Why Does My Vagina Feel Numb?

Sometimes, it feels tingly or numb down there after cycling workouts or quality time with the vibrator. While this is perfectly normal for most women, prolonged numbness or lack of sensation in the genital area can be a sign of something more serious and require clinical treatment.

Fortunately, it’s usually easy to get sensation back by addressing the underlying cause.

Causes

There are a few potential reasons why your vagina feels numb. It could be a neurological issue like a herniated disc or, in extreme cases, a tumor compressing nerves in the area. If you have this symptom along with other symptoms such as pain or difficulty urinating and having bowel movements, it’s important to talk to your doctor right away.

Another possible cause is persistent stress. High levels of cortisol can mimic menopause in the vulva, causing it to shrink and lose sensation. Strained pelvic floor muscles can also reduce sensation in the area.

Numbness can also be caused by over-stimulation of the nerves in the genital area. This can happen when you use a sex toy or a vibrator on a strong setting and can restrict or even prevent climax. It’s also common for women who have experienced sexual trauma or abuse to experience numbness in the genital area during penetration.

Lastly, cycling for a long period of time can compress the pudendal nerve in your perineum and can lead to a numb feeling in the genital area. However, this symptom is usually temporary and should resolve with rest.

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Symptoms

Numbness in the genital area is often described as a feeling of not having any sensation or “pins and needles.” This type of numbness is always considered a medical emergency, as it could be indicative of an injury to the nerves that bring sensations to your pelvic floor and genitals. The nerves are in close proximity to the spinal cord, and compression or damage can be extremely dangerous for your health.

Rigorous sex and using a vibrator set to a high vibration level can cause overstimulation of the vaginal nerves, which can lead to temporary numbness in the genitals. This is nothing to worry about, and it will eventually go away with time.

Childbirth can also cause numbness in the genital area. Pregnancy hormones soften and stretch the muscles in the pelvic floor and vagina, and sometimes this can put pressure on, cut, or injure the nerves that bring feelings of arousal to that area. The good news is that, with proper treatment, the feelings usually return after giving birth.

Stress can also reduce sensitivity and sexual desire in women by causing the body to clench and tighten the muscles, which limits blood flow to the vulva and can trigger pain and numbness. If the numbness is related to trauma or shame, therapy or counseling may be helpful to help resolve those issues and increase arousal and pleasure again.

Treatment

The good news is that numbness in the vulva can be reversed. If you’re experiencing a change in the way your vagina feels, it’s worth getting a check-up from your doctor or healthcare professional. They will perform a pelvic exam and advise you on next steps.

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If the numbness is accompanied by other symptoms like difficulty walking or trouble urinating, it could be a sign of an underlying issue like a herniated disc or tumor that is compressing nerves in your lower spine. In that case, you’ll need to visit a neurologist for a neurological evaluation.

Stress is another cause of numbness in the vulva. Often, the numbness can be reversed with relaxation techniques that help you calm the body and mind. This may include yoga, breathwork, or meditation. You can also practice a simple technique known as “mapping your vagina” to find out which parts of your vulva feel sensation and which don’t. This is a great exercise for couples who want to improve sexual intimacy and communication.

If your numbness is caused by pelvic trauma, talking with a physical therapist or sexual therapist about the trauma can help. They can teach you how to heal emotionally and physically and help you get rid of the numbness in the vulva. If the numbness is psychological, psychotherapy or hypnosis may be needed to address the trauma and overcome it.

Prevention

Countless women struggle with numbness down there, and it can be deeply unsettling. However, it’s important to remember that it’s usually temporary and that there are plenty of ways to address it.

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For many women, numbness in the vulva is the result of over-stimulation of the nerves. Rigorous sex, vigorous activities like cycling, and even sex toys set to a high vibration level can overstimulate the vaginal nerves. The good news is that this sensation usually returns after some rest.

You can also help to restore sensation by removing potential irritants from your life, such as tight pantyhose, nylon underwear, scented toilet paper, and tampons that contain deodorant. You can try to wear looser clothing and avoid activities that put pressure on your vulva, such as cycling or horseback riding. Getting enough sleep each night can also be helpful, as is avoiding stress.

You can also try what’s known as’mapping’ your vagina to figure out which areas do and don’t have feeling. This can be done by yourself or with the help of a partner, and it’s a great way to stimulate your nerves in ways that promote sensation. You can do this by using your fingers or a sex toy to ‘feel’ the different parts of your vulva, and it can also help you build confidence in the areas that are still numb.

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