Aunt Vadge: posterior fourchette constantly tears

Hi Aunt Vadge, 

The first couple times I had intercourse, I did not experience a fissure. 

A couple times went by and I experienced a fissure on my posterior fourchette. It heals in between every time I have intercourse. But then occurs again every time.

I want to know if I need stitches or what I need to do differently?

Yours,
Stitched Up
Age: 18
Country/Area: USA

Dear Stitched Up,

There are a few key things to discuss here. First, the first few times you had sex, you didn’t experience fissuring at all. Then, it started happening, which means it is something you are doing that is causing the tears.

If your boyfriend has a big penis compared to your vagina (we all come in different shapes and sizes), you may have a genital mismatch issue to contend with. If this is the case, you guys will need to spend a lot more time preparing your body and positioning yourselves to have sex than other couples.

How do you know if he has a big penis or if you have a small vagina? Well, his penis can be measured when it’s hard (with a ruler) and you can figure out if – according to other men’s penises – his is wide or long or both.

It’s a bit harder to measure your vagina, so the idea is not that his penis is ‘big’ or ‘small’, but whether it is big or small compared to your vagina. If he has a penis that is on the medium or larger side, and you have a size small vagina, you straight away have the source of your issue.

Gentle sex, lots of lube, proper positioning where you are in control, and making sure you are turned on before you try to have sex will help you figure out when the tears are happening and avoid them.

Why you may have tearing

  1. Were you properly turned on before penetration?
  2. Was the sex you were having more vigorous than the times before?
  3. Were you in a different position?
  4. Did you use lubricant or condoms?

You do not need stitches – in fact, stitches would almost certainly make the problem worse by making your vaginal entrance (introitus) smaller. Posterior fourchette tearing is really common and it can be really uncomfortable, but before we go down any path that suggests that your body is somehow doing the wrong thing, we have to make you are getting the sex right.

Getting your vagina sex-ready

Learning how to have sex without wrecking yourself is a process we all have to go through – making sure your vagina is ready for sex, then that sex is made as smooth as possible, is going to be key.

Girls are taught that their vaginas are a receptacle that a penis can enter anytime, even if it’s boring or hurts. This isn’t true. The vagina – like the penis – has a state that it gets into when it is ready for sex, and contains erectile tissue just like a penis (it’s just on the inside). Trying to have sex when your vagina is not prepared results in bad sex and sex wounds – tearing, fissuring, rips and splits. A swollen, sore, bleeding vagina and vulva is typically the result.

What a sex-ready vagina and vulva means

A penis fills with blood and grows stiff and sex-ready. We would think it was pointless to try to have sex with a soft penis. It is similarly pointless to try to have sex with a ‘soft’ vagina. You have to get a ‘vagina boner’ the same way your boyfriend gets a penis boner, or not only is sex going to be boring and maybe painful, but you put your vagina and vulva at risk of splits and tears.

This is because when you get a vagina boner, your tissues (including ones you can’t see) become engorged with blood, making sex feel good in the exact same way that an erection feels good.

The blood-filled tissues include your clitoris (which is like the Starship Enterprise in size, and not just this little button) and its ‘legs’ that extend into your body that get erect inside of you. These little legs lift up and back, which is probably why the g-spot was identified and mysterious – the clitoral tissues are vast and create a network inside your pelvis, around your vagina, that when they are erect, makes penetrative sex feel good. No lady boner, no sensation.

Your pelvic nerve tangles are inside there too, so once you are turned on properly – full of blood with a lady boner – the whole area becomes sex-ready. You become wet, your vulva fills with blood and expands, and this process acts to protect your vulva and vagina from pain, and ensure that sex feels good.

The plumped-up tissue acts like a cushion, and the moisture as a lubricant. The whole experience is completely different than if your vagina is entered with any object or penis when you are not sex-ready.

Ask your boyfriend what you playing with his soft penis feels like compared to what it feels like when it’s hard. Totally different experience. It might feel nice, but it feels way better when it is sex-ready. Your job is, with your boyfriend, to figure out what gives you a giant lady boner so that your vagina gets very wet and the tissue fills with blood before you try to have sex. Making sure that you always have a lady boner means your chances of orgasm increase dramatically – you are ready to have your mind blown when you have a lady boner.

This process might include some hot making out, oral sex, fingers, whatever you like, but try to figure out what you do like.

Rules for good sex (and avoiding tears)

  1. Don’t attempt to put your boyfriend’s penis into your vagina without a lady boner. Ever.
  2. Always apply some really silky smooth lubricant to his penis and your vulva and up your vagina a little before you start
  3. If you are using condoms, you’ll need to reapply lubricant as often as you need, and way before the condom gets dry (dry condoms are the enemy of vaginas)
  4. If it starts to hurt, stop immediately – you are just damaging yourself
  5. If you have a tear, wait until it is fully healed before having penetrative sex again

If you are extremely turned on and wet and love the sex and orgasm, write back and tell me so, because then perhaps we have another problem on our hands. But, it’s very likely you need to work out your body and understand your vagina is not magic.

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.