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Vaginal Tear [Non-Obstetric]

A tear (laceration) of the wall of the vagina may be superficial or deep. Superficial tears do not require surgery and heal with minimal treatment. Deep tears are serious because they can cause a lot of bleeding. These must be repaired with surgery.

The most common cause of vaginal laceration is intercourse. This may occur during first intercourse in a virginal woman, or when thrusting is too forceful. A mismatch in genital size or insertion of a foreign object into the vagina may also cause a vaginal laceration. Thinning of vaginal wall following menopause or scarring of the vaginal wall after surgery or radiation may increase the risk for this injury. Straddle injuries on bicycles or climbing bars, water-skiing and jet-skiing injuries can also cause a tear in the vagina.

There may be small amounts of bleeding over the next 24 hours, but this should stop by the next day.

Home Care:

  • Avoid douching and sexual intercourse for six weeks, or as advised by your doctor.

  • If this was an accidental injury during intercourse, talk to your doctor about how you can safely have intercourse in the future without injury.

  • If you lost a lot of blood, you may feel weak. Reduce your activity level until you are feeling stronger.

  • If you became anemic from blood loss, your doctor may ask you to take iron supplements. This will take 6 weeks to restore your blood to normal levels.

  • You may use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) to control pain, unless another pain medicine was prescribed. [NOTE: If you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding, talk with your doctor before using these medicines.]

Follow Up

with your doctor as directed by our staff. If sutures were used to repair your laceration, these will dissolve and do not need to be removed.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occur:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding (soaking more than three pads in the first 24 hours)

  • Dizziness, weakness or fainting

  • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Increasing lower abdominal pain

  • Vaginal discharge or a bad odor from the vagina


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