Vaginal Tearing: Treatment and Prevention

You just had great sex with your loved one and several hours later your vagina feels sore, as if it has tears around the vaginal opening. Whenever you urinate you try to avoid getting the sore part wet or else it will burn. Sometimes even sitting down causes you pain and you don't know how to relieve it. Are you wondering if it's an infection? It might just be a vaginal tear.

Causes of Vaginal Tearing

A vaginal tear is a cut or laceration in the skin surrounding the opening of the vagina. It can also occur above the opening of the vagina or in the area between your anus and your vagina. Aside from the skin, the deeper fat and muscle layers may also be affected. The most common cause of vaginal tearing is sexual intercourse, although it can also occur in women who have just given birth.

  • Sex - During sexual intercourse, the vagina is usually lubricated with natural fluids from the cervix and vagina. However, sometimes inadequate lubrication and vaginal dryness can lead to trauma that produces vaginal cuts or abrasions. Vaginal dryness may be related to inadequate foreplay, which usually stimulates vaginal fluid secretion. Less common causes related to sexual intercourse include use of sex toys that can hurt the vagina and sexual abuse.
  • Giving birth - Giving birth to a big baby or to one in the breech position may cause deep vaginal lacerations. This can also happen if labor was rapid and the mother could not control the passage of her baby.
  • Menopause - Another factor is menopause, which causes thinning of the vaginal walls as well as vaginal dryness.
  • Others - Non-obstetric causes of vaginal tears include sports activities such as riding a bike, water skiing, or jet skiing.

Treatments for Vaginal Tearing

The treatment for vaginal tears may depend on the degree of laceration. First degree tears are superficial lacerations of the skin in the vagina. Second degree tears involve the skin and fat tissue under the skin. Third degree and fourth lacerations involve the deeper muscles in the vaginal wall. These lacerations may cause a lot of bleeding, requiring surgical repair.

  • Leave it alone - Superficial vaginal tears may produce mild bleeding that usually stops within a few minutes, but may last up to one day. This can be treated at home, although medical consultation should be sought if bleeding is heavy.
  • Avoid Sex - To avoid pain and further bleeding, avoid vaginal douching. Try to avoid sexual intercourse for a few weeks to give it time to heal.
  • Rest - If you have lost a considerable amount of blood, you may feel weak and dizzy. You may need to rest until you recover from these symptoms and your laceration heals.
  • Medications - You can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help control your pain.
  • Warm bath - Sitting in a warm bath that covers your hips and buttocks can help relieve this pain.
  • Ice compress - You can also try to apply ice wrapped in a towel or cloth or witch hazel pads to the affected areas.
  • Consult a doctor - Ask your doctor when and how you can safely have sexual intercourse to avoid future injury. If your vaginal tear is severe, you must consult a doctor immediately, especially if you experience heavy bleeding, dizziness, faintness, fever, and lower abdominal pain. Vaginal discharge with a bad odor may be a sign of vaginal infection related to vaginal tears and may require antibiotic treatment.

Prevention of Vaginal Tearing

You may also consider ways to avoid vaginal tears in the future.

  • Try using a water-based lubricant during intercourse to remedy vaginal dryness and avoid tears. Avoid oil-based lubricants because they may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction. They can also damage condoms and put you at risk of becoming pregnant or contracting an infection.
  • Engaging in adequate foreplay is a natural way of producing vaginal lubrication, which can prevent vaginal tears.
  • Finally, try a different sexual position, such as woman-on-top, to avoid traumatic tears.