Aunt Vadge: I’ve got painful slits in all the cracks


Vulva fissures can be a painful and worrying condition, often leading to concerns about herpes. However, if tests for herpes are negative, it’s important to explore other potential causes. These can range from yeast infections to unknown factors, requiring a thorough examination by a doctor or a specialist. Aunt Vadge emphasizes the importance of not jumping to conclusions and the value of specialist consultation for unresolved cases.

Hi Aunt Vadge ,

I have a question. I keep getting fissure-like cracks on my vulva. It can be really painful. It’s like slits in all the cracks.

They usually heal within a night or couple of days. They can occur after sex, or sometimes just come randomly or after my period.

I had a PCR herpes swab that was negative, and also had a negative IGG blood test for HSV1 and HSV2.

I’m so worried this is what is causing my fissures. Could you give me an opinion? Could it still be herpes? How often does it present like this or could it be something entirely different causing it?

Age: 28
Country: UK

Dear N,

If you have had a herpes test and it was negative, you can be sure you do not have herpes. We can overfocus on the problems we know cause these symptoms, with a classic one being {insert symptom here} ‘am I pregnant?!’. Herpes is one of those go-to’s.

You do not appear to have herpes, which means we need to move on to what else could be causing your cuts.

Vulvar cuts and tears can appear for many reasons, and I don’t have any information on your body (besides what you’ve told me) to go on, so I can only provide some references for you as to how to work backwards.

Search the site for cuts and tears – we’ve been through this many times before you, and there are plenty of resources to help you.

I’d suggest going to be examined by a doctor who can do swabs for you and make sure it’s not an underlying infection (like yeast), then you can go from there.

Sometimes mystery cuts can take a while to figure out, as there are so many reasons why they may appear, and come and go without any real pattern that you can see.

There is always a reason – nothing happens for no reason on your body, so keep hunting, see your doctor, and if you still end up without any answers or treatments, make an appointment with one of our vulvovaginal specialist naturopaths. We deal with this type of thing all the time, and have great detective skills!

Aunt Vadge