Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in Boston who lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. She regularly (and generously!) answers your health questions here on EMandLO.com. To ask her your own, click here.
Hi, I recently had sex with a friend (with benefits) and he was going a little rough and I felt somewhat like my vagina ripped. It hurt and I wasn’t able to continue having sex, so we stopped. When I got home I wiped myself with feminine wipes and noticed some blood. I looked at my vagina in a mirror and noticed it was torn. My coworker suggested I use Lanacane First Aid Spray since she said she was given that at the hospital when her vagina was torn from giving birth. I’m really skeptical about spraying it down there in the cut, or spraying it on my vagina, but I don’t want it to get infected. Meanwhile a friend of mine said that happened to her as well and she doesn’t recommend the spray, to just let it heal on its own. I’m not sure what to do ? Should I use the spray ?
First things first: are you doing okay right now? Is the cut still bleeding, or are you in a lot of pain? If so, you need to see your gyno ASAP. Deep tears, or tears in certain places, can lead to a scary amount of bleeding, and need urgent medical attention. I’ve had a few patients who needed to have vaginal tears sewn up under sedation, because the bleeding just wouldn’t stop. And if you’re still in a lot of pain in that spot, you could be developing a collection of blood called a hematoma – like a really big bruise in your vagina – and only a clinician can tell you if it’s okay to heal on its own.
If the bleeding has stopped and the pain is much better, the tear is likely superficial, as most tears in the vagina from sex are. Happily, the vagina is good at self-healing from these abrasions, and your best move is to leave it alone – no sprays, no ointments, just let the skin heal. It’s okay to take a bath as you’re healing – but no washing yourself internally, just use your fingers and gentle soap on the outside. And it may go without saying, but put NOTHING in your vagina for the next 2 weeks, at least: no tampons, no toys, and certainly no penises or sex toys.
Going forward, there’s nothing wrong with a quickie, or having sex just to have sex. But you still want your body to be ready before you have intercourse – that means enough foreplay to get you aroused, and enough manmade lube to ensure smooth entry.
I’m glad that you stopped when it hurt – way to listen to what your body is telling you! And in the future, if a partner’s rough thrusting is making you nervous or starting to feel uncomfortable, don’t wait for an abrasion or tear to tell him to ease up.
— Dr. Kate