Why Does My Vagina Feel Raw After Sex?

Symptoms like itching or irritation in the vulva may come from a few things. It could be an irritant that comes from soap, lotion or perfumes, or it may be something as simple as washing clothes with a different detergent.

It’s also possible you could have scar tissue down there from an injury or surgery. Or you might have a sexually transmitted infection like yeast infections, trichomoniasis or gonorrhea.

1. You’re not lubricating properly

Many things can affect the lubrication of your vulva. Age, medications you are taking, diet, and hormones can all play a role. One of the most common reasons women experience painful intercourse is that they are not lubricating their vulva properly.

For example, the chemicals in soaps and hygiene products can irritate the tissues of your vagina. These can cause them to become dry, itchy and swollen. The same goes for perfumes and other scented toiletries that can cause vaginal irritation.

In addition, some illnesses, infections and even certain foods can interfere with the body’s natural lubrication. If you are experiencing a problem, talk to your doctor or nurse about it so they can take a closer look and find the right solution.

A drop in the level of estrogen, a natural lubricant in the body, can also cause your vulva to feel dry and itchy. This can happen during menstruation, after having a baby or while breastfeeding and it can also occur in some women who are taking estrogen supplements to treat other health issues.

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If you are experiencing pain during sex, try foreplay to increase lubrication and make the process of penetration easier. Also, avoid positions that maximize penetration and are more likely to aggravate the vulva such as doggy style. Lastly, it’s important to remember that although painful intercourse can be discouraging, it is essential for good sexual health.

2. You’re not in the right mood

Sometimes, the vulva just doesn’t feel like it. And that’s OK. Sometimes, you just have to wait until another day. Maybe you’re tired after a long day at work, you’re exhausted from running kids to sports practices, you’re stuffed from dinner, and you’re just not in the mood for anything.

But other times, a change in the way your vulva feels could be the sign of something else. Any time a new sensation arises in your genital area, it’s always worth getting checked out by a nurse or doctor. This is especially important if the feeling changes or gets worse over time.

If you’re aroused, your blood rushes to your vulva, which will make it wet and a bit swollen. Some people describe this arousal as a tingling feeling, while others might experience a throbbing sensation.

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Everyone’s body is different, and your vagina might feel a little bit differently than mine does, but most women’s vulvae are similar to each other. It’s a fascinating body part and worth learning all about. But just like anything else, it’s not meant for everyone. And sometimes, saying you’re not in the mood for sex can be a turnoff for some people, especially if it happens all the time.

3. You’re overdoing it

In some instances, your vagina may feel raw after sex, especially if you and your partner have been romping hard. The key to avoiding discomfort is to practice good foreplay and use enough lubrication during penetration. Aside from that, positioning is also important. Try to avoid positions that maximize penetration, like doggy style, as this can cause pain and discomfort.

When you’re aroused, blood rushes to your vulva, which can make it feel tingly or even throb. But remember, any new sensations in your vulva should be discussed with your gynecologist as soon as possible. This way, you can be sure they’re not related to a health issue. For example, a change in color, texture, or size of your vulva could indicate an infection.

4. You’re putting too much pressure on your vagina

If your pain is constant, or only happens when your vulva is touched (like after sex), you might have a condition called vulvodynia. It’s not common, but it does happen to three out of four women at some point in their lives. The pain might feel like burning, stinging, or it could be a generalized ache. It might only be in one area, like the opening of your vulva or the vaginal lips (vestibule). The vulva might look inflamed and swollen, but it also can look completely normal.

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Vulvodynia can be caused by sex, infection, or irritation. It can also be the result of a medical issue like an STI, a yeast infection, or an allergic reaction to condoms, soaps, or lubricants.

The vulva can be irritated by things we don’t even think about, like tight pants or pantyhose, riding a horse, or laundry detergents. It can be irritated by water, too, especially if it’s too hot or too cold.

Burning in the vulva or vagina can be a symptom of an STI like trichomoniasis, chlamydia, or bacterial vaginosis, and itching and a fishy smell are a symptom of the infection genital herpes, too. It can also be a side effect of medications like birth control or hormone replacement therapy. It’s also possible that scar tissue could be the culprit, too.

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