What Causes Sharp Vagina Pain and How to Treat It?
A sharp pain in the vaginal area is a prevalent problem in women of all age groups. Some women may experience sharp vagina pain after an aggressive sexual intercourse. For others, it may be due to an underlying condition.
Pain in vulva area followed by an intense sex is quite common. However, there can be many other reasons why you experience pain in the vagina.
Sharp vaginal pain, sometimes known as vulvodynia, can be an annoying condition. It can affect your daily activities like work and exercise, and lower your sexual desire.
Let’s see the common causes, home remedies, self-care and prevention tips for sharp vaginal pain.
Types of Sharp Vagina Pain
Depending on the region of irritation and intensity, a sharp vagina pain can be categorized as below:
1. Generalized Pain
You may experience generalized pain at different spots in the vagina and at different times. It is not triggered by touch, but the stimulation can increase the intensity of the pain. You may experience this pain constantly or sporadically.
2. Vulvar Vestibulitis Syndrome
This is a sharp pain in the vulva, the opening region of the vagina. In this type of pain, you feel burning and cutting sensations.
In some cases, physical interaction such as touching and intercourse may trigger this pain. According to reports, 10-15% of women who seek gynecological help suffer from vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.
Related Reading: What Causes Spotting After Period?
What Causes Sharp Pain in Vagina?
Sharp vagina pain can sometimes be unbearable, and you should know the underlying causes. Here are some of the major causes of the sharp vaginal pain:
Found a bump in your genital area? Does it pain very badly? If yes, it is likely that you have herpes. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) which causes painful blisters in the genital area.
You should consult your ob-gyn if you notice the painful blisters in the vaginal area. There is no permanent cure for herpes. But, your doctor can help you manage the frequency of the outbreaks and reduce the pain.
2. Yeast Infections
Yeast infection is when you experience dryness and itching in the genital area. The symptoms of a yeast infection are often mistaken as pain. This condition is not painful in general.
Three in every four women experience yeast infection once in their lifetime. It can be easily treated with anti-fungal creams.
If this is the first time you are experiencing yeast infection, you should contact your ob-gyn. He or She will perform a pelvic examination and prescribe medications accordingly.
Related Reading: What Causes Cramps but No Period?
3. Vaginal Dryness
Dryness in the vaginal area can be very uncomfortable and can make your sex painful. Not only women with post-menstrual issues but young ladies also experience dryness down there.
Estrogen hormones are responsible for lubrication in the vagina. Low- estrogen birth control pills disturb the natural functioning of the vagina.
Estrogen works as a natural moisturizer. The birth control pills affect the production of estrogen which reduces lubrication. So, if you feel you don’t get ‘wet’ like before it is time for you to see your doctor.
Vaginal dryness can be easily treated with topical estrogen or high estrogen birth control pills on a doctor’s prescription.
4. His Penis
It is essential to look into your partner’s anatomy when you experience sharp vaginal pain. Ask yourself if it is a pain in your vagina or is it a pain you experience during penetration.
These are two very different scenarios. Sometimes it is your partner’s size that may be very painful to take in. The large size might cause you discomfort during penetration.
Sometimes he could be suffering from some infection which was contracted by you during intercourse. So, check your partner’s anatomy also get him tested when you can’t find your reasons for the pain.
5. Endometriosis or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Endometriosis is a disorder where the tissues of the uterus lining grow in other spots. Pain caused by endometriosis is accompanied by symptoms like abdominal pain which most women mistake as vaginal pain.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is another infection that affects female reproductive organs. You may experience heavy flow during periods in both of the above conditions.
Your doctor may prescribe you painkillers and hormone therapy to treat Endometriosis or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
Vulvodynia affects nine percent women once in their lifetime. The pain can be caused by touching or penetration. Sometimes you may feel a constant pain without any physical contact.
Vulvodynia can be treated with usual painkillers and medicines. It usually lasts for 2 to 3 days and goes away, but if the pain lasts longer, you should see a doctor.
Symptoms of Vulvodynia
In addition to the sharp pain in vagina, vulvodynia can be accompanied by following symptoms:
- Burning sensation
- Painful intercourse
- A sharp cutting sensation in the vaginal opening and labia area
- Irritation on the skin surface
You may experience these symptoms regularly or in different time periods. Along with the pain, different symptoms might show up at different times.
Activities, like touching, intercourse or even inserting a tampon, can shoot up the intensity of the sharp pain in the vagina. This pain can be area- specific or can be felt all over the vulva region.
Some daily activities such as sitting and biking or even a sport like a horseback ride may increase the intensity of these symptoms.
Facts About Vulvodynia
- It refers to the pain in the vulva region
- There is no specific cause for this pain
- It is not related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Burning, throbbing and aching pain are the common symptoms
- One may also experience vaginal itching
- It is not related to cancer or any other serious diseases
Some other possible causes of sharp vaginal pain include:
- Nerve injuries
- Muscle spasms
- A history of sexual abuse
- Aggressive intercourse
- Infection or trauma
- Genetic factors
- Hormonal changes
- Genital surgeries
Medications and Treatments for Sharp Vagina Pain
There can be many ways to treat sharp vaginal pain. Some vaginal pain treatments can be as follows:
If the pain becomes unbearable and lasts for an extended period, it is better to consult a doctor and go on a course of painkillers. Some other medications may include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Surgery is performed to remove the tissues that cause pain in the vaginal region. It will not take long and relieves your pain immediately.
3. Local Anaesthetics
If the sharp vaginal pain is hindering you from experiencing pleasurable sexual activity, it is advisable to go for local anesthetics. The best way to use it is soaking a swab of cotton into the ointment and placing it in the opening of the vagina.
Apply the cream before 30 minutes of engaging into sexual intercourse. Please note that your partner may feel numbness after intercourse for a short period.
Injections are given when your body does not respond to any other form of treatment. The injections numb the pudendal nerve which is directly connected to the pelvic region.
Nerves are the primary sensory systems that feel the pain. The injections leave you with very little or no sensation of hurt at all. In severe cases of illness, the nerves are ablated.
5. Biofeedback and Relaxation
Tensed muscles can also cause pain. Rhythmic contraction and relaxation of muscles can help reduce the pain and ease the discomfort.
Sharp Vagina Pain Home Remedies
Vaginal pain can be best treated by home remedies and self-care. Most of the time these home remedies work wonders and relieve you from the pain. Some of the most effective home remedies include:
1. Using Soft and Unscented Toilet Paper
The scent on the toilet paper is a chemical perfume. Sometimes your skin might be very susceptible to these fragrances and may react in unfavorable ways. Use soft and unscented toilet paper in order to avoid the pain and irritation.
2. Wearing Soft, Pure Cotton Underwears
Your panty material is the primary reason for infections and discomfort. Always opt for soft cotton panties to avoid infections.
3. Using Mild Soaps
While shopping for your soaps and body wash, always check their pH level. Use low pH soap to wash your vulva area. Low pH solutions are best to keep your vagina healthy and lower the chances of sharp vagina pain.
4. Ice packs
Ice packs can help you lower the inflammations caused by infections. To make an ice pack, follow the steps given below:
- Take ice and a soft, clean cloth
- Wrap the ice with the cloth
- Now apply it on the affected area in regular intervals
This will soothe the inflammation and help you get rid of the pain.
5. Heating Pads
Heating pads are an excellent option if you don’t want to use ice packs. It can help you relieve pain caused by tensed muscles and tightened nerves.
Pour some boiling water in the heating bag and put it on the affected area for 10 minutes. Repeat the process until you feel relaxed.
6. Water-soluble Lubricant before Sexual Intercourse
Lubrication before sexual intercourse can help you have non-irritable and pleasurable sex. Dryness is the main reason for many inflammations in the vaginal area. Proper lubrication can help you avoid inflammation and relive sharp vagina pain.
7. Cleaning Vulva Region after Urination and Intercourse
Wash the vulva region regularly after urination and sex. It can help you avoid the accumulation of bacteria which cause infection.
Sharp vaginal pain can be irritable and uncomfortable. Following the above self-care tips and home remedies can help you avoid the annoyance.
Kramer J., “6 Reasons Your Vagina Hurts,” Women’s Health Mag web site, December 14, 2014; https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/vagina-pain.
“Sharp Vaginal Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment,” Med Health web site; http://www.med-health.net/Sharp-Pain-in-Vagina.html.
Stoppler M., “Vaginal pain and Vulvodynia,” Medicine Net web site; https://www.medicinenet.com/vaginal_pain_vulvodynia/article.htm.