COMMON SEX INJURIES And how to fix them

We are always reminded to play it safe when it comes to sex and we should. However, no matter how safe we try to play it, we at one time or the other end up with injuries. And because it isn’t a pleasant thing to talk about, many people end up suffering for days on end without seeking help. Truth is, sex related injuries are more common than we think. Here is a list of the most common sex injuries and how to deal with them.

Whoever said love is a battlefield might have had sex injuries in mind. And no, sex injuries do not only occur with a couple who are acrobatic during sex; it can also affect those who are comfortable with run-of-the-mill sex. This is so because sex is a physical activity and like any physical activity, there is the risk of one getting hurt. This raises the question of how safe is sex? Going by the following injuries, the answer could be, well, ‘not very’. But this shouldn’t be reason enough for you to wear helmets and protective gear (unless it is a condom) while at it. Here are common sex injuries to watch out for and how to help them heal right.

Vaginal tearing

This is arguably one of the most common sex injuries and it has affected nearly all women at one time or another. The vagina is one of the toughest human organs. However, this does not mean it is immune to bruising or internal scratches, which occur especially when a woman is not well lubricated and in the event that she is, long, vigorous sex can result in drying up leading to tearing of the labia, vulva or the inside. And it is not fun at all as it manifests in the form of blood or pain. You can prevent this by ensuring your partner is well lubricated through foreplay or using a lubricant such as KY jelly to avoid friction.

How to fix it

The first course of action is stopping the sexual activity the minute you feel any irritation or pain. In case of excessive bleeding or if the pain persists, then seek medical attention.

Muscle pull

Many wrongly assume that sex injuries arise when a couple decides to be adventurous in the bedroom. However, a simple muscle pull can occur during the most tender sexual activity leaving one hopping and throbbing in a not-so-pleasurable way. Many people also do not experience the muscle until the sex is over and you are left wondering what happened. The reason for this is that the body produces the oxytocin hormone, which increases our tolerance for pain and it’s only later that you realise maybe you took it a little bit far. One of the ways to prevent muscle pull during sex is to start with simple positions as you work your way up to advanced poses.

How to fix it

An over-the-counter non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen should do the trick. In addition, take a rest, compress and elevate the point of injury. See a doctor in case the pain doesn’t improve or go away after a few days.

Infections

Infections such as yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infection often result from sex. Women are more susceptible to such infections compared to their male counterparts. If you suspect you are suffering from any of the infection above, you are advised to avoid sex so that the inflamed tissues can heal. In addition, sex will hurt and it will exacerbate the issue. You can also contract sexually transmitted diseases through unprotected sex.

How to fix it

To avoid vaginal infections, start by ensuring your partner’s penis is clean (even if it means having him cleaning it before foreplay). Also, ensure you are lubricated enough at all times during the sexual activity so as to prevent irritation or tears, which are culprits for urinary tract infections. Yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter medications. Other infections might require a doctor’s attention as you might be dealing with a serious sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Carpet burns

Carpet burn is to sex what grass burn is to football. Admittedly, one of the safest surfaces to have sex on is a mattress. But sometimes you get adventurous and want to bring your A-game to the bedroom and you feel the mattress would not help you achieve it and so you hit the carpet. We get it; it’s fun and sexy but it can also get ouch! Carpet burns are as a result of friction and can be painful and uncomfortable.

How to fix it

Although it doesn’t warrant a visit to the hospital, it is wise to care for the wound to avoid infection. Wash the affected area with cool water and antibacterial soap

to ward off bacteria. Don’t irritate the burn while it is healing as it will not only slow down the healing process, but also develop a scar. The best way to prevent carpet burn is by putting a soft throw down, such as a blanket, on the carpet.

Foreign objects getting stuck

You know what they say; anything can get stuck in a hole. As such, items like condoms, sex toys or tampons can get stuck or go missing in action inside the vagina. Gynaecologists refer to items that get stuck or lost in the vaginal tract as foreign objects.

How to fix it

Wait for 10 to 15 minutes after you have had sex before trying to retrieve it. This is to give time for your vagina to get back to its normal state as it is more difficult to reach up there when it is engorged from sex. In addition, try to stay calm and relaxed. Insert two fingers and attempt to get it out. Do not use any other thing apart from your fingers to try to fish out the stuck item. If the item has gone missing in action, see your doctor as soon as possible.

Broken penises

It’s possible to break a penis especially when it’s hard. The condition is referred to as penile fracture. During an erection, the penis is engorged with blood. In the event the penis is bent forcefully or suddenly, the lining of one of the two cylinders in the penis responsible for erection can rapture resulting in fracture. Signs of a penile fracture include a popping sound (tissue tearing), loss of erection almost immediately, swelling, dark bruising and pain. Lots and lots of pain.

How to fix it

A visit to the doctor is warranted.

Slippery showers

It started off as a romantic idea to share a bathroom but before you know it, you are all over each other panting for breath. Sex in the bathroom is great, no doubt. But it can also be very dangerous especially in small bathrooms. Take care when you go this route and ensure there is something you can hold onto in case you slip.

How to fix it

If you are sure you haven’t broken any bones, a cold compress and painkiller will do. If you have broken a bone or rib, then seek medical attention.

Bumps, bites and bruises

Cases of couples falling off the bed in the heat of the moment, which might lead to bumps, bruises or broken bones, are not uncommon. You might also hit your head against a headboard or your knees against the bedside table. Other times, the injuries may arise out of biting, clawing and scratching.

How to fix it

Common home remedies should do the trick. In case you suspect something has broken, see a doctor immediately.

Back injuries

This is most common with people who relish rough sex. Sex positions also adversely contribute to back injuries. For instance, any position where one is arching their back might result in back pain. Also, lying flat on one’s back without any pillows to support one’s head might place too much pressure on the spine leading to injury. To those who already suffer from back problems, sex need not be a daunting task. Employ the use of pillows as well as back friendly positions such as spooning, side by side or chair sex for an enjoyable experience.

How to fix it

In case of a back injury, put an ice pack on your lower back so as to relieve inflammation. In addition, pop a painkiller and rest for a few hours.

Death

There are 1,001 ways to die and sex is one of them. Although very rare, it does happen and it should be reason enough to take precautions while at it. According to a 2011 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, vigorous sexual activity triples the risk of heart attack if the person has been inactive. Signs to watch out for include chest pain, shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Also, certain medications used to treat erectile dysfunction in men have been linked to sudden cardiovascular death during sexual activity among elderly men and otherwise unwell men.

How to fix it

Unfortunately, there is nothing much that can be done at this stage. However, you can prevent this by being physically active.

Published in August 2016

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