Everyone’s in agreement that we’d be better off without cramps…but you know what’s even worse than those nagging (or sometimes debilitating—get those checked out, please) monthly pains? A bruise on your cervix (cue the vaginal clenching).
I mean, you can’t exactly ice it or heat it because, you know, it’s way up in there. (Your cervix is the “bouncer” to your uterus, monitoring what goes in it from the vagina, btw). But sometimes, particularly, uh, animated penile guests shove their way through and the tiny, but mighty cervix isn’t pleased.
So um, what exactly is a bruised cervix?
Basically, it’s a cervix that has become sensitive and tender because of vigorous sex. If a penis, dildo, or other object makes it all the way up the vagina to the cervix and bumps into it repeatedly, it could definitely get injured.
It feels similar to cramping, says Dr. Rachel Peragallo Urrutia, an assistant professor of general obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of North Carolina—that’s because the cervix has different nerve endings than other body parts, she adds. Basically while hitting your knee on the edge of a table might feel like a sharp pain, a bruised cervix will feel more dull and achy.
But, TBH, having a bruised cervix is rare, says Urrutia. Plus, the term “bruising,” when it comes to the cervix, is more common in popular media than medicine—that means it’s really just referring to the pain, not the actual look of the cervix (doctors aren’t sure what a bruised cervix looks like—it could be black and blue or it could retain its pinkish color).
In other words: It’s pretty unlikely you’re going to bruise your cervix during consensual sex. “It’s much more common that an injury like a labial bruise or a vaginal tear would happen,” says Urrutia. (All of those issues have very similar symptoms, btw—like abdominal pain, pain during sex, and sometimes light bleeding.)
Another mishap that might happen but doesn’t mean your cervix is bruised: an injured pelvic floor, says Urrutia. “The pelvic floor muscles are like a sling that keep in your internal organs,” she explains. “They’re muscles that we don’t use very well—we don’t exercise them,” so they’re more susceptible to stress and spasms caused by especially intense sex.
Well, is there anything I can do about a bruised cervix?
A little ibuprofen and patience should do the trick. The pain should subside after a few days. If it doesn’t, reach out to your physician because it might be something more serious.
When it comes to preventing this sex injury, it’s important to be vocal with your partner if they’re doing something that is physically hurting you—even if the sex is consensual.
You can also take a more proactive approach and suggest positions that don’t go quite as, uh, deep. “There are certain positions in which a woman can have more control over the depth of penetration,” she says.
Doggy style, for example, is known to be a sex position that allows a man to go deeper, while any cowgirl position allows a woman to have more control. Regardless, having an open dialogue about what feels right for you will reduce your chances of injury and let you get on with the good stuff (safely).
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com