The makers of Kotex brand tampons, Kimberly-Clark, have issued a voluntary recall on certain tampons currently being sold throughout Canada and the United States. As reported by Yahoo! Lifestyle, the company is recalling U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, Regular Absorbency after complaints came in about the quality of the product.
According to Kimberly-Clark, consumers have been complaining that the tampons in question have a pretty major malfunction: they fall apart inside the user. Numerous complaints have come in about the tampons unraveling or falling apart when users attempted to remove them.
Some users were forced to seek medical attention after tampon pieces were left stuck inside their body. Others sustained injuries of varying degrees when attempting to remove the tampon pieces on their own — a move medical experts strongly advise against.
Additionally, the company admits that users have complained about irritation, infections, and assorted other unpleasant symptoms after using the tampons in question.
The recall impacts tampons that were made between October 7 of 2016 and October 16 of this year. The tampons were reportedly distributed in the United States and Canada between October of 2016 and October of 2018.
Users that may have tampons that were purchased and produced during that time are urged to check the lot numbers on the package to see if they have been compromised. If they are, they should be discarded immediately. Those that suspect they’ve been using these recalled tampons should contact a doctor if they have any symptoms or concerns.
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Stores are being urged to ditch the faulty tampons as well. Many are posting notices to alert consumers about this chain of events. Meanwhile, experts are trying to figure out exactly how these tampons malfunctioned in such an unusual way. The fact that the tampons can leave pieces behind inside the user is particularly concerning to medical professionals.
“Pieces left behind can cause irritation, inflammation, swelling and infection,” Jennifer Wider, MD told Yahoo! Lifestyle. “Women can also injure themselves trying to get it out. It’s not a good situation.”
Kotex has had issues with quality before. Back in 2012, the company was forced to issue a massive recall of its Natural Balance Security tampons when bacteria was found on the applicator portion. Tampon users ran the risk of enduring UTIs, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infections that could be potentially life-threatening.
Kimberly-Clark has set up a hotline for consumers who have questions or concerns, although again they advise anyone having adverse symptoms to seek immediate medical attention.