Aunt Vadge: can I use tampons with a vaginal tear?

Hi Aunt Vadge,
I’m 19 years old. I’m not sexually active and I don’t work out. I think in the last week of November I accidentally tore my vagina. I did spend nearly 10 minutes carefully looking with a mirror, but I can’t find where the tear is. It did bleed a little, then stopped, and I haven’t been able to properly sit down because it’s sensitive. It didn’t bleed again; it was only once that night and there was discharge. It also doesn’t sting when I pee.

I’m writing this now because I should be starting my period on December 12th and I’m worried about using tampons. I was wondering if you think I should make a doctor’s appointment before my period starts, because it’s not going away.

This same thing happened in January 2016. I didn’t tell anyone, and I forgot what I did or how long until it stopped bothering me. I think if I actually did something sexual with someone or even by myself then it would start bleeding a little again. I really hope you can help me.

Sincerely,
Bothered

Dear Bothered,

If you can use a tampon and it doesn’t hurt, then you can use a tampon. If you try to insert a tampon and it hurts, then don’t use tampons. If you still can’t sit down properly, you really need to go and be examined by a doctor, as there would seem to be something more serious going on than a simple tear. A tear that isn’t healing or is so deep (even if you can’t see it) that it is still hurting you two weeks later needs medical attention. They can’t really do much about it, but they can at least tell you what’s going on so that you can address it in terms of self-care. This is important, since they can advise you whether using a tampon is a good idea or not.

If your tear feels like it’s healing nicely but is still tender, then perhaps forgo the tampons this period, and try again next time.

You are the best judge of how you feel, so just avoid hurting yourself further and avoid irritation to the healing wound. I know it can be costly and embarrassing to go to the doctor, but if your tear is still hurting, it would pay to have someone look you over to see why. That healing time for a general tear doesn’t seem normal to me.

Why are you tearing yourself so frequently – what were you doing exactly? If this is the second time in a year that you have torn your vagina or vulva to this degree, we need to look more carefully at what you’re up to!

Write back and let me know how it’s going now, and what you think.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

 

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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