If you have a vaginal cut or tear as a result of sexual intercourse, firstly, try not to panic. These abrasions are common in women who are sexually active, and, though your tear may be bleeding and uncomfortable, usually these abrasions heal on their own given a little time. If your tear is quite severe, it will obviously take a little longer to heal, and it may be extremely uncomfortable. If you think the cut is significantly deep, or if you experience a high fever, significant pain, heavy bleeding, dizziness or lower abdominal pain, it is worth consulting your doctor or a sexual health clinic so that you can get an examination to make sure your cut isn't infected.  

How to take care of your tear

It's important that you keep your vaginal tear as clean as possible during the healing period, treating it like you would any other cut on your body. Try and have a shower every day, or at least rinse the cut well, using plain warm water only. If you do want to use a cleansing agent, use a very mild soap. And, if your tear feels particularly irritated or uncomfortable, a long soak in a warm bath may bring some relief. You could also try applying witch hazel pads or ice wrapped in a towel to the tear, as both these methods may bring some relief. Whatever you do, try not to touch the tear too much during the healing process, as you may irritate it further.

As long as the tear is quite superficial, you shouldn't have to worry about getting an infection, especially if you are taking good care of it. However, it's best to be aware of the warning signs of infection, which are redness, heat, swelling, and tenderness when you touch the tear. Again, if you suspect your tear is infected, seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

How to prevent cuts and tears from happening in the future

Vaginal cuts and tears can occur due to rough sex or fingering, but often the cause is the vulva being insufficiently lubricated prior to intercourse. When a woman is sexually excited, the vagina naturally produces fluids to lubricate the area during sexual intercourse, which reduces the friction that can cut or irritate the vaginal skin. Therefore, either using a lubricant during sex or engaging in plenty of foreplay and producing your own natural lubrication will mean that any abrasions are far less likely to happen. 

For more information to treat your vaginal cut, contact a sexual health clinic in your area, such as Travellers Medical Services.