‘My boyfriend left a condom inside me after sex – these are the health problems I’ve suffered since’

Obakeng Thobega. (Photo: Supplied to DRUM)
Obakeng Thobega. (Photo: Supplied to DRUM)

After a condom was unknowingly stuck inside 22-year-old Obakeng Thobega from Johannesburg, she found herself bleeding whenever she went to urinate. And upon visiting her doctor, she discovered much more damaged was caused in the two days that she was unaware of the incident. This is her story.

“One day in August last year, I felt very off and sick after having sex with my then-boyfriend. I just felt inflamed and really sick. I remember going to the toilet many times and noticing I was peeing blood. I knew something was happening and I felt the urge to just investigate what was happening down there. So I took a mirror and looked and that’s when I discovered there was a condom in there. So I had to take it out myself and I thought I’d be fine now that it was out and if I drank a lot of water.

The next day, while I was at work, it got worse. I asked my then-boyfriend to fetch me from work so he could take me to the hospital. Once I got there I was told I have a bladder infection due to the condom being inside me for two days. I was given medication and an injection. But I was allergic to the medication and because of that I developed ringworms and haemorrhoids (piles). I had to return to the doctor to notify them and to get treated for that as well.

I was given suppositories, which also didn’t work and because I was no longer able to relieve myself smoothly due to the piles. I ended up tearing something in my rectum so I had an anal fissure. I had to return to the doctor again to get more medication for that. At the same time, my bladder infection hadn’t healed and I started getting yeast infections. So now I had a bladder infection, haemorrhoids, an anal fissure and recurring yeast infections.

At this point I was getting treatment every other week for all these different problems. When I confronted my boyfriend, he said he hadn’t known and thought that the condom got lost during intercourse and was on the bed.

I stopped treatment in November and although I’m better, I was told I now have chronic yeast infections. Even with my anal fissure, I was told that it would never fully heal so I must be extra careful with everything I do. I had to start eating certain kinds of foods and stop eating food that would constipate me because if I get constipated, the anal fissure will return. I must eat a lot of fibre too and eat soft foods. So it definitely changed everything.

I now have to be careful with everything I eat, how I bath, where I sit – everything is basically not the same anymore.”

Speaking to DRUM, medical doctor, Dr NT Moukangwe says that the cause of condoms getting stuck in the vagina during sexual intercourse varies from using the incorrect condom size to the erection weakening.

“Although unlikely, you may find that the condom was too big and wasn’t gripping correctly around the penis. Secondly, what can happen is that after intercourse, now that the partner has ejaculated inside the condom, it becomes slippery and slimy and if they maintain the position of the intercourse then it could gently pull out and remain in the vagina when the male withdraws because at that time there is no erection,” he says.

He also says that any foreign object which enters the vagina is likely to cause infections.

“The damage it can cause is infections... any foreign stuff inside the vagina can cause an infection whereby one can develop smelly discharge which later develops into more severe complications,” he explains before giving three tips to prevent the situation from happening.

Here are Dr Moukangwe tips:

  1. Stop when the condom starts to feel loose – “The best way to prevent this is that during intercourse if the man feels that the condom is becoming loose, he should stop and change it.”
  1. Discard the condom immediately – “After intercourse he should withdraw and discard the condom immediately before losing the erection completely.”
  1. Choose other methods – “The partners can opt for other barrier protective measures such as the fermidom”