Vaginal Tears/Cuts

Vaginal tears, cuts, scratches or injuries may happen during consensual or non-consensual sexual activity. Vaginal dryness, medical conditions and rigorous sex may lead to minor tears during penetration of the vaginal canal. Vaginal dryness may occur from dehydration, medication, medical conditions, hormonal changes or other reasons. Tears can also happen during vaginal childbirth or for other reasons (see the Hymen Topic).

An STD (sexually transmitted disease) may be able to enter through a vaginal tear (see the STD Topic). Some tearing causes bleeding and some tears may heal on their own, but some tears may require medical attention. Lubrication offers prevention from tears and cuts (see the Lubrication (Lube) Topic). Always seek the advice of a medical professional for questions on vaginal tearing, cuts and bleeding.

The sourced articles below should provide more information on vaginal tears and cuts.

  1. Vaginal Tears During Childbirth

    “A vaginal tear (perineal laceration) is an injury to the tissue around your vagina and rectum that can happen during childbirth. There are four grades of tear that can happen, with a fourth-degree tear being the most severe. An episiotomy is a procedure that may be used to widen the vaginal opening in a controlled way.”

    Cleveland Clinic,, accessed 5/24/2022

  2. Essential Information for Buying Vaginal Lubricants

    “The use of vaginal lubricants is well worth considering if you’re experiencing a lack of physical arousal or vaginal dryness during sex. Being well lubricated can decrease the risk of vaginal tears and irritation, which can, in turn, reduce your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI).”

    Tracee Cornforth; Medically reviewed by Anita Sadaty, MD; Fact checked by Heather Mercer,, updated 3/6/2022

  3. What Are Vaginal Cuts?

    “Most vaginal cuts should heal on their own in a few days. However, some may need medical care. For example, a tear in the V-shaped fold of skin at the bottom of the entrance to the vagina (posterior fourchette fissure) can develop into a deeper tear. It requires prompt medical attention.”

    Sherry Christiansen; Medically reviewed by Peter Weiss, MD,, 1/3/2022

  4. 6 reasons for bleeding after sex and how to prevent it, according to OBGYNs

    “Any type of birth control that contains estrogen, like the patch or most pills, can cause a condition called cervical ectropion. This is a non-threatening condition that causes cells inside the cervix to move into the vaginal canal. Because these cells are softer, penetration can cause them to bleed. …”

    Medically reviewed by Olivia P. Myrick, MD, a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone,, 7/28/2021

  5. Signs of a Vaginal Tear Not to Ignore

    “Vaginal tears, also called vaginal lacerations, are injuries in the vaginal tissue that occur throughout the vagina, according to Tanya Tantry, M.D. Tears can occur in the vagina, labia, and perineum. According to Anita Sadaty, M.D., severe vaginal tears are often caused by childbirth, but smaller vaginal cuts are very common. Here are causes that can result in vaginal tears, signs you may experience if you have a vaginal tear, and what can help treat it.”

    Christina Merino,, 4/30/2021

  6. Love Hurts: Common Sex Injuries and Other Hazards

    “Rough sex or a foreign object (like a dildo) can tear the sensitive tissue inside the vagina or anus. This can be painful, and you may bleed. If it hurts, your doctor can prescribe a pain-relieving cream. Don’t put anything inside your vagina or anus until the area heals. Use a lubricant whenever you have sex to avoid injuries in the future.”

    Medically Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD,, 12/4/2020

  7. Tearing During Sex

    “However, if you’ve recently had sex that was a little ‘rough’ or went on for a long period of time, and you have significant ‘burning’ pain afterwards – it’s possible that you are dealing with some tiny tears or cuts in the vagina. Why does this happen?  Well the most common reason is lack of lubrication.”

    Jackie Giannelli, FNP-BC,, 11/17/2020

  8. Accidental Rips and Tears Can Happen During Sex — Here’s How to Deal

    “Tears can happen during sexual activity for a number of reasons, including: … A lack of lubrication. … A lack of arousal. … Rough movements. … Uncut nails. … Underlying conditions. … If you’re not sure what caused it, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider.”

    Sian Ferguson, Medically reviewed by Carolyn Kay, MD,, 6/26/2020

  9. Lichen Sclerosus

    “Lichen sclerosus is a type of skin condition. It often affects your genital or anal areas, but you can get it on other parts of your body. It can cause a rash, itching, pain, and scarring. Lichen sclerosus is most common in women after menopause. … The symptoms of lichen simplex chronicus may include:

    – Itching around the vulva.

    – Red or dark skin around the vulva.

    – Small cuts on or around the vulva.” Editorial Staff,, 4/17/2020

  10. Pain After Rough Sex? See a Doctor’s Advice on What to Do Next

    “Although pain during or after sex can be attributed to more serious health issues, it’s likely that you simply received some cuts while getting it on. … Oftentimes, this occurs when the vaginal area isn’t sufficiently lubricated. Dr. [One Medical provider Navya Mysore, MD] added that other conditions, including lichen sclerosis, eczema, psoriasis, or lichen planus, can make getting vaginal tears more common.”

    Nicole Yi,, 8/26/2018