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.

Symptoms

  1. 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.
  2. The burning or stinging sensation may also occur when touched by soap, douche or semen.
  3. Dyspareunia or painful intercourse is a common complain.
  4. Slight bleeding or spotting from the cracks.
  5. A tearing sensation, that’s painful.
  6. Pain when tampon is inserted.

Causes

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.

Treatment

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.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Cracks/ Tears in The Vagina

  1. Hope

    I am 54 yrs old and I stopped menstruation 5 years ago, I have a scar in the right side wall of my vagina which came about when I visited a doctor in South Africa due to pain on the right side wall of my vagina. After examination, the doctor told me that he did not find anything but then because there was a black spot, he open the black spot to find out what it was but I was told that there was nothing. The scar which was left on the vaginal wall in order to examine the black spot is causing great pain. I visited again a doctor and has told me that I should leave with it and that there is nothing that can be done. I am failing to have sex with my husband. What should I do? It’s it true that I should leave with the pain?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      When was the surgical procedure done? See, if the scar is new, it’s better to give it a chance to get healed by itself. It takes around two years for such scars to settle down.

      Meanwhile, you may liberally apply vaginal emollients and moisturizers over it.

      However, if it’s old, you may see a surgeon. He’ll cut it and remove the excess scar tissue, which is likely to be causing friction.

      Reply
      1. Kathy

        I have something by my urethra that looks like a deep crack it does not bleed it does not hurt it just gets irritated during sex sometimes I had a difficult words I was wondering if it was a scar

        Reply
          1. Ruth-ann

            I had unprotected sex and my husband’s penis tore me.we had sex three nights in a row.and as a result I examined my self and saw little bruises.I am having discomfort and they burns a little.what should I do?

          2. Buddy M.D. Post author

            Just keep the area clean by washing daily with ample water, no soaps. Apply any vaginal emollient/ moisturizer over the whole area. Avoid sex for a few days.

            This area is richly supplied with blood vessels, and would heal quickly on its own.

      2. Shygirl25

        Hi there I had an abortion 3 weeks ago I I had sex on the 6th day I had sex like 4 days ago and it kind of gutted as he enter me I also shaved before then and I have a small like abraisen on my posterior fourchette It Be itching a lot and also burn when I pee and also I am always wet like I am having with a white discharge thin discharge coming out of me what could the problem be I need info ASAP?

        Reply
  2. Buddy M.D. Post author

    Appropriate antibiotics at the earliest.

    You need to see a doctor for examination and diagnosis.

    Reply
  3. Grace

    Hi am 42 years old,for the last 7 days av been experiencing pain like sours on the right side of my virginal lip, the lip, is so painful especially when soaped, or urined, I also feel my panties small eg..the underneath squeezes the lip..which appears to be elongated than usual. Av used candid V 6 insertion…this is the forth day now thinking that its varginal yeast…but it …persist…. Could it be virginal cut, and if so,how do I go about it?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Do you have any itching or vaginal discharge down there? Since when do you have this problem?

      Reply
  4. Dintle

    I had sex about 8 days ago, I felt slightly uncomfortable thereafter, I discovered I had a cut in the left side of my vagina.
    This cut is quite intrusive(not large but inside the vagina and not the vulva) I remember seeing tiny blood spots when I blotted with tissue (later figured I shouldn’t have).
    I wasn’t too alarmed, I read online that similar cuts heal on their own.
    Unfortunately, a few days later I discovered I was oozing out pus from the cut/wound.
    What’s worse, I’m on my period
    Should I see a doctor despite the period?
    Or wait it out? Or does pus indicate healing? I am deeply embarrassed.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Do you have fever, pain down there? If yes, this is an infection that needs to be attended urgently.

      If not, you may wait for some time. Keep the area clean. The wound is likely to heal on its own.

      Reply
  5. Heather

    Hi, I had a thrush which started off with severe itching then little pimple like bumps which disappeared after antibiotics and candid. But my fissures seem larger than b4 and painful. Have already applied aclivor cream, coconut oil,dervicot etc what next??? In pain

    Reply
  6. Sophia

    I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant and am suffering with reoccurring yeast infections. The two I had before this current one had no symptoms except for thick white discharge and itching. This one is the same but my whole vulva completely swelled up. I went to the doctor and she thought it was an abscess and referred me to a gynaecologist who said it looked like herpes. When she looked under the microscope it was a yeast infection but she said it is severe herpes aswell. I was given herpes medication and thrush medication but I just don’t believe it’s herpes because my blood has never shown Herpes before. What are the symptoms of severe thrush? I never got any herpes like blisters but I noticed that in between my swollen labia and clitoris I have small paper cuts. Is this a symptom of yeast infection considering this is my third one since March. It Burns me to urinate because of the cuts and I don’t know how to heal them.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Just according to symptoms, itching and the white discharge suggest yeast, while paper cuts, buring sensation would go in favor of herpes.

      It’s difficult to comment further without actual examination.

      Reply
  7. Shaggy

    I’m not pregnant, nor have I ever had sex but after using a toy I notices that the day after my urine caused my vagina to burn and itch (no discharge, or at least it there wasn’t any that I found). I went to the doctor and had them check what might be wrong, but all I was told was that I didn’t have a yeast infection or a UTI Which I’ve had before. (Before the doctors came to see me the burning and itchy feeling went away.) It seemed to go away, until I went on vacation a few days later when I would urinate and my vagina would feel irritated, it was merely uncomfortable until one day I went walking and the heat, humidity, and a bathroom break seemed to trigger whatever’s wrong with me. An extreme feeling of itching and burning with an extra helping of the sensation of needing to pee. From then on it hasn’t nearly been so bad and symptoms can be off and on, but every once in a while after urinating I’ll get an uncomfortable feeling from my vagina and feel like I should go pee again (I still can’t find any irregular discharge). It never lasts long and some days doesn’t seem to happen at all but I really want it to stop! Please help!

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Diagnosis requires an internal exam.

      However, from what appears, there’s likely some small injuries in your vaginal area. These may be very fine cuts, not visible to naked eye.

      You just need to keep the area clean. Avoid using soap or gel there. These may render the area dry and increase your problems. The cuts are likely to heal on themselves with time.

      Reply
  8. Sarah

    I am 22 and I’ve never had sex before but I have done the normal “hooking up” stuff without problems in the past. However now with my new boyfriend when we start getting intimate, including oral and some penetration, I’ve recently started to have severe burning and itching in my vagina along with pain, sometimes when I pee and sometimes just in general. I’m not sure what the problem is (I know that he is clean and has no STDs) and it didn’t start right when we started so I’m not sure if it’s general irritation or what. I think I might have some cuts down there but it’s hard to tell and it’s been a few weeks of me trying to help them heal and there has been little to no relief so I’m at a loss for what to do or what it could be. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions or advice.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Need an examination for diagnosis.

      For what you said, may be there are tiny cuts or just roughness. Lubrication would help. However, it’s better for get examined.

      Reply
  9. Lynn

    I am a 69 year old woman with Lichen Sclerosis of the vulva for 18 years. I have a fissure underneath my labia about the size of a dime to nickel. My doctor ordered Estrace cream and told me to apply it on the entire vulva area. I have heard from some other people, however that they have been told to not put it on the raw fissure area itself and only put it on the rest of the vulva area. What is your advice as to whether to put it on the whole vulva including the fissure or whether I should not put it on the fissure and just apply to the rest of the vulva When I applied it last night, it gave my skin a burning and prickly sensation since my skin is itchy most of the time. I use Clobetasol twice a week as well but do not put the Clobetasol on the fissure.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Apply it over the intact skin area, excluding the fissure.

      The topical ointment would get absorbed by the skin out there to give effect over the whole region, including the fissure.

      Reply
  10. Kasey

    I am 34 years old and gave birth to my second child 4 months ago. Since then I have been having cracks/fissures in the crease of the labia majora at the top. After a few days it will heal, and then a few days later I have another. What is causing the re-occurring cracks? Is there something I can do to help keep them from coming back. Frustrated to no end. Didn’t have this happen after my first child.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Need to see a gyne for examination and diagnosis.

      The reason may be deficient hormones. Your doctor may prescribe some hormonal cream for that area.

      Reply
  11. Anna

    I am an 18 year old female and had intercourse two days ago. It was rougher than we are usually used to. Lubricant was used but not an extensive amount. Towards the end of intercourse my partner notified me I was bleeding and soon after I began to feel a mild stinging sensation around my vagina. About 10 minutes later I gently rinsed the general area and dabbed it with a towel (trying not to touch the cut itself) and saw that I was still bleeding. When I urinated the stinging was quite intense and I was wincing (note: I have a pretty low pain threshold). The next morning I still had a small amount of blood around my vagina and needed to urinate in the shower because the burning sensation was too painful for me to bear without having the constant hot water to wash it away. I took a warm bath without any soap for about half an hour to allow the cut to soak. I believe it is a posterior forchette fissure. Today I have experienced a deeper pain around the cut, have had trouble sitting comfortably, and there was a small amount of light brown discharge in my underwear – I am not sure if this means it is infected or if it is just my vagina flushing away any blood. I am avoiding contact with the wound (it is hard to examine and I can’t really see it) and am trying to keep it clean. I am hoping it is a superficial injury because the idea of stitches scares me immensely. Does it sound like it will heal on its own?? Currently there is still stinging when I urinate and pain when I sit so I am trying to take it easy.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Keep the lesion clean, as you’re already doing. You also need to start applying an antibiotic ointment over it thrice daily. Mupirocin/ bactroban or any other may be used.

      Reply
  12. Julie

    I have HSV-1 on my genitals, but haven’t had an outbreak in 4 years. Just started having intercourse with a new partner when I noticed some itching down there. Thought it to be a yeast infection, so I did the Monistat 3 day and the itching cleared up about 95%. There was still slight itching and I noticed a really foul odor/milky white discharge. I never had smelled anything like it. BV and yeast test came back negative. Doctor said I was fine. Two days later, I woke up with tons of HSV-1 lesions. Got back on the Valtrex for the past few days and used tea tree oil and coconut oil to treat the itching and burning, but now the very bottom of my labia before my anus seems to be torn or something although the rest of my lesions have faded and mostly healed. What should I use to treat? Vaseline? Neosporin? Have no insurance right now, so I can’t go back and see the doctor in person again, too expensive! Could it have been an ourbreak the whole time? Why was there such a foul odor could it be a different STD?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You need to apply a strong antibiotic ointment over it, may be mupirocin/ bactroban. Vaseline won’t work. Neosporin may be used, but it’s mild.

      Likely to be HSV alone.

      Reply
  13. Carrie

    After intercourse I developed a circular tear, about 0.5cm diameter, directly outside my vaginal opening. It almost looks like a blister that popped. I’ve tried coconut oil and neosporin for a week now, with no improvements. The area is very slightly red, but not inflamed. It is rather painful though. Do tears that small usually need stitches, or should I continue waiting on it to close?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Stitches are not required in most cases. This place is very vascular and heals quick on its own. However, since the area is still red and inflamed, it may be having some infection. You may keep applying neosporin. If there’s no effect, you may need a physical exam to rule out STDs.

      Reply
  14. Pratika

    Hello dr,
    I am 26 years old and I am married. I got so much itching in my vagina after having sex. Also from last 4 days I found area around vagina and anus became red. Also found cracks on vaginal joints and on both side of vagina. Please suggest. I have not done sex from last2 weeks and still found these itching. Is there any serious issue or am I need to concern to nearest dermatologist?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Any discharge from vagina, say whitish or yellow? Check your underwear for this and let us know?

      Any blisters, bumps or rashes down there?

      Reply
      1. Pratika

        Having white discharge but in very less amount. Not having rashes. No blisters. Found 2-3 small bumps. MaOnly cracks are there which making itching

        Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Start using Candid -V cream at night. Apply it liberally over the affected area and also insert it inside your canal, with the help of the applicator that comes along with this medicine.

          You need to do this every night, before going to bed. Let us know the results.

          Also, keep the area clean and dry. You don’t have to use any soap or gel there. Wash is with plain water only. Wear lose underwears to keep the area dry and avoid friction over the cracks while walking. –

          If you feel dry there, a bland (non perfumed) vaginal moisturizer may be used after bathing.

          Reply
          1. Pratika

            Hello doc,
            I used candid v for 3 days. Redness and bumps has gone. But there is still cracks on joints I.e. at joint of anus and vagina and at vagina starting. Sometimes got itching on libia portion.

  15. Alyssa

    I’m 18, I had sex a few days ago a lot tougher than usual. Afterwards, I was bleeding a little. I had felt slight discomfort for a few days afterwards but nothing too crazy or out of the ordinary until yesterday when we had sex again. I didn’t think it was a problem because I was very well lubricated but now my labia minora are swollen, irritated, and have cracks on both the left and right side. I have been using vaginal itching cream to go through my day without being so uncomfortable. I am a bit worried because I have a single dad and it’s not easy to ask him to arrange a doctors appointment because my vagina hurts. Please help!

    Reply
    1. Alyssa

      Also, the itching cream slightly burns the cracked area when I apply it. But it sort of numbs the rest of my irritation.

      Reply
      1. Buddy M.D. Post author

        It’s unusual to get traumatized so much if you are lubricating the area well. May be you are allergic to some component being used during sex, like the cream, condom or semen itself.

        For now, you need to keep the region well lubricated and avoid all sorts of friction over it, like while walking or any other movement. Wear lose undergarments to let the area stay dry.

        This region is very vascular, and would heal rapidly on its own with time. Still, you may start using an antibiotic cream over those cracks/ lesions on a daily basis.

        Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You may use any over the counter available antibiotic ointment, like Bactroban/ bacitracin.

      Reply
  16. lane

    I think that I may have a posterior fourchette fissure. I had sex after not being lubricated enough and it hurt and afterwards I noticed a little cut below my vagina in that fold of skin that I’m thinking is the posterior fourchette. I waited almost a week and a half to have sex again (because the area looked healed), got lube, was careful to make sure that we were lubed A LOT, and it hurt at first but then felt better. However, after sex I looked and that same exact cut was back again. Will this keep happening to me forever?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Give it some more time to heal, say a month. It would heal well on its own, not to return again. However, it would be preferred to use every time you have sex.

      Reply
  17. Sarah

    Hi, abstained from sex for 2 years and recently had sex twice in a couple of weeks. Both times have ended up with a small paper cut type sore outside vaginal entrance where I think the fourchette posterior is. The first one healed within a week but why does it keep happening? In the same place as well. Feel slightly itchy and stingy and uncomfortable. I’m 30 and on contraceptive patch

    Reply
      1. Sarah

        It could be as I was quite nervous but just worried there’s something wrong. Would herpes show up like this? Only after having sex? I get bad health anxiety and it’s freaking me out. Thank you

        Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Unlikely.

          However, you’ll need to be observant. Let us know if you observe any other symptom down there.

          Reply
  18. Sarah

    Its just a bit red and what looks like a tiny cut, hurts when urine gets on it but no pus or crusting. Had it since last wed night. Don’t think it’s helped that I’m on my period and didn’t want to aggravate it using tampons so not been able to keep it dry whilst using sanitary towels. Hoping it will clear up soon

    Reply
  19. Sarah

    I have been able to have a closer inspection now since off my period and still getting the stinging and sore feeling occasionally especially when wiping and also looks and feels a bit bumpy in the area. Majorly freaking out now. Can possibly feel and see 2 tiny red spots but they don’t look like blisters and no pus… please help really scared.

    Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Thrush would give you intense itch. Do you have any?

          Not hydrocortisone. An antibiotic cream, like neosporin/ bacitracin.

          Reply
  20. Justme

    I keep getting little cuts that bleed a little when I wipe. They appear on the clitoral hood in the fold and at the opening well under the opening of the vagina at that fold. What would cause these? They clear up quickly like in 2 days. No out of the normal bumps.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Likely to be due to roughness or trauma there. Avoid all frictional activities over the area, like masturbation or sex. You may also avoid wiping there. Instead, dab dry the area.

      Reply
      1. JUSTME

        I haven’t been intimate in almost 2 months due to surgery. They are there 1 day and the next day they are good. They only bleed a little when I dab them and if urine passes it is a bit painful. Hurt some when I dab them. The next day there is no burn or pain. They do not scab.. I am easily stressed though. I had a YI back in May/June. The first time a cut appeared was 3.5 weeks ago and then again last week in the same area. A few days later one appeared under the opening of the vagina and it was good 24 hours later. Today I have some itching/irritation at the top outside area of my vagina. I was on antibiotics due to surgery 3 weeks ago and then I was diagnosed with the start of pneumonia and am on a different antibiotic now. I have no other issues. I am 35y and married.

        Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          May be, the vaginal pH got disturbed due to frequent antibiotic rounds. You may try some emollient to restore back the vaginal pH. Also, avoid keeping those portions dry.

          Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          If it’s a small cut, leave it as such. Area around the clitoris is very vascular. The cut is likely to heal on its own with time.

          Avoid friction over the cut. Keep it clean. Avoid using any soap or get over it to prevent dryness. Clean it with plain water only. A bland vaginal moisturizer/ cream may be used over it.

          Reply
  21. Lilly

    Had sex on the rougher side a few days ago and it wasn’t very well lubricated and I felt some discomfort from the friction of the condom and I looked the next day and it’s all raw around the opening of the vagina and it burns and urinating is very painful. How long will it take to heal and any suggestion?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Would take around 3 to 4 days to heal. You may apply any vaginal emollient/ moisturizer over there to avoid dryness.

      Reply
  22. Alexandra

    What are the best over the counter ointments to use, Ive already been to see a doctor, I’m a 22 year old female with random cracks down there due to low hormones produced in my body, so it happens often. When they happen there will be a little bit of thicker whitish discharge that follows after the cuts? I’m on probiotics and have taken diflucan just Incase but my doctor has me on hormone replacement therapy with the patches. What ointment can I use throughout the day that isn’t vaseline which is what my doctor says to use?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      An estrogen gel may be used, after consenting your doctor.

      Or else, KY jelly may be used. It’s available over the counter at most pharmacies.

      Reply
  23. Regan

    I am a 19 year old woman.. It started off as a yeast infection which I then took care of. I shower everyday and eat my fruit and vegetables. I’m overall a healthy person which is what my doctor has told me. What started off as razor burn turned into something much worse. Now my vulva is completely raw and has cracks all around it. Keep in mind I’ve had the same sexual partner for 8 months and we both got tested before doing anything sexual, we were free of anything and everything. The rash has now spread to the outer sides of my vagina, but not inside it. The inside does not hurt or itch, just the outside. My pain is a 5 out of 10, the itching is a 9 out of 10 and how much it itches is constant. When I urinate, it feels like putting sanitizer on a paper cut because of the cracking. I’m not sure what to do.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Are you using an anti fungal ointments right now? You’re likely to be harboring yeast at the moment.

      Any discharge from the vagina, may be whitish or yellow?

      Reply
  24. Desperate ForAnswers

    I am 28 year old and just had my first child two months ago by vaginal delivery. I am HSV-2 positive and may have an outbreak every few months that last for a couple days. However for under last several weeks I’ve noticed fissures and cracks around the crease/fold of my vagina, under the anterior labial commisure, and near my anus. It itches at times and seems to go away after a couple days but resurface if I have sex or even wash down there. I don’t think I’m having an HSV outbreak because I had one a month ago and it cleared up after four days. Please help

    Reply

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