What causes vaginal tears?
The most common causes of vaginal tears and wounds include the following:
Vaginal tears can occur because of sexual activity
Vaginal tears are frequently caused by sexual activity when a person's penis, finger or other item inserted into the vagina causes injury to sensitive tissues.
The woman may experience slight bruises in the pelvic region and vaginal pain for a few days, especially after her first sexual activity due to vaginal tears.
Vaginal tears during sexual activity can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- harsh or vigorous thrusting of an object into the vaginal canal
- vaginal dryness or vulvovaginal atrophy (vaginal tissues become drier, thinner, and less elastic during sexual activity)
- certain skin disorders (such as eczema, lichen planus, or psoriasis)
- vaginal scarring or tissue damage (such as from surgery, pelvic radiation therapy)
- congenital deformities and some drugs (such as corticosteroids)
Shaving or waxing of pubic hair can cause vaginal tears
Another typical cause of vaginal cuts or tears is removing pubic hair with a razor. Waxing can sometimes result in visible wounds or tears on the skin. Hair removal, in addition to larger cuts or rips, can result in microscopic wounds. These little incisions are nonetheless large enough to enable bacteria into the body, raising the risk of skin infection.
Vaginal tears can occur during childbirth
Giving birth can result in severe wounds and rips to the vagina and perineum (perineal tears). These cuts or tears can make it difficult for a woman to walk or sit for a few days. Severe wounds or tears can be excruciatingly painful and bleed profusely. For a few weeks, the perineum (space between a person's rectum and vulva) is usually swollen and painful.
Additionally, the doctor may perform an episiotomy during childbirth to widen the vaginal opening and aid in difficult deliveries, and prevent the rupture of tissues. Episiotomies are more common with first-time vaginal births. Postpartum, the doctor or midwife usually closes the perineal tear with stitches.
During your pregnancy, choose a midwife or doctor who’s experienced with perineal massage to reduce the need for stitches during vaginal births, especially if there is a risk of needing an episiotomy.