Aunt Vadge: I masturbated and bled – have I hurt myself?

Dear Aunt Vadge, 

I tried to masturbate when I was not wet and I started to bleed. I’m scared I tore my vagina really bad, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I should wait for it to heal itself. I checked again, and the urethra doesn’t look the same.

It doesn’t burn when I pee or anything, but the vagina continues to bleed. I don’t know how my mom would react if I told her about it. Should I wait for it to heal by itself, or go right away to a doctor? BTW this just started today.

Age: 15

Country: U.S

Dear Bleeding

You have probably just damaged your vagina a little bit, and it will heal by itself. It’s quite hard to damage yourself masturbating too badly, since you are in control of the sensations, and if it starts to really hurt, you would stop. I would recommend waiting it out, as I’m fairly sure it will heal by itself.

Minor cuts and tears can be encouraged to heal well with a vulva and vagina-friendly cuts cream.

If you think you have really damaged yourself, then you should definitely see a doctor, but this seems unlikely considering the circumstances. If the masturbating was not the day the bleeding started, then they are unrelated – bleeding from a wound starts immediately.

I know this might seem a bit stupid, but make sure it isn’t your period – when you are just starting out with periods in your early teens, periods can appear and disappear at odd times without warning. It’s possible that you maybe hurt yourself, but then coincidentally, your period has also arrived unexpectedly. To make sure you know when your periods are due, get a period tracker app on your phone or mark it on a calendar. Figure out how many days long your normal cycle is (it will vary from month to month, and for normal cycles, will be between 21 and 35 days long).

If the bleeding continues, you are in pain, or your vagina or urethra starts to get hot and seem red and infected, you need to get to a doctor quickly. If the bleeding has stopped (or is like a period), then I think you will be just fine. Read this article about how to take care of a vaguely damaged vagina.

If you are concerned, you should try to talk to your mother – she has had a vagina for a long time, and knows what can happen to them! Tears and cuts are par the course, and for someone who has given birth to a giant baby, your mother will be no stranger to it and be more helpful than you think.

You don’t have to say you were masturbating if you don’t want to – you can just say you have hurt your vagina a bit by accident, and can she take you to a doctor, or give you some advice about what’s happening. She isn’t going to be like, “What were you doing!” – she has a vagina too. Things happen.

Write anytime!

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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