Doctors find glass cup stuck in patient's bladder for four years

A 45-year-old woman came to an ER with typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection. After doctors found a stone 8 cm wide in her bladder, they removed it and discovered a glass inside.

 glass cup (illustrative) (photo credit: STOCKSNAP)
glass cup (illustrative)
(photo credit: STOCKSNAP)

A 45-year-old woman arrived at the hospital with symptoms indicative of cystitis, but doctors were stunned when an X-ray revealed a whole glass cup stuck inside her body. It was later revealed that the cup had been in the patient's bladder for 4 years, after she apparently used it during masturbation.

The glass cup was wrapped in a stone in the bladder that was 8 cm wide. Stones are usually so small that it’s difficult to see them with the naked eye.

The patient, a Tunisian resident, told doctors she had used the glass as a sex toy several years earlier, when she accidentally inserted it into the urethral opening instead of the vagina.

Her case was published in a medical journal with a scan and photo of the glass cup and the open stone. While the medical report doesn’t mention this, the woman may have experienced ‘urethral sounding’; this dangerous activity involves inserting a cup or any other object into the urethra, the tube through which urine passes to increase sexual pleasure and arousal as explained on Web MD. Doctors reported cases where women and men inserted things on purpose, whether they had mental problems or thought they would experience pleasure, and this is definitely not recommended. The report noted: "The motives most often associated with the presence of foreign bodies in the bladder are sexual or erotic in nature. Many are unable to remove them on their own and are very embarrassed to seek medical advice.”

The patient came to the emergency room at Habib Bourguiba Academic Hospital in Sfax, complaining of symptoms of urinary tract infection. She said that she had suffered from infections in the area several times, but was never tested. The woman had no blood in her urine and didn’t have urinary incontinence, the report said. However, the number of her red blood cells was higher than normal, which indicated that the body was fighting the infection.

Bladder stones are very small, usually no more than a few centimeters wide. They develop from the crystallization of minerals when the urine becomes concentrated as a result of urine residue in the bladder that fails to be completely emptied. However, stones can grow around a foreign object in the bladder, like this glass cup

Two days after surgery the woman recovered and was discharged. The authors of the report concluded: “The best treatment is avoidance, by balancing the atypogenic disorder and providing competent sex education.