A vaginal or labial cut or tear (fissure) is a painful split, crack or break in the mucous membrane (skin) inside the vagina, on the inner or outer labia (vulva), on the perineum, or around the clitoris or clitoral hood.

These can develop no apparent reason, and persist, or be caused by damage during sex, use of fingers, toys, tampons, cleaning, fiddling, or good old misadventure. These types of cuts and tears can cause pain, sting when you urinate, and can bleed at first, and may itch as they heal.

We’ve split tears up into three main treatment categories:

The simple tear
The deep and nasty tear
The mystery tear

Vulva and vaginal tears are very common because the flesh is very delicate, but the good news is that they usually heal very quickly without intervention and without leaving scars. Minor cuts and tears can be encouraged to heal well with a moisturising vulva and vagina-friendly cuts cream.

Things start to get more complex when your fissures are being caused by something inside your body, or with larger tears inside the vagina that include the vaginal wall, typically from accident, trauma, or childbirth.

How do I know if what I have is a cut?

Take a look! If you can’t reach, get a good light and a digital camera, and take some close-ups. Obviously tears inside the vagina are impossible for you to see, which is why getting examined by a physician with a torch isn’t a bad idea.

You need to make sure it is not a sore, blister, ulcer, plaque, lesion, lump, or growth – these sorts of problems are usually caused by infections or other medical conditions. This is as much a process of elimination as anything.

Some causes of vaginal and labial cuts and tears

You need to determine what is causing your fissures, because the treatments are very different, and it’s possible that you may be seeing the signs of an underlying condition unrelated to your vagina. If it seems weird, it probably is.

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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