Aunt Vadge: recurrent tears beneath clitoris

Dear Aunt Vadge,

I’m so so freaked out because I keep getting these tears near my clitoris, like just below the actual clitoris. It’s between the actual clitoris and the little hole located maybe less than a centimeter away from the clitoris.

BTW, are those two tiny holes beneath your clitoris normal? I tried to look for their name but couldn’t find one. Anyway, the tear is very small and not even visible. It hurts to stretch and sometimes if I sit weird, it’ll sting.

The way I got the tear was by checking myself out down there. I was just making sure everything was okay because I’ve gotten these tears before and wanted to make sure they were better.

I then stretched the skin beneath the clitoris and boom, I got the smallest tear. I kept poking at it and I think it got a bit worse. They heal within 3-6 days.

I don’t masturbate but I do clean myself down there when I shower with warm water. I’m not sexually active with anyone either. Right now I’m on my period, but when I’m not, I get normal discharge. I have no abnormal odour.

Why does this keep happening to me? Do I have an infection? Should I be worried?

I’m really freaked out and I hope it doesn’t affect me too much. Is it normal to get tiny tears like this down there? I feel really gross about myself every time I get this.

Freaking Out
Age: 14
Country: US


Dear Freaking Out,

First, let’s get the anatomical names explained. The opening below your clitoris is your urethral opening, where you pee out of. The two little holes next to the urethra are your Skene’s gland duct openings. The Skene’s glands are normal!

Vulva Diagram

Cuts between the clitoris and the urethra mean you’re getting cuts on what’s known as the vestibule. The vestibule is the backdrop for your vulva, encasing and holding it all in place. It’s the soft (but firm) meaty area. If I understand you correctly, the sore is under the clitoris, but above the urethra.

The Vulva

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know what is happening to you, since getting mystery cuts in this area, and this area alone, is unusual. It may be due to a soap or body wash you are using that is causing irritation, or it may be something you are doing when you wash yourself causing it.

First I would do an inventory of what goes near your vulva. You need to check laundry detergent (for your underwear), toilet paper and soaps, as these are all highly suspect in terms of their ability to irritate your delicate skin/vulvar surfaces.

Because you are repeatedly experiencing these cuts or abrasions, it seems smart – when you have symptoms and coronavirus is well and truly done with – to visit a gynaecologist and see if they have any wisdom to share with you. You will need to be examined, so someone can check what exactly is going on. It may be that you are misidentifying a part of your vulva.

In the meantime, you can assess what you are doing and see if there are any suspects you can eliminate. Check out the diagrams and see if you can match everything up.

You sound like you’re pretty good at checking yourself out, which is awesome – it’ll hold you in good stead in the future.

Best of luck!

Aunt Vadge