February 26, 2015

Q&A: It Burns When I Pee. Could This Be More Than Just Trauma?

It’s not uncommon for women to experience trauma to their genital skin or vaginal tissue. The question is, why is it happening to you so often?

Print More
Stethoscope

Stethoscope

Question: For a day or two after having vaginal intercourse, it burns when I pee. The first time it happened I went to the doctor thinking it was an UTI, but my urine tested negative. The doctor said it was probably just trauma caused by rough sex. It healed quickly. But now it is happening more and more frequently… sometimes twice a month! It’s very uncomfortable and I don’t know what to do. Could this be more than just trauma? How can I prevent it? We always use a water-based lubricant.

I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to go to your doctor the first time you had a burning sensation after having sex. Your doctor is right – it’s not uncommon for women to experience trauma to their genital skin or vaginal tissue when they have sex. Peeing afterwards can cause a burning sensation as urine runs along the open tissue.

Do You Tend To Have Rough Sex?

The question is, why is it happening to you so often? Does your partner seem to be particularly large in size? And regardless of his penis size, do you tend to have sex that’s kind of rough? If so, try seeing if more gentle intercourse helps at all. Often times, people replicate the kind of sex they see in porn – which is really not much like sex in real life – and so they do all kinds of banging around and heavy duty thrusting that can lead to tiny tears in the genitals and to some discomfort or pain. Some people like rough sex, but since you’re writing about micro-tears or genital traumas, I’m just trying to help you brainstorm here.

Lubrication

You mentioned that you use lubricant when you have sex, but how much? My team in the School of Public Health here at Indiana University has done product tests and research studies involving lubricant. We’ve seen that some people think they are using sufficient using lubricant, but they’re actually being pretty chintzy about it and only using lubricant comparable to the size of a pencil eraser or a dime. Try using more! Water-based lubricant absorbs quickly into the skin, anyway, so it’s better to start out with more than you think you need.

Continued Tearing?

If you’re still experiencing issues, please check in with another healthcare provider for a second opinion. You may ask if there appear to be any reasons why you keep tearing. Some women, for example, have skin disorders that make their genital skin more prone to tearing. Once they are successfully treated, which is often done through topical creams, the skin may be stronger and more resilient.

Learn More

To learn more about the care and keeping of your vagina, check out “Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva.”