Hey, accidents happen to everyone. If you’ve been menstruating for many years, it’s easy to forget when you have a tampon in. You don’t really notice them after a while, right? So it’s easy to see how someone could forget about wearing a tampon and then try to pursue other activities, only to realize a disaster has occurred. So what happens if you have sex with the tampon in? Will you be okay, or should you go straight to the emergency room?

The answer depends on the severity of your pain. If it’s hurting majorly, then by all means see a doctor right away. If you aren't hurting much or at all, then this might be one problem you can remedy at home with a little patience and luck. (And if this thought is completely freaking you out, then consider looking into getting a menstrual cup so you can avoid the possibility altogether. This is one mistake that you do not want to make twice.)

Either way, take a deep breath. Although you’re probably feeling a little panicky (and/or embarrassed), it’s actually not that uncommon. Yes, this situation is difficult to read about without cringing majorly, but it’s important to know what to do if the situation ever happens to you. So if you ever find yourself thinking, "now what" after accidentally getting it on while wearing a tampon, lets these nine facts keep you calm.

1. Try To Retrieve It STAT


If you're nervous and tense, this might be easier said than done. But there are a couple of techniques you can try. As Dr. Elizabeth Stewart told Cosmopolitan, you should "lie on your back and reach into your vagina with two clean fingers, feeling for the tampon string." If that doesn't work, she suggested standing "with one foot propped on the toilet or a chair" and trying fishing it out. Relaxing — as much as possible at least — will make the process easier.

2. Don't Hurt Yourself In The Process


If your efforts at retrieval aren't working, don't try to DIY a solution. Women's Health advises that you don’t insert anything to try to fish it out. Instead, it's probably time to call a doctor.

3. It Could Cause An Infection


Leaving it there is NOT an option. As noted in Go Ask Alice, "if a tampon is left in for too long, you do run the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS)," a rare but life-threatening infection. Whether you get it out yourself or have some help from a medical professional, timely retrieval can help lower your risk of this nasty infection.

4. You Could Feel Irritation After


Your moment of absentmindedness could result in a bit of pain. "Some soreness or tenderness might result from slight lacerations or bruising," sex educator Laura Berman said in Everyday Health. "But this is unlikely and also not a cause for concern." Hopefully the discomfort won't last for too long.

5. You Could Still Get Pregnant


Some women attempt to have sex while wearing a tampon under the mistaken impression that it may prevent pregnancy. This is definitely not based in fact. As noted in Planned Parenthood, "tampons don’t do a thing to prevent pregnancy." They do not count as birth control, so take them out before having vaginal intercourse.

6. It Can't Really Get Lost


It won't be gone forever. As the National Health Services said, "it's not possible for a tampon to get lost inside you and it will stay in your vagina after you've inserted it." It won't migrate to your spleen or anything.

7. Leaving It In Could Cause Other Symptoms


If you forgot that you forgot about the tampon before sex, there are other symptoms that may occur if it's still in place. According to Health Direct, symptoms of a retained object or tampon include "a very bad smell from your vaginal area, a high temperature of 40 degrees celsius or above," and "vaginal itching." If these sound familiar, then you may want to visit your doctor for a checkup and examination.

8. Call Your Doctor


Even if you manage to remove the tampon without any assistance, you should still schedule an appointment to make sure everything it OK

9. Remember, This Isn't Uncommon


You are not the only person who has dealt with this. In a segment for The Doctors, OB-GYN Lisa Masterson said that she sees one or two patients a week who have sex with a tampon. You'renot alone in this struggle and you will survive it.