What Is a Vaginal Fissure?
A fissure is medically defined as a crack or breach in the lining surface. This can be the skin or the mucous membrane.
Fissures can occur anywhere over the body. They are found in the vaginal area also. This area is very delicate and richly supplied by nerves. So, the fissures in this area can be very painful.
It’s imperative to treat these cracks at the earliest, since these are very painful and moreover, if left as such, they may get infected.
- The women may complain of pain as in paper cuts over skin. She may get burning sensation over these minute cuts while urinating or menstruating.
- The burning or stinging sensation may also occur when touched by soap, douche or semen.
- Dyspareunia or painful intercourse is a common complain.
- Slight bleeding or spotting from the cracks.
- A tearing sensation, that’s painful.
- Pain when tampon is inserted.
The vaginal region is continuously exposed to frictional traumas. There are various causes that may directly or indirectly lead to fissures or cracking in the vaginal area. These include:
- Excessive cleaning with harsh gels, soaps or douches. This renders the region dry. Dry mucosa can easily crack up.
- Too rigorous sexual intercourse.
- After vaginal delivery of the baby.
- Sexual intercourse without proper lubrication.
- Use of thick or unlubricated condoms during intercourse.
- After menopause, the estrogen levels of the female decline. This hormone is essential for proper maintenance of the genital region. It’s lowering may lead to thinning and drying of the vaginal mucosa. Thin mucosa is vulnerable to cracks.
- Any other medical condition which has low estrogen levels in the female body.
- Certain medicines, like tamoxifen, Danazol, Medroxyprogesterone etc.
- Being too much stressed up.
- Having unhealthy dietary habits, lacking fruits and vegetables.
- Excessive intake of dehydrating agents like tea or coffee.
- Smoking may lead to cervical changes, that predispose to vaginal cracks.
- Recurrent yeast infections in the vagina.
- Infection with HPV (human pappiloma virus) or herpes virus, which erode the skin and mucosa down there.
Since the area is richly supplied by blood vessels, most of the small crack may heal by themselves over time. The natural vaginal secretions provide a protective cover against infections for all cuts and abrasions in the region.
Bigger cracks may require medical treatment.
Depending upon the cause of the abrasion, treatment is prescribed. If it’s due to low estrogen levels, as after menopause, estrogen creams may be used. They are applied over the affected surface daily at night till the cracks heal.
In sever cases, hormone replacement therapy may be given for some time.
Lubricating the area with emollients may help.
The bigger cracks may require your doctor to prescribe some antibiotic or some anti fungal cream.
Self Care Tips (Home Care)
- Apply bland (non perfumed) coconut oil over the genital region. This is to keep it lubricated against friction during movements or sexual activities.
- You may also use vaginal emollients or moisturizers available in the market for the area.
- Eat healthy, plenty of fruits and vegetables, to keep your immune system boosted up. Include home made curd/ yogurt in your diet. Curd has essential bacteria which are friendly to us. They help in maintaining a healthy bacterial flora down there, which prevents the growth of opportunistic fungus and harmful bacteria.
- If infected, promptly start using appropriate medication.
- Abstain from sexual activities if you have vaginal fissures.
- Wear loose cotton underwear to keep the area well ventilated and free from moisture.