Question: I received two external vaginal abrasions from the use of a condom. Can I use Neosporin to heal the abrasions?
Answer: An abrasion is a scraped area on the skin or the mucus membrane. It is a type of minor injury resulting due to friction or irritation. It may or may not bleed and the healing is without any scar formation provided the abrasion is superficial. Abrasion in vagina is not uncommon. There are many reasons for this type of injury. Vaginal injury, though uncommon, can occur at any age in a woman. An abrasion or a scratch on labia or in the vaginal wall can be extremely discomforting. Sometimes, it may lead to tenderness and swelling. If the condition is not treated in a timely manner, infection may set in and there may be aggravation of the symptoms.
Causes of Vaginal Abrasions
- Sex without proper lubrication, abrasion from intercourse: It is one of the most common causes for vaginal abrasion. Many women perform sex without proper lubrication. During the time of arousal in a woman, the glands situated in the vaginal wall secrete a lubricating fluid. It keeps the vagina moist and reduces friction and irritation during intercourse. However, in some women there is less secretion and lubrication due to a number of factors such as hormonal imbalance, decreased libido and fatigue. In such cases, application of a lubricating agent before intercourse reduces the chances of abrasion and pain.
- Physical injury due to scratching of vagina: Intolerable itching in vagina leads to irresistible scratching. Often, the mucus membrane of the vagina may get hurt with finger nails resulting in an abrasion.
- When the vaginal mucosa is thin: Hormonal changes and imbalance during and after menopause may lead to thin vaginal mucus membrane. A slight scratch or friction may cause an abrasion.
- Infection: Bacterial vaginitis and candidiasis are the two important etiological factors for abrasion and irritation of vaginal mucus membrane.
- Inserting foreign body in the vagina without proper lubrication may also result in an abrasion of the area.
- Often, violent intercourse and sexual abuse are reasons for abrasion in the vaginal area.
- Besides, young girls may suffer from abrasion in their vaginal area due to cycling or horse riding.
- Allergies to condoms, tampons and spermicidal creams can also cause abrasions and irritant vaginitis in some women.
Symptoms and Signs of Vaginal Abrasions
- Pain in the vagina is a common symptom associated with vaginal trauma.
- Pain is accompanied with tenderness and patient finds it difficult to maintain personal hygiene.
- There may be mild bleeding at the time of injury, but usually the bleeding does not prolong and subsides within a few minutes.
- Pain during urination is an important symptom since the urethral opening is situated just above the entrance of vaginal opening.
- You experience pain during intercourse. Patient finds it difficult to have sexual intercourse due to pain and tenderness.
- The labia majora and labia minora may appear slightly swollen when there is deep abrasion.
- When an abrasion is superseded with bacterial infection, there may be foul smelling vaginal discharge. However, the possibility is very less if you take timely precautions.
Treatment for Vaginal Abrasions
- Generally vaginal abrasions heals of its own.
- If there are symptoms of secondary infection such as fever, within one or two days of the abrasion, get medical assistance as soon as possible.
- You can apply Calendula ointment, as Calendula acts well in healing the abrasions.
- The other simple remedy is to apply coconut oil on the abrasion.
- Applying Neosporin or any other antibiotic ointment under the supervision of your doctor.
- Precaution: Abstain from sex during the time of recovery.
- Wear cotton panties as it facilitates air circulation in the vaginal area.