Sharp Pain in Vagina: After Sex, at 38 Weeks Pregnant, Random Stabbing Pain

Vulvodynia or sharp pain in the vagina is a popular problem experienced by women of all races and ages. Often, no clear cause of pain can be identified, and as such, it is at times not categorized as a painful syndrome. It is very difficult to decipher the exact cause of the sharp pain in vagina, which means that many women are left without a proper diagnosis.

Below, we are going to look at what causes sharp pain in the vagina after sex, while 38 weeks pregnant, and at random. Read on to learn more about sharp pain or stabbing pain inside the vagina, including home remedies and treatments that can be used to ease the pain.

Types of sharp vaginal pain (characteristics)Sharp pain inside the vagina

Vaginal pain has the potential to cause adverse effects in your life, which can make it almost impossible for you to perform your daily duties. In extreme cases, sharp pain in vagina has been known to hamper your ability to socialize, engage in meaningful exercise routines, as well as harbor your desire to engage in sexual intimacy with a loved one.

Many women experiencing sharp vaginal pain feel that the pain is out of control, which makes it hard for them to engage in coitus, according to a study conducted by the National Institute of Health. Vaginal pain will normally cause a sharp pain in your vulva region as well as in other genital regions e.g. the vaginal opening, labia, and clitoris. The type of sharp pain in vagina include:

Sharp shooting pain inside vagina

The sharp shooting pain inside vagina is a pretty common thing in women who are pregnant. They are also referred to as lightening crotch, and will start to appear around your sixth week of pregnancy. Even though the pain can be a bit uncomfortable, the good news is that it does not last for long periods.

It is caused by the baby growing inside you. although your child is still small, your uterus is starting to stretch and grow as the baby continues to develop. The sharp shooting pain you experience is caused by this factor.

Throbbing pain

Vulvodynia is the term used to refer to sharp pain in the vaginal opening and vulva area, of which no identifiable cause can be seen. Though the exact cause of this condition is not known, it is in no way related to STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

Its symptoms include:

  1. Presence of aching, burning, or throbbing pain that has been localized to a single area of the vulva. In some cases, the pain could become more widespread.
  2. There are cases where it could be accompanied by vaginal itching

The throbbing pain inside vagina may at times be chronic, in which case it could end up lasting for many years. The degree of the severity will also vary from one woman to the next. Often, it occurs with an absence of visible abnormalities or physical signs. But, the pain can be so severe that it ends up interfering with your normal sexual activities, which could then lead to pain during intercourse.

Throbbing pain inside vagina can be caused by:

  • Irritation or damage to your nerves
  • Regular use of antibiotic medication
  • An abnormal response to inflammation or irritation
  • An existing history of sexual abuse
  • Allergic reactions
  • Muscle spasms

Genetic or familial factors have also been suggested to play a critical role in the development of this condition. However, the primary cause is to-date yet to be identified.

Stabbing pain in vagina

Many women are well aware of the fact that muscle cramps can be very painful. However, imagine how it would feel like having a muscle cramp inside your hip bones. Many a times, a woman experiencing pelvic pain will describe feeling pain that suddenly comes out from nowhere, which can come and go, or last for some time.

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Often, the pain cannot be helped by using normal pain medication. Although many women have become accustomed to experiencing daily pain in the pelvic region, when the cramping becomes too much, it becomes necessary for them to visit the emergency unit in a hospital, as the pain could pose a problem to their health.

Random pain

Random pain occurring in your vagina may be the result of an infection. Common infections known to plague women include yeast infections. Even though a yeast infection will not cause you to experience the traditional pain, the infections can make you feel dry, and very itchy in your vagina area.

Many women interpret the dryness and itchiness as pain. Chances are good that you will at one point in your life have to deal with a yeast infection, according to the Center for Disease Control. Even though it is possible to treat this kind of infection using OTC (over the counter medication), it is always recommended to ensure that you consult your physician before taking any medication. The ob-gyn will be able to perform a pelvic exam, which will help them establish what is causing the random pain in the vagina.

What causes sharp pain inside the vagina?

People normally use the term vagina to refer to the entire female package. But, in reality, a vagina only comprises of the canal existing between the cervix and the vulva. The vulva on the other hand is made up of different components: the vagina opening, inner and outer labia, clitoris, urethra, and the perineum. The following are the common causes of sharp pain in vagina.

1.     Vaginitis

It is an inflammation of your vagina, which is brought about by a yeast infection. When you have vaginitis, you will typically present with burning, vaginal discharge, and/or vaginal discharge. Vaginitis can be caused by:

1.     Yeast infection

Seventy-five percent of all women will at some point in their lives get a yeast infection. Traditionally, when dealing with a yeast infection, the vaginal discharge will appear like cottage cheese. If the doctor suspects that you have a yeast infection, a sample will be taken and observed under the microscope in order to get a better diagnosis.

Vaginitis caused by a yeast infection can easily be taken care of using antifungal pills or vaginal creams. Women prone to getting yeast infections need to take steps to ensure that the condition will not recur in the future.

2.     Gonorrhea

Around eight hundred and twenty thousand new cases of gonorrhea are reported each year, according to CDC estimates. When suffering from gonorrhea, you are likely to have a greenish kind of vaginal discharge.

3.     Chlamydia

It is one of the most common types of sexually transmitted diseases with over one million cases being reported each year. In some cases, a woman may not have any vaginal discharge, despite the fact that she could be infected with chlamydia.

4.     Trichomoniasis

The sexually transmitted infection is characterized by the presence of a fishy, smelling odor. Recent estimates show that close to two million women have been infected with this particular disease. As is the case with all the other infections, a diagnosis has to be made by a doctor, after which you will be required to take some antibiotics to treat the condition.

5.     Bacterial vaginosis

This type of vaginal infection is very common in women between the ages of fifteen and forty-four. It occurs due to an existing imbalance between your vaginal bacteria. Risk factors for bacterial vaginosis include:

  1. Douching
  2. Bathing in bleached cleansed tubs
  3. Utilizing feminine wipes or washes
  4. Shaving the vulva region with shaving creams
  5. Using scented pads or tampons

2.     Vaginal Dryness

As the name suggests, it refers to a dry vagina. But, you should not assume that this is something that is only likely to affect postmenopausal women. Young women are also likely to get this condition if they are on antidepressants, birth control pills, breastfeeding, or taking asthma medications.

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It is also possible for you to get vaginal dryness when there is an infection in your Bartholin’s glands. The glands are located in your four and six o’clock positions inside the vagina. During sex, they are responsible for producing the lubrication that is required.

At times, they could become clogged, which would result in an infection. Lack of a natural lubricant means that your vagina will be dry. A diagnosis can be made by your doctor after going through your medical history.

3.     Postmenopausal vaginal atrophy

The condition is characterized by the inflammation of your vaginal walls because of a lack of estrogen, which is common among women who are in their menopause phase. When it occurs, your vagina starts to become thin, which means that it will also become dry and very painful.

A diagnosis for PAV can be performed after taking a closer look at your pelvis. Once diagnosis is complete, treatment will then be administered, which will include vaginal estrogen. Additionally, vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can also come in handy.

4.     Vaginismus

It refers to involuntary spasms or tightening of your vaginal muscles at the opening area. Women with this condition will normally experience a lot of pain when engaging in sexual intimacy. The condition can be diagnosed by inserting a speculum inside your vagina when performing a pelvic exam.

Sharp pain in vagina after sex

Experiencing pain when engaging in coitus is often caused by vaginal inflammation of infection. Additionally, it could also be due to a lack of lubricant, or because of existing problems within your pelvis e.g. ovarian cysts or endometriosis.

Endometriosis is the condition where the cells that usually line your uterus start spilling out through your fallopian tubes, and settle down around the ovary. This can be on the back of your uterus or bladder, which would then cause a lot of pain and discomfort during, and after sex.

In cases, where the discomfort is experienced after intercourse, there could be a very different explanation for it.  Sexual cystitis is the term used to refer to a situation where mechanical irritation of your urethra is irritated via the mechanical action of engaging in sexual intimacy.

For such a case, any tests carried out on a urine sample will not reveal the presence of any bacteria. Additionally, the condition will not respond to any antibiotics. The physician may therefore choose to analyze your urine samples, as well as carry out vagina swabs to determine what could be causing the problem.

The aim of the tests will be to rule out bacterial cystitis, as well as rule out vaginal infections e.g. trichomoniasis and thrush.

Sharp vaginal pain while pregnant

In the course of your pregnancy, your body will undergo a number of changes as it seeks to adapt, in a bid to accommodate the baby that is growing inside you. As a result, you will start gaining weight, and the body will continue growing to accommodate your baby. Even though all this is natural, it may end up causing you some discomfort.

For first time mothers, it can be very stressful, as they seek to discern between typical pregnancy pains and a complication arising from a sharp pain in vagina.

Causes of sharp pain in vagina during pregnancy

One of the most common complaints made by pregnant women is a stabbing pain occurring in and around the uterus, groin or abdominal region. Whereas this can cause a lot of uneasiness, it can easily be explained by the changes that occur in your body when you are pregnant.

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The most common causes for this pain include:

  • Round ligament pain
  • Cramping
  • Constipation
  • Gas and bloating

The conditions described above are a normal part of being pregnant, but they do not usually cause any pain to occur. In case the sharp pain being experienced has been localized to one area, it may be an indication of an ectopic pregnancy. The condition is serious, and will require urgent medical attention.

Additionally, a pending miscarriage may also cause sharp pain in vagina because of the cramping. It is something that is likely to raise concern for expectant mothers, who would like to learn the different between cramping associated with a uterus that is expanding, and a pending miscarriage.

Symptoms

Although sharp pain can be caused by normal pregnancy changes, there exists certain warning signs, which you should be on the lookout for as they could lead to a complication.

They include:

  • Pain accompanied by heavy bleeding, chills, fever, and vomiting
  • If your sharp pain continues after adjusting or resting
  • If this pain makes it difficult for you to speak, walk, or breathe

You should contact your gynecologist as soon as you notice any of the above symptoms.

Pain at 38 weeks pregnant

At thirty-eight weeks of pregnancy, your body should be ready for delivery. At this point, the baby is settling further down your uterus. At this point, you will start to feel more comfortable, and your breathing will improve dramatically, even though you may need to urinate every so often. The sharp pain inside vagina may be caused by the baby changing its position, in readiness for delivery.

The pain is associated with vaginal dilation, which is likely to start taking place weeks, days, or even hours before you are due to deliver. Normally, it is not something that should concern you, however, ensure that you inform your doctor in case you experience a lot of discomfort. Additionally, any pain in the lower abdomen or any vaginal bleeding that is noticed should be communicated to your physician as well.

Relief treatment

Treatment options for sharp pain in vagina will vary greatly depending on your needs. Common treatment options include:

1.     Medications

Anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants have both been shown to assist in reducing chronic pain. If you are experiencing any itching, your physician may also prescribe some antihistamines.

2.     Physical therapy, relaxation, and biofeedback

Often, sharp pains occurring in your vagina region are associated with muscles that are too tense. The pains can be reduced when the muscles are allowed to relax. Biofeedback therapy will teach you how to control the body’s responses through the pelvic muscles. It involves inserting a vaginal sensor that measures your muscle strength, and can provide you with a great idea of relaxation and contractions.

What to do at home (home remedies)

If you have dealt with vulvodynia in the past, you know the kind of toll it can have on both your emotional and physical health. Apart from the treatment options discussed above, there are home remedies that you can use to ease its symptoms. They include:

1.     Acupuncture

Acupuncture can be effective in assisting to reduce the sharp pain experienced in vagina. It also makes it easier for you to resume sexual intercourse, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

2.     Lifestyle modifications

A fabric blend can be very irritating. It is therefore recommended that you only wear underwear made using a hundred percent cotton, which will make it easier for you to breathe more easily. Additionally, you should consider opting for organic tampons when menstruating.

Article Resources

  • Pelvic Pain Foundation. (2016). Stabbing pain

http://www.pelvicpain.org.au/information/pelvic-pains/stabbing-pain/

  • Family Doctor. (2014). Dyspareunia

https://familydoctor.org/condition/dyspareunia

  • Mayo Clinic Personnel. (2015). Painful intercourse

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/painful-intercourse/basics/definition/con-20033293

  • (2011). When sex is painful

http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/When-Sex-Is-Painful

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