Aunt Vadge: am I wiping too much?

Hi Aunt Vadge,

Can wiping too much cause tears around my labia?

I’m usually a very clean person when it comes to that particular area. I just changed toilet paper and sometimes when I have in the past as well, I have small tears or cuts.

Is it possible I just wipe too often or wrong?

And I know it’s a silly question, but how do I wipe front to back correctly?


Hi there Wiper,

Thanks for your email. There is no such thing as a silly question – the idea of ‘wiping front to back’ is a bit confusing, so don’t worry – you are not alone!

Over wiping and vaginal fissures, cuts, and tears

Over-wiping can be a problem since all skin is protected by a layer of oil that protects the skin from damage.

The labia are not very oily by nature, but over-wiping with dry toilet paper is going to be a problem because the labia are delicate, and toilet paper is dry and, after a short time, scratchy and irritating. So yes, this can cause cuts and tears on your labia.

Look at a diagram in Vag Basics and see where your urethra actually sits. This way, you can target your wiping. You can’t really see your urethra even when you look, as the flesh tends to all look the same – pink and shiny.

Since your urethra is tucked in between your labia, when you urinate, urine will get onto your inner labia, but it’s very minimal most of the time. From time to time, a lip will be pointing in the wrong direction, and urine goes elsewhere, but usually, it’s not like that.

Urine is not offensive either if the tiniest little droplet remains, so don’t get too overzealous.

When you wipe your vulva, just dab it. Don’t scrub, rub, or go inside. A firm dab or two, or a gentle swipe, is generally enough. Overwiping will cause you a problem, so try reducing it, and see how you feel. There is no need to go overboard.

Other culprits

It could also be the toilet paper you are using, so stick to hypoallergenic, very soft toilet paper. Also, there are lots of reasons you may be getting cuts and tears, not related to toilet paper or wiping.

If you think it’s the wiping, try wiping differently and see if the cuts disappear. They heal quickly and you should be able to tell. If the cuts do not heal, you need to investigate this further.

Wiping from front to back

As for the concept of wiping from front to back, this applies to wiping done after a bowel movement and just means don’t wipe faeces into your vagina – go from the front to the back, never the back to the front.

When you wipe your anus clean, avoid your vulva and vagina. This usually means putting your hand behind you, instead of between your legs, but so long as you don’t get faeces in your vagina, you’re good to use whichever position is most comfortable.

Wiping faeces into the vagina is something kids are prone to, since they don’t really understand the difference between urine and faeces or their anus and vagina. They are just learning how to wipe themselves clean, and infections can result when the two get mixed up.

You can wipe your butt any way you see fit, but just don’t get poo in your vag! Easy.

Let us know if you need anything else.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

Original price was: USD $9.99.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX
Original price was: USD $9.95.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX