Common sex injuries and how to remedy them

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images
  • Pharmacist Abbas Kanani from UK online pharmacy Chemist Click reveals five common sex injuries and how to remedy them.
  • Taking a break from sex or using over-the-counter medication can help but some injuries need to be examined by a doctor and may even require surgery.
  • People may suffer in silence due to the embarrassment of sustaining an injury from having sex.

Sex can cause injuries, but it can be embarrassing to admit that a sexy time has turned dangerous. It does happen, but the embarrassment tends to prevent people from seeking help.

Pharmacist Abbas Kanani from UK online pharmacy Chemist Click reveals these injuries are common.

READ MORE | The 5 most underrated sex moves

Here are 5 common sex injuries and how you can remedy them

Carpet burn

It happens when the friction generates enough heat to remove or damage the top layer of your skin, resulting in a burn-like mark.

A passionate session of vigorous sex on rough surfaces such as rugs and carpets can lead to injuries, which can feel like first-degree burns.

Abbas explains: "Intense, continuous rubbing can cause scrapes on the bum, thighs, knees, elbows, hands and even the face."

Rubbing against coarse or prickly facial hair, say through oral sex, can also cause these types of injuries.

"If you notice an area on the body that is red, raw, discoloured and painful, you may have a friction burn. Even though carpet burns can be minor, these injuries are classed as a type of first-degree burn," he says.

Remedy

Most friction burn injuries won't require a doctor. However, to avoid potential complications, such as infection, it's important to understand how to treat these skin injuries.

"Run cold water over the area for up to 15 minutes. This will help to reduce swelling and inflammation. After rinsing the wound, clean it with cool water and mild soap and dry it with a clean cloth. Avoid using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide because this can cause additional pain, stinging or delay healing," Abbas advises.

READ MORE | Should I be worried about having a heart attack during sex? Expert says age isn't the only risk factor

Vaginal tears or cuts

A vaginal tear, also known as a laceration, is a wound in the tissue of the vagina. It can be caused by damage during rough sex, manual stimulation such as fingering and fisting or by inserting foreign objects. While vaginal and anal rips are more common, penile rips happen too.

A lack of lubrication, arousal, uncut nails and underlying conditions can also cause damage.

Minor vaginal wounds are usually harmless and heal themselves over time. Still, they can cause mild pain and discomfort for a day or two before they heal, particularly during urination and bathing or showering.

Remedy

Avoid inserting anything into a torn vagina, including sex toys, tampons, menstrual cups, douches or anything else, as this can irritate the tear.

The pharmacist recommends that you seek medical advice if you experience bleeding that won't stop, have a fever, or nausea, feel ill or suspect you have an STI.

Do you have a story to share? Tell us your story here.

READ MORE | The etiquette guide you didn't know you needed for before, during and after sex

Pulled muscles

Pulled muscles are also common. Our pain tolerance tends to increase when we're aroused due to the boost of oxytocin, which may mean you don't realise you've pulled a muscle during a passionate session.

Remedy

"If you notice muscle soreness, limited motion, muscle spasms or swelling after sex, taking an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation," Abbas says.

"You can also apply a cold compress to bring down the swelling. If it doesn't feel better in a few days or gets worse, then you should consult a doctor," he adds.

After two weeks, most sprains and strains will feel better. Avoid strenuous exercise such as running for up to eight weeks, as there's a risk of further damage.

Vaginal soreness

Lack of lubrication, too much sex or weak pelvic floor muscles can all be triggers for vaginal soreness. Most of the time, the pain subsides, and, at this time, it may be best to refrain from sex for a couple of days. Using lubrication can help relieve soreness during sex, while a bath soak with Epsom salts will help to heal the body, soothe discomfort and reduce inflammation after sex.

Pain that doesn't go away after a few days may be a sign of something deeper.

Remedy

"Pain while urinating could be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease, urinary tract infection or a non-STD bacterial infection such as vaginitis or pelvic inflammation disorder."

You should seek medical advice if you see no improvement after a few days.

Penis fracture

Spontaneity in and beyond the bedroom helps to keep the romance alive. Still, it may also increase the risk of wounds. Popular sex positions such as doggy style, cowgirl and reverse cowgirl account for many bruising and fracture sex injuries.

A fracture is usually a tear in the tunica albuginea, the layer of rubbery tissue just underneath the skin that allows the penis to expand when aroused. In some cases, the break can go deeper, reaching the layer of tissue beneath the tunica albuginea, called the corpus cavernosum.


"If you hear an audible pop or cracking sound, notice bruising around the area, have severe pain or difficulty peeing, you may have a fracture, and you should see a doctor straight away," he says.

Remedy

This injury usually requires surgery, and you'll likely face an abstinence period of around four to six weeks at least.

Although it is not as common as other sex injuries, it is worth knowing what to look out for because it is classified as a medical emergency.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24