It may be after an especially vigorous night at your boyfriend’s house or it may just happen randomly. No matter what the cause is, you may feel a burning sensation or pain in your vagina. This can be characterized by localized soreness that is uncomfortable. You may feel more pain when you urinate or even sitting could make you feel uncomfortable. Although it is possible that this is caused by an infection, it may also be due to vaginal tearing.
How Does Vaginal Tearing Work?
Vaginal tearing generally occurs when cuts or lacerations occur on the lips, tissue or outer edges of the vagina. These may be anywhere from the anal opening to the anterior wall. If the tearing is serious, it may cause deep lacerations that affect the muscles and fat that lie beneath the skin. Although there can be many causes, the following are the most likely.
Age-Related Changes: As you get older, your body will naturally start to age. Things like menopause can cause changes in your hormones which increase the chances of vaginal tearing. If estrogen levels drop, it can weaken your blood circulation and cause your skin to thin. This thinner skin may cause your old scars to feel irritated and increases the chances that you will tear the thin lining of your vaginal tissue.
Sexual Intercourse: Vigorous or frequent sex can cause vaginal tearing. This is especially common if you have not engaged in enough foreplay or used lubricant to make sure that the skin is wet and receptive. Even if you are not engaging in sexual intercourse with someone else, sex toys or masturbation can cause the same thing to happen.
Sports: Vigorous sports like jet skiing, horseback riding or gymnastics can increase the likelihood of tearing the vagina because you are putting excessive pressure on this area.
Obstetric Causes: Giving birth is an extremely intense experience for your body. If the doctor is not careful during delivery or if it is a high-risk delivery like a breech position, it can lead to tearing. Certain medications during delivery, a fast labor or a larger infant can all increase the likelihood of the vaginal tissue becoming torn.
According to doctors, there are three degrees of vaginal tearing. The first level just affects the outer skin, while the second layer damages some internal tissue. In the third degree of tearing, the deep tissues are affected, and the severe bleeding may require surgical care.
How Can You Prevent Vaginal Tearing?
Healing takes much longer than prevention, so your main goal should be to prevent your vaginal tissue from tearing. Reducing the intensity of a workout or sexual intercourse can help your body. If your goal is to prevent vaginal tearing from happening, the following tips were designed for you.
Stop Having Sex
You do not have to stop having sex permanently. If sexual intercourse is the reason behind your vaginal tearing, then taking a break for a few days or weeks will allow the tissue enough time to heal completely.
Take a Bath
A warm, comfortable bath can help to alleviate some of the pain that you are currently experiencing. Plus, the warm water will help to boost the blood flow and dilate the blood vessels in your pelvis region. This will help your body to heal faster.
After a cut or tear, you may lose some blood. If this happens, it may cause you to feel weak or dizzy temporarily. While this feeling passes, make sure to get enough rest and drink plenty of fluids.
Leave It Alone
Do not touch, use or mess with the area that has been torn. The tear needs to heal naturally, and the pain will go away with a few days of healing. Bleeding should stop within a couple of hours. You need to leave this area alone though so that you do not unintentionally make the tear worse.
Doctors and Medication
When you have severe vaginal tearing, you may need to visit a doctor to get help. If you have heavy bleeding or bleed through more than three pads in the first 24 hour time period, you should immediately seek medical care. Disagreeable odors or a fever above 100.4 degrees are also signs that you may need help. When the bleeding or tear is not serious, you can always resort to over-the-counter pain killers like acetaminophen to deal with the pain. You can also apply a cold compress using ice in a towel or pad to help soothe the affected area.
In the future, your goal should be to prevent vaginal tearing. Eating healthily and doing kegel exercises to increase the strength of your pelvic muscles can help. If a difficult labor is the cause, slower pushing will help to stretch the perineum and prevent tearing. Perineal massage from the 34th week on may also help to get the perineum prepared for birth.