Your lady parts will thank you for reading this.
There’s the kind of down-there pain that follows over-zealous sex — but then there are other types that are a bit more serious. Here are 5 super common reasons why your vagina sore and how to treat the symptoms…
1. Discharge after intercourse
As long as there’s no strange colour or change in consistency, it’s normal. Discharge increases with sexual arousal and the amount varies from woman to woman. And if a guy ejaculates inside you, expect to leak.
2. Soreness or irritation after exercise
Cycling is one of the worst culprits for beaver-bruising — as a study in the BMJ found, female cyclists were at particular risk of infections and swelling. Saddle and handlebar positions are important — German scientists found sitting with your upper body at a 30-degree angle to the bike can reduce blood flow to your vagina by up to 70 percent. Stand up on your pedals every 10 minutes to avoid this.
3. Pain during and after sex
One in five women experience pain during intercourse, for reasons ranging from serious gynae conditions to hormonal imbalances, infections or muscle spasms. These need to be excluded and then managed by an experienced multidisciplinary team that can also address the psychological aspects of suffering from painful sex. Treatment may involve using vaginal dilators, physiotherapy and creams.
READ MORE: 4 Things You Should Never Put Up Your Vagina
4. Bleeding between periods
This warrants some form of medical investigation, as it can be caused by infection, cervical cancer or ectropion (also known as cervical erosion). Ectropion is a normal response to hormones and usually occurs in women of reproductive age, especially those using hormonal contraception. It can be scary, but as long as your smear tests are normal, it’s unlikely to be a long-term worry.
READ MORE: Vaginal Infections 101
5. Pain at the top of your pubic bone
Generally, this means pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a cyst or endometriosis. PID symptoms include fever, unusual discharge and bleeding. Cysts cause acute pain on one side, but often go away on their own. Painful sex, severe period pain and pain while defecating could be endometriosis, which can be eased with contraceptives.
Looking for more info on your lady party and how to keep them happy? Here are three ways to keep your vagina healthy, seven reasons why your vagina could be itchy and four lube ingredients that you should never put on your vagina.