Retained sex toys: an increasing and possibly preventable medical condition

Int J Colorectal Dis. 2019 Jan;34(1):181-183. doi: 10.1007/s00384-018-3125-4. Epub 2018 Jul 20.


Purpose: Retained foreign rectal objects may require surgical removal. To estimate the magnitude of this problem, we report the incidence and treatment of retained rectal objects at a large emergency hospital, and calculate incidence rates at the national level in Sweden.

Methods: All local patient records during 2009-2017 with the diagnosis foreign body in anus and rectum (ICD-10 T185) were accessed and analyzed retrospectively. All Swedish in- and outpatient visits during 2005-2016 with the code T185 were accessed from the National Patient Register.

Results: We show an increasing incidence in rectal foreign bodies in Swedish national data. The increase was most noticeable in men, and in our local register there was an overrepresentation of sex toys leading to laparotomy and stoma.

Conclusions: To mitigate surgical cost and comorbidity, policies to decrease the risk of retained sex toys could be considered.

Keywords: Complication; Endoscopic treatment; Gastrointestinal surgery; General surgery; Rectal foreign body.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anal Canal / pathology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / epidemiology*
  • Foreign Bodies / prevention & control*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rectum / pathology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Young Adult