If you are a woman, I can almost guarantee you will experience this at least once in your lifetime.
Pain in your hoo-hah.
Why is my vagina hurting?
That is probably what you quickly typed in google while shiftly checking around to see if anyone can see what you are searching for online.
This is the exact reason why this website exists – to empower women with information that people find it hard to talk openly about!
Now, almost every woman will experience some kind of vagina pain in their lifetime, for a myriad of reasons. Here’s the list of 11 possible reasons why your vagina hurts.
Did you know it is actually quite easy to injure your vagina area?’
If you are a frequent horse rider, you will know what I am talking about. The constant bumping can cause abrasions that can lead to inflammation, which hurts. A LOT.
Other than abrasions from activities, it is also possible to garner abrasions from the choice of clothes that we wear.
Some fabric materials can be scratchy or un-breathable. Wearing these fabrics down there can can irritate the delicate skin around your vagina and cause inflammation. Which can be downright PAINFUL.
Then of course, there is the overzealous sex that can sometimes make the recovery aftermath a challenge.
Dyspareunia is the medical term for vaginal pain that occurs during intercourse.
The pain can be attributed to a variety of factors – be it physical or emotional.
Physical factors could include entry pain such as vaginal dryness or insufficient lubrication, or inflammation related issues; and/or deep pain resulting from certain illnesses (like the endometriosis as discussed above) or surgical/treatment related aftereffects.
It is also possible to experience vaginal pain as a result of emotional upheaval. Psychological issues resulting from anxiety and insecurity can sometimes lower your level of arousal, hence causing pain.
If you are highly stressed, your muscles may also be more tensed up, and that could also result in pain during intercourse.
According to Mayo Clinic, endometriosis is a disorder whereby the tissue that lines your uterus (endometrium) grows outside your uterus.
Most of the time, the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvis membrane are affected. It can also involve the vagina.
Women with endometriosis may experience unpleasant pain in the vaginal region during sexual intercourse, and even hours of persistent aching down there in the aftermath!
If you feel intense pain and is spotting visible blisters, it is very likely a case of herpes.
Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease that can cause pain around the vaginal area.
In women, genital herpes (also known as HSV-2 – short for Herpes Simplex Virus 2) can result in very painful blisters around the vulva and vaginal opening areas.
Unfortunately, there is no currently no cure for HSV-2, although antiviral medication can make life a bit more manageable by reducing the severity and frequency of outbreak.
5. Imperforate hymen
An imperforate hymen is a congenital defect. The imperforate hymen blocks the opening of the vaginal opening, which can lead to painful swelling of the vagina.
Adolescent girls usually get diagnosed with it when their menstrual blood accumulates in their vagina or uterus due to the blockage. They tend to also present with pain in stomach or back, as well as difficulty in urinating and painful bowel movements.
Intercourse is usually painful for women with imperforate hymens.
The typical medical intervention is a hymenectomy, which is basically a minor surgical procedure to remove or open the hymen.
Symptoms of infections like yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis often include soreness in the vagina, as well as vaginal pain.
That being said, there are also women with these infections that experience no soreness or pain vaginally.
Read more about the remedies for yeast infections here.
As discussed earlier, hormonal changes can wreak major havoc down there.
Menopause deserves a special mention because it is usually associated with a special condition called vaginal atrophy.
After menopause, the decreased estrogen levels in our bodies tend to result in the thinning of our vaginal walls. This thinning of vaginal walls is vaginal atrophy.
Women with vaginal atrophy are at higher risks of developing chronic vaginal infections as well as experiencing pain during intercourse.
Common symptoms include painful burning vagina, vaginal dryness, burning with urination as well as increased urinary tract infection frequency.
8. Sexual Abuse
Having a history of sexual abuse can also contribute to pain in the vagina. Forceful penetration can result in tears and abrasions which can be painful.
Consequently, there is also the increased likelihood of acquiring vaginal infections and/or sexually transmitted diseases. All these additional factors may contribute to vaginal pain.
When we talk about sexual abuse, we cannot neglect the impact of emotional pain.
Emotional pain can heighten the perception of vaginal pain.
The anticipation of pain, anxiety and psychological issues can contribute to the tightening of the muscles around the vagina (also known as vaginismus). This tightening of muscles can often cause pain around the vagina area.
9. Size Matters
If you have a tiny “home” or even a typically sized “home”, some larger men can be traumatizing for entry, if you get what I mean.
Even though our vaginal openings can stretch to accommodate the delivery of babies during labor, it does not mean that it can take easily to larger sizes.
If you think about it, it usually takes hours for the body to relax the muscles around the vaginal opening to allow it to become stretchy enough for the baby’s head to pop out.
Thus, it makes logical sense to note that when the vagina opening is not sufficiently stretched to allow entry, it can result in pain down there.
Size does matters.
10. Vaginal Dryness
A dry vagina can be a painful vagina. The lack of vaginal moisture can easily result in irritation and painful abrasions within.
There can be many reasons why you may be experiencing dryness in your “garden”.
Hormonal changes can be one common reason for vaginal dryness.
You may be surprised to know that certain medications for allergy, cold or even antidepressants may result in the dryness.
In addition, an autoimmune disorder called the Sjogren’s syndrome can also affect your body’s ability to produce moisture. Hence, patients may experience dryness in their vaginas.
Women who have undergone cancer treatment like radiation or chemotherapy, may also experience vaginal dryness.
Since we are on the topic of medical terms, let’s also talk specifically about the pain of the vulva.
Vulvodynia is the persistent pain of the vulva, the area around the opening of the vagina.
Symptoms could include throbbing pain, burning or stabbing pain, itch, and/or soreness of and around the vulva.
Not all women experience vulvodynia similarly. Some experience pain just by washing the area or having sex. Others feel pain only in specific parts of their vulva, like at the opening of the vagina.
Gym goers who are avid spinners often experience vulvodynia because of the high impact and prolonged sitting on those tiny bicycles seats.
Vaginal pain can be embarrassing and extremely debilitating.
However, it IS possible to resolve or alleviate the discomfort with proper assessment and interventions. Do consult the appropropriate medical professional if you have unresolved vaginal pain.
You don’t need to suffer in silence. May health be with you.
As usual, send in your questions, ideas and suggestions through email. What would you like to hear more about?