Q&A: Healing Time For Genital Cuts And Tears

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QUESTION: I have a small tear on the area between my vagina and my anus. When my boyfriend and I have sex it hurts a little but once we get into it, it doesn't bother me. But then right after, it's the worst pain ever. Now the tear is really sore. How long will it take to heal?

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I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been in such pain and that the pain has gotten in the way of your sexual activities.

Usually A Few Days

Genital and anal cuts and tears usually heal within a few days, though it can depend on their size and severity as well as how you care for the cut or tear as it is healing. I’d recommend calling your healthcare provider’s office and asking to speak with a nurse who may be able to provide you with specific suggestions about how to care for the tear.

Sometimes genital cuts and tears require special treatment, such as specific types of antibiotic creams, to prevent against infection given how close they are to the anus and any bacteria that may be in the area.

Check In With Your Healthcare Provider

If the cut or tear does not heal, or if you find that you are relatively prone to genital or anal cuts or tears, I would highly recommend checking in with your healthcare provider.

Some people have certain skin conditions that result in sensitive, fragile skin that can easily be torn or irritated. There are treatments available for some of these conditions that help to make one’s skin stronger again and less likely to tear.

Modify How You Have Sex

I’m not sure how you got the cut in the first place, but if you originally got it during sex, then you might consider whether there are ways that you can modify your sex to make cuts and tears less likely.

For example, you might consider using a water-based lubricant during sex to reduce friction or try positions or intensities of sex that are more comfortable for you.

Recommended Reading

Finally, you might find it helpful to read The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health which provides information about genital health, including genital tearing.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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