Just like any other organ in your body, your vagina can sustain injuries such as cuts and tears. In most cases, vaginal cuts and tears aren’t serious and heal on their own without any issues. But in other instances, a cut on the vagina can be a sign of another issue, and it can cause some discomfort. Learning how to identify these injuries can help you determine whether it’s time to seek medical assistance, or if you have to make any changes to your routine.
If you’ve got a cut on your vagina and are wondering what to do next, read on to learn more about vaginal cuts and tears.
Why is there a cut inside my vagina?
There are many causes that can lead to cutting or scratching your vagina. Most superficial cuts on the genital area occur during sex, especially if you’ve recently had rough intercourse or haven’t used enough lubricant. In some cases, this can even lead to small cuts on your clitoris or labia.
Give superficial cuts time to heal, wash them with warm water everyday, and wear loose cotton underwear until you feel better. Fortunately, most superficial cuts will heal on their own within a few days.
Genital irritation can also increase your risk of developing cuts on the labia minora, majora, or other parts of your genitals. There are many possible causes of vaginal irritation, and according to the Cleveland Clinic, some of these causes can include:
- Contact dermatitis
- Lichen sclerosus
- Tight clothing
- Scented intimate hygiene products
It’s important to identify the source of your genital irritation. If it’s the result of a widespread skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis, you should seek medical assistance to get the condition under control. And if you notice that any external factors — such as a new soap, tight clothing, or scented pads — are causing the irritation, you should stop using them and find an alternative that is more gentle on your skin.
You can also see some genital abrasions after shaving or waxing your bikini area. The skin around your genitals is very delicate, and you should be gentle during hair removal to avoid tears or cuts. Razor bumps or ingrown hairs are also relatively common after shaving this area.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, vaginitis is a condition that causes inflammation or infection of the vagina.
Certain infections and STDs that cause vaginitis can increase your risk of cuts inside the vagina and labial abrasions. This happens because the infection increases swelling in your vagina, making the tissues prone to irritation, tears, or cuts. Some of the infections that can lead to vaginal cuts include:
To get these cuts to heal, it’s important to identify the pathogen that’s causing the infection and treat it.
Some women get vaginal tears during childbirth, and in some cases, your OB-GYN may choose to do an episiotomy to help get the baby out. An episiotomy is a cut that’s made in a woman’s perineum to widen the birth canal, and it’s stitched after the delivery is over. Episiotomies aren’t routine procedures anymore, but they may still be necessary in certain cases — especially if there’s any fetal distress.
According to the NHS, massaging your perineum everyday during the last few weeks of pregnancy can help the skin stretch more easily during childbirth. This can reduce the risk of needing an episiotomy or tearing.
Vaginal dryness, also known as atrophic vaginitis or vaginal atrophy, is common during menopause. Atrophic vaginitis causes the tissues in your vagina to become thin and friable, increasing the risk of cuts and tears. This is a result of the decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone that happen during menopause.
Symptoms of cuts inside the vagina
It can be difficult to identify cuts inside the vagina, since they’re not easily seen by the naked eye. However, some signs can help you realize that you have a vaginal wound:
- Mild pain
- Burning sensation when you urinate, bathe, or shower
- Discomfort during sex
- Itching or burning sensation in your genital area
When to seek medical attention
In most cases, small vaginal scratches that occur during sex will heal on their own. But if this happens often, you should consider using more lubricants, or avoiding certain positions. You can also ask your physician for help on this topic.
Depending on your symptoms and history, they could recommend certain treatments — such as vaginal estrogen to treat menopause symptoms — or order more tests to determine the cause of the problem.
You should also seek medical attention if your vaginal wounds aren’t healing properly, or if you develop any signs of an infection. Symptoms of infection can include:
- Persistent itching
- Pus-like discharge
- Lower abdominal pain
Any signs of an infected cut on the vagina should be taken seriously and treated as quickly as possible. In these cases, your doctor will probably prescribe some antibiotics to clear the infection. It’s very important to continue taking your antibiotics until you finish the treatment, even if your symptoms start to improve before the course of antibiotics is over.
If you’re experiencing vagina fissures or cuts, and also have other signs such as unusual discharge, painful urination, or genital sores or bumps, you should consider taking an STD test. There are many places where you can get tested for STDs — including your own home. Thanks to at-home STD testing, you can collect your samples from the privacy of home and wait for your results to be sent back. You can learn more about at-home STD testing at STDWatch.com.
Sexual Health: Genital Itching - my.clevelandclinic.org
Vaginitis - my.clevelandclinic.org
Episiotomy and perineal tears - nhs.uk