Although pain during or after sex can be attributed to more serious health issues, it’s likely that you simply received some cuts while getting it on. “Yes — it’s actually quite common to get small tears on the vaginal walls during sex,” One Medical provider Navya Mysore, MD, told POPSUGAR.
Oftentimes, this occurs when the vaginal area isn’t sufficiently lubricated. Dr. Mysore added that other conditions, including lichen sclerosis, eczema, psoriasis, or lichen planus, can make getting vaginal tears more common. So, how do you differentiate pain caused by an STI vs. a vaginal tear?
You may see a small amount of spotting or feel minor irritation or burning with urination, but other symptoms can indicate a potential infection: different colored discharge, itchiness, pus from the site of the tear, vaginal lesions, or pelvic cramps or pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your primary care provider.
How to Treat Vaginal Tears Caused by Sex
“Most often, small vaginal tears will heal on their own,” Dr. Mysore said. “Vaginal mucosa is very well innervated with blood flow and tends to heal very quickly.” She also advises you clean superficial cuts with warm water once or twice a day and avoid using harsh or scented soaps on the area.
I’ve personally found coconut oil to be a miracle worker when it comes to soothing and healing painful cuts caused by too much friction during sex. Just apply a small amount onto the skin surrounding the vaginal opening and on the inner labia for instant relief.
If the pain is significant, Dr. Mysore recommended taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. In the meantime, it’s best to wear cotton underwear and to avoid wearing tight clothing. You also may want to give sex a break for a day or two until the pain subsides.
How to Prevent Them From Happening
Lubrication is key! Make sure you’re fully aroused before penetration and go slowly at the start. “Make sure fingers are clean and fingernails are trimmed, so there are no inadvertent cuts with possible foreplay,” she said.