Hi Aunt Vadge,
I have a tear on my inner labia caused by sexual intercourse. It’s about an inch long that I can see and appears to be deep.
I had not even realized it happened until I went to the bathroom the next morning, where it bled quite a bit while I was urinating, but hasn’t bled since. It isn’t extremely painful except when urinating.
I immediately went to the pharmacy and got medicated wipes with witch hazel, and the pharmacist told me to use miconazole [antifungal] cream on it.
My question is, should I see a doctor or will this heal itself? If it’s deep enough will I require stitches? I can see red inside the tear that is not blood.
Savannah, Georgia, USA
Thanks for your email. It is very likely that your cut will heal up quite nicely by itself but it’s important that if you think you need stitches, to at least be examined. That’s a deep cut.
Cuts on mucous membranes tend to be very fast-healing (like the mouth), so if you think about how well your mouth heals after you bite your cheek by mistake, you’ll understand what the vagina is like (more or less).
Minor cuts and tears can be encouraged to heal well with a moisturising vagina-friendly cuts cream, but you sound like you are onto it. So long as the bleeding has stopped and the cut appears to be getting better, you are unlikely to have a problem.
When to see a doctor, if not now
If you feel concerned go to your local sexual health clinic or doctor to be examined. They will quickly determine if you have a bigger problem than you thought.
If you are still able to see a visible fissure in a week, it starts to bleed or weep, or you start to feel more pain, see a doctor.
What to do next
In the meantime, be super gentle, don’t irritate it at all with anything. Just use warm water to very gently wash without too much soap or bubbles near the tear, don’t have sex, scratch yourself, masturbate, wear tight clothes, or generally disturb your labia.
If you think of the process as a hands-free sort of sewing – your body attaches the proteins together, and when you pull them apart, it means it has to start all over again.
The other main concern is how this happened without you knowing. A cut in your labia so big you would consider stitches, from sex, is a big enough deal that you need to investigate just for your own peace of mind. Key offenders are obviously fingernails (your own included), but you can be the judge of that!
Write again anytime.