Depending on the situation, your vagina can sometimes feel differently than normal. New sensations from vaginal itching to vaginal numbness are reasons to look into what’s causing these changes.
Sometimes a new feeling in your vagina is the result of a health condition. For example, an itchy vulva is a common symptom of a yeast infection.
Other times, the change is simply the natural order of things. For instance, your vagina gets wet when you’re turned on, and your vaginal discharge varies throughout your menstrual cycle — nothing to worry about.
But what about a “lack-of-feeling” numbness or even a “tingling” numbness feeling? What does that mean?
If you’re left feeling numb, tingly, or unable to climax, we’re here to help you figure out what to do next and get sensation back.
So get comfy and keep reading — let’s dive in!
Everything You Need To Know About Vaginal Numbness
First of all, there’s “tingling” numbness and “lack-of-feeling” numbness, and the truth is that they are not the same.
A tingling numbness sensation isn’t that different from the pins-and-needles feeling you might experience when your leg or arm “goes to sleep.” This kind of tingly, prickly feeling, though, is almost always nerve-related. Some women feel it during arousal or after rigorous sexual activity.
This, however, is very different from a complete “lack-of-feeling” kind of numbness. Neither kinds of vaginal numbness are necessarily “normal,” but they aren’t as uncommon as people may think.
Should I Be Concerned If I Experience Temporary Numbness?
Temporary numbness typically isn’t a major cause for concern.
When it happens after you have sex, it’s more often than not caused by over-stimulation of the nerves in your genitals or hypersensitivity.
In fact, some individuals are super sensitive after sex and don’t like any further touching. More often than not, post-sex vaginal numbness will feel more like a tingling sensation, but it can feel a little different from person to person.
For some, this sensitivity can be total loss-of-feeling numbness, which can be pretty frustrating when your partner wants to keep going even though you aren’t capable of really feeling anything down below.
The good news is that any numbness you experience in your vagina after getting frisky is usually temporary. It should resolve with some rest.
In addition to sex, cycling can cause temporary numbness down there as well.
Riding your bike or cycling for a long time can compress the pudendal nerve in your perineum (between your vagina and anus). This can cause a feeling of numbness. But don’t fret — this is also only temporary.
What About My Sex Toy?
Contrary to any scary and confusing myths you might have heard, you aren’t going to “break” your lady bits by frequently using your favorite sex toy.
It is true, though, that sex toy stimulation can cause temporary numbness after orgasm.
However, some sex toys can cause numbness even before orgasm. This can sometimes make climax impossible. Thankfully, this doesn’t cause any long-term damage. Maybe just consider turning it down a few notches.
Can Underlying Stress and Hormonal Changes Cause Vaginal Numbness?
The hormonal changes caused by giving birth and menopause can come with some vaginal numbness or decreased sensation.
This is due to lower estrogen levels which changes how your vagina looks and feels. Your vagina and vulva may become drier, thinner, and less elastic.
Vaginal numbness could also be caused by stress, especially if it is persistent stress.
Sexual function is highly dependent on what’s happening not only consciously but subconsciously, as well as what’s happening physically. It’s not uncommon for high levels of persistent stress to affect your sex life, including vaginal sensations.
This likely resulted due to a mix of stress-related mental distractions and high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
What About Giving Birth Or Trauma?
Complicated vaginal deliveries or vaginal trauma can cause you to lose sensation down there too.
Giving birth can put quite a bit of pressure on, stretch, or even injure the nerves in your pelvic floor. This is especially common if you happened to deliver a heavier bundle of joy.
Any time a nerve is cut or the vessel that brings blood to the area is cut, there can be a loss of vaginal sensation. This can definitely affect how sex feels, and for some women, that manifests itself as numbness or tingling.
The good news is that this usually does resolve over time as the nerves regenerate, and blood flow improves.
If you have a history of trauma or assault, you may find it helpful to talk to a therapist so they can get you the care you need. Sometimes vaginal numbness can be related to flashbacks or a fear of having sex again.
What If I Have Other Symptoms?
If you happen to have other symptoms or if your vaginal numbness is persistent, it could be related to an underlying condition.
For example, numbness in your vagina could be a sign of a neurological issue. Those types of issues can include a herniated disc or, in some cases, or even certain kinds of tumors. Don’t let this scare you. It’s just a good reason to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
In both of those scenarios, other symptoms would likely be present, such as trouble with urination or difficulty walking.
Vaginal numbness could also be associated with certain autoimmune conditions such as lupus or a herpetic outbreak.
If it is due to herpes, you’ll likely also feel pain, itching, or have sores.
Vaginal numbness is different for everyone. Unless it was due to something that you can easily attribute it to like cycling, bring it up with your doctor. They can help you determine what’s normal and what’s cause for concern.
How Can I Get Sensation Back?
Now that you understand exactly what can cause vaginal numbness, you’re probably wondering how to reverse it to get sensation back.
Well, the truth is that it really depends on why you are experiencing vaginal numbness.
For example, if you are experiencing numbness due to a herniated disc, or nerve damage, you’ll likely need medical treatment. If your numbness is related to something like a yeast infection or BV there are things like Boric Acid supplements to help you treat that.
If you are experiencing vaginal numbness due to stress or trauma, a psychologist or other mental health specialist will be best.
While you should seek medical attention for some vaginal numbness-related medical issues, it’s not necessary to see a doctor for all of these problems.
Here are some things you can try at home to reverse numbness and get sensation back:
– Take a break from your vibrator: One of the most common reasons why many ladies experience vaginal numbness is due to over-using their vibrator, especially vibrators set on a “stronger” or “higher” vibration mode. To get sensation back in your lady bits, take a break from your favorite vibrator for a little while.
– Skip your cycling workout: Okay, so in most cases, we would never tell you to skip your heart-healthy cycling workout. In this case however, to get sensation back in your vagina – it’s a must.
Genital and perineal pain and numbness in cyclists — which is also called “Cyclists Syndrome” is a common side effect of intense cycling. So if your vagina is feeling numb following a good sweat on your bike, do yourself a favor and skip your next couple of rides.
– Get some rest after sex: If you happen to experience vaginal numbness following sex, it’s more often than not caused by over-stimulation of the nerves in your genitals. To get sensation back, simply take a breather and get some rest. Sensation will return as soon as your vagina has a moment to relax.
A Final Word
Vaginal numbness can be frustrating. To reverse it and bring back sensation to your vagina, the first step is understanding why it’s happening. For some women, they will need to seek medical attention from an expert to find relief. For others small changes can make a huge difference.
Remember to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. The sooner you deal with possible issues the better. You’ll be back to yourself sooner and that means you can get back to enjoying life (and sex) again!
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.