:32 PM
Tampon Test question

Hi Danette,

I didn't have any pain with mine and once the cystogram and IVP were negative the Urologist decided to wait and see if it would heal naturally because he said it must be microscopic.

Some sisters have been left with a catheter for a few weeks to give the hole a chance to heal naturally but I didn't have one, I just kept a graph to record the daily loss so we could see if it improved or not. Some days it was only a spot the size of a fingernail, other days it was dry, some days it was more. It seemed to gradually improve for the first 2 months and the Uro said it could take up to a year, but then after Xmas I started to have days when I could feel it gush out and there were no more dry days. It seemed to get steadily worse and I had to increase my pad size from just liners to mini-pads to now thick pads. Apparently over the time a fistula can 'mature' which means it becomes bigger and easier to see. The Uro also said that the scar on the bladder from the TAH is a bit like a burn scar, it will expand and contract and that can cause the periods of dryness and then the gushing. Once it ceased to improve the Uro did a cystoscopy and he still couldn't see the actual hole but it did leak the blue dye quite a lot which convinced him I need surgery. I have had a failed vaginal repair and he said an abdominal repair is the only choice to fix it once and for all. So now it has been almost 10 months since my hyster and I have been leaking for 5 and a half months.

You are wise to do another tampon test just to check. If it was not conclusive then try to leave it in until the bladder is quite full because that is when you are more likely to leak. Please let us know what happens! You can ask us questions at any time on this emotional road.

Unread 03-09-2004, 06:02 AM
Tampon Test question

Hi there!

Yes, yes..this IS a long road..but you CAN get through this thing!

I never had the tampon test initially b/c by the time I convinced the gyno to see me, it was a full 6 weeks after my hyst and I'd been leaking steadily - went from liners to full blown maxi incontinence pads- by that time.

So after a dismissive visit with that gyno, I found a uro/gyno who (a few weeks later) did a cystoscopy & IVP, & "lucky for me" the hole was easy to find. It was right above the vaginal cuff in my case, low-front of the bladder & so I leaked constantly & as Blossom said, my fistula (over 4 months time) went from being described as the 'size of a sewing needle' to 'big enough to pass a catheter through during surgery without having to excise any tissue'.

I think it depends where exactly the hole is in the bladder as to when/how often/heavily one leaks. I agree that lubricant would be an excellent idea & having a full bladder (drink lots) an hour or so before doing the test if you're doing it again. Maybe you'd be more comfortable about the tampon test if you requested your doc do it? I don't know..but I do know you really deserve some resolution here & can totally understand how frustrating this is for you.

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Let us know the result of the next tampon test, ok?

Unread 03-10-2004, 09:41 PM
Tampon Test question

Well, I think I do not want to deal with this. I should be calling the urologist and letting him know - but I did not see a lot of blue on the tampon. When I did it yesterday - it was very faint - but definitely wet. I keep thinking I will take four more pills and one more tampon.

What else could it be? I have had blue stains on my pad every day since I first took this "urimax". There has not been one leak-free day since I had my hysterectomy. I don't know if I posted this before - but I have also gone on Premarin - in case the problem was atrophy. I don't think it has made any difference on that - but I don't mind the HRT.

But I am in denial - I don't want a catheter or further surgery - but I don't want to leak.

Sorry for venting - but I am having so much trouble taking this next step.

Thanks for all the support.
Unread 03-11-2004, 03:23 AM
Tampon Test question

Hi Danette,

I know this is dreadful for you, but at least if you can determine what is going on then you can start to adjust to what is required to fix it. You have been damp now for 3 months and I am sure you must feel you need to know what is happening.

If the tampon was wet and faintly blue then it does appear there may be a very small fistula there. It may be best to do the test but not drink too much, therefore the blue will stay a stronger colour as opposed to becoming dilute with the urine. If it is really small, as it seems to be, you do have a chance of it healing naturally. The Uro told me it can take up to 12 months but if they decide to 'wait and see' at least it is better than surgery. Then again, if you do end up having surgery down the track, at least you know you have given it your best shot of healing naturally first. I have not been able to find anyone on the site who has had a fistula heal naturally, but my own Uro said one of his patients did heal naturally quite recently, so it does happen!

Please try to be strong. I do understand the despair you are probably feeling right now. When I first did the tampon test and it came out with urine on it I didn't believe my own eyes, I think my brain shut down or something! I cried and cried, didn't tell anyone in the family, then the next day I waited till I had a full bladder before taking out the tampon and yo, it was full of urine. The I REALLY cried. I called the hospital where I had my vaginal repair (this was 4 months later!) and sobbed hysterically to the poor nurse. After my Gyn examined me I was referred to a Uro and at this time had psyched myself up for another vaginal repair ( of course they could just 'stitch' me up! ) and was shocked and devastated when he described the abdominal repair to me insisting that was the only way. I drove home for an hour, sobbing hysterically and talking on my hands free mobile to my best friend who kept me talking and concentrating on the road the whole time, otherwise I don't know what would have happened. Now almost 5 months down the track I can't believe the turn around my whole psyche has done. I have see-sawed between devastation and despair to now looking forward to my surgery and I would only be devastated if it was cancelled!

I am writing this to you in the hope that it will help you to understand that we sisters DO know how you feel. I would never have believed that I could feel as happy as I do now, 4 days away from surgery, compared to what a basket case I was in October. Time really does help. So give yourself time to adjust, you are a strong sister, we women have to be! And you will be dry one day and this will have passed. Feel free to PM me with any questions if you want, and do keep venting! It really helps!

Unread 03-11-2004, 08:28 PM
Tampon Test question

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Blossom.

I can't believe how much trouble I am having facing calling the urologist back. Part of my problem is that last time I called, he called me back at my desk - and it is not a private place to talk. Maybe I will call and schedule an appt instead. He's very nice and easy to talk with - but this is such a private subject.

I hope your repair surgery goes well. What is the expected recovery time for that?

Thanks for all the support!

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