Pain with sex is an issue for many women and there are a variety of reasons why women may feel pain either during or after intercourse. However, if you’ve recently had sex that was a little “rough” or went on for a long period of time, and you have significant “burning” pain afterwards – it’s possible that you are dealing with some tiny tears or cuts in the vagina. Why does this happen? Well the most common reason is lack of lubrication. If the vulvar tissues are not well lubricated, the thrusting of the penis in and out of the vagina can cause friction which leads to burns, dryness and micro-tears in the tissues. Lack of lubrication can be an issue for both pre- and post-menopausal women and can be secondary to anything from antihistamine use, oral contraceptives, and of course menopause. All of these conditions can cause vaginal dryness and even thinning and inflammation of the vulvovaginal tissues, making them more prone to tearing.
Of course, if you are experiencing burning pain after sex, it’s important to be screened for sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections. But if the pain occurs IMMEDIATELY after intercourse, it’s more likely that these micro-tears are to blame.
So, what to do if this happens to you? Well, one solution is the old tried and true – coconut oil to the rescue, yet again! Not only is coconut oil a fantastic lubricant and moisturizer, it is very “vagina” friendly and can help to instantly soothe and start the process of healing. It is also recommended that you wear loose-fitting cotton underwear and avoid sex for a few days to help expedite healing. Luckily, the tissues of the vagina have a lot of access to blood flow and are able to repair themselves very quickly. This is why women can have a vaginal childbirth and not perish in the process! Isn’t the vagina miraculous?!
If you are a sexually active woman who is prone to dryness and thinning of the vaginal tissues, it is a great idea to preemptively moisturize the vagina. This should be done at least a few times per week, and is not to be confused with lubrication during intercourse. We really love hyaluronic acid suppositories, such as Revaree, which can be purchased online. And if all else fails, speak to your provider about a topical hormonal cream such as estradiol or DHEA. If the tissues are hormonally deprived, they will lose their stretchiness and tearing is more likely to happen during intercourse. Last tip – make sure that all fingernails are trimmed and cleaned before any finger play. This will help to prevent micro-cuts and minimize exposure to bacteria and other contaminants. Now go enjoy that long afternoon quarantine romp. And, remember to bring the lube!