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Rough sex can lead to vaginal swelling: Here’s what you can do about it

Vaginal swelling is a common side effect of having rough sex. Here's why it happens and other causes of vaginal swelling you must know.
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Vaginal swelling is a common side effect of rough sex. Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Team Health Shots Published: 17 Jan 2024, 21:00 pm IST
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For some, rough sex adds a bit of a thrill to their sexual experience. While it can be fun, rough sex may not be the best for the health of your vagina. Since your vagina is a bit of a delicate organ, rough sex can potentially lead to some side effects, one which is more common is vaginal swelling. That’s right – having rough sex can lead to vaginal swelling! This is the reason why you should be a little more careful before getting rough with your partner.

Rough sex is also one of the reasons why some women experience bleeding. While a spot or two is not something to be too concerned about, you need to head to a doctor if you experience bleeding with vaginal swelling. In any case, vaginal swelling after sex is not something you can ignore. So, scroll down to know more about this problem and how you can prevent vaginal swelling.

Does rough sex cause vaginal swelling?

Did you know rough sexual intercourse is one of the most common causes of vaginal swelling? The skin of the vagina is very soft and sensitive, having rough intercourse, or having sex without using a lubricant creates more friction, which can lead to discomfort and swelling. A study published in the journal CPC Emergency Medicine found that rough intercourse can lead to vaginal tears, which can increase the risk of unwanted infections.

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Vaginal swelling can be caused by rough sex. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

In case you suspect rough intercourse is triggering any vaginal problems, either use a lubricant during sex or spend more time in foreplay to avoid it. If the problem persists, make sure to consult your doctor to avoid these vaginal tears and infections.

What causes vaginal swelling?

Rough intercourse is not the only cause of vaginal swelling, here are some of the causes you should look out for:

1. Allergies

Certain allergic reactions can cause your vagina and vulva to swell. Vaginal contraceptives, body lotions, soaps, lubricants, tampons, body creams, latex, condoms, etc. contain chemicals, which can react with the vaginal skin and cause swelling. Plus, if you are starting to use a new product, make sure it doesn’t contain ingredients that could trigger a vaginal infection. Since they are the sensitive parts of your body, you have to be extra careful to avoid this problem and infections as well.

2. Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the bacteria levels, required to keep the vaginal healthy, are out of balance. It can cause pain and discomfort in the vagina. While it can happen to anyone, it is more common in sexually active women. Activities such as unprotected sex and douching can increase the risk of developing this problem. Vaginal swelling, discharge, vaginal odour, itching, and burning during urination are common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis.

3. Vaginal irritation

Even if you don’t have an allergy, the body can react to certain products that can cause vaginal irritation. A lot of it has to do with the kind of products you use. Detergents, body perfumes, body lotions and washes, toilet paper, and more such products can cause vaginal irritation. All of these contain specific types of chemicals, which can cause vaginal and vulvar swelling.

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4. Yeast infection

A yeast infection is a fungal infection caused by the overgrowth of candida fungal species in an intimate area. In this condition, many other symptoms including vaginal swelling, burning sensation, redness, pain during sex and passing urine, skin irritation, and thick discharge can be seen.

5. Sexually transmitted infections

Sexually transmitted infections can cause inflammation in the cervix, called cervicitis. It can lead to symptoms such as swelling, unbearable pain during intercourse, bleeding during the menstrual cycle, and changes in the colour and smell of the discharge.

6. Pregnancy

In case of pregnancy, swelling may be seen in the vagina. As the fetus grows, more weight falls on your pelvis. It also puts pressure on the surrounding muscles and blood vessels, and this can cause vaginal inflammation. If you are experiencing irritation or itching along with swelling during pregnancy, you need to consult a doctor immediately.

Pregnant woman
Pregnancy can also lead to vaginal swelling. Image courtesy: Freepik

How is vaginal swelling treated?

The treatment of vaginal swelling depends on its cause. If this is happening due to an infection, you will have to get proper treatment for the infection. It is important to determine the cause of the problem so that the doctor can assess and treat it. Here’s how each of these causes should be treated:

1. Bacteria vaginosis: It is important to maintain the pH balance of the vagina to ward off this problem.
2. Allergic reaction: You need to give extra attention to vaginal hygiene and the kind of products you are using. You should choose products that are suitable for you.
3. Vaginal irritation: You should avoid scented products such as pads, tampons, and other products. Avoid applying a moisturiser, or lotion to the area.
4. Sexually transmitted diseases: This is an umbrella term for a lot of different diseases. So, your doctor will make a proper diagnosis and decide the treatment according to the condition that has affected you.
5. Pregnancy: In case of pregnancy, you need to consult with your doctor to avoid any complications.

How to prevent vaginal swelling?

Here are some common ways that can help you prevent vaginal swelling:

1. Always wipe from front to back after using the toilet to avoid the risk of infections.
2. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, so all you need to do is clean the outer layer to use a mild and fragrance-free soap.
3. Use a tissue or a soft cotton towel to dry your vagina.
4. Wear cotton underwear to limit the risk of infection and let the vagina get some fresh air.
5. Avoid washing the insides of your vagina as it can disturb its natural pH balance, increasing the risk of infections.

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