Finding a bump or lump on your body can often be a reason for concern, especially when it comes to your vaginal area. It is good practice to regularly check your genital area so that you can quickly identify anything out of the ordinary. This might include unwelcome additions such as lumps, bumps, rashes or anything in between.
It is important to monitor your genital health, because bumps appearing on or around the vagina could be indicative of the early signs of a condition that needs medical attention, such as a sexually transmitted infection. Spotting them as soon as they occur is ideal so you can seek appropriate medical attention when necessary.
This article will discuss five potential explanations for the bumps near or on your labia. Certainly, vaginal lumps and bumps do not always spell doom and could be just regular pimples. However, it is essential that you see your gynecologist if you spot these lumps, so they can evaluate whether they are dangerous or not.
Your Hair Removal Method
Waxing, shaving and other hair removal techniques may at times trigger an infection in the hair follicles surrounding your vulva, thereby resulting in lumps and bumps. Infected ingrown hair cysts make themselves known through rash-like razor burns, or in particularly advanced scenarios, boils with pus.
To mitigate this risk, doctors recommend that you swap out your razors regularly, shave in the same direction of the hairs, and apply ointments such as shaving creams to raise the hairs off the skin to avoid nicking yourself. You could also try switching your shaving technique, either from waxing to shaving, or vice versa.
If you are still susceptible to these bumps even after doing the above, consider using antibiotic ointments such as Neosporin® to help fight the infection-causing bacteria.
There is also, of course, the option of going au natural!
There are a variety of vaginal cysts, with some containing pus while others contain a scar or air-tissue. Cysts on the vaginal area can have the appearance of pocket-like projections along the vaginaal wall. Even though some cysts are large and painful, most of them are small and often have no symptoms. Consult with your gynecologist. Some types of vaginal cyst include:
These are characterized by lumps on either or both sides of your vagina’s opening.
These are lumps of tissue which create tiny cysts inside the vagina.
Gartner’s Duct Cysts
These typically appear when you are pregnant.
Vaginal Inclusion Cysts
These usually appear after there has been some trauma to the vagina’s walls, for instance when giving birth. An injury could cause the tissue to get trapped under the skin’s surface, thereby resulting in cysts.
In the same way that you can get a dermatological condition such as eczema and psoriasis on any part of your body, your vulva is no exception. You probably thought that you were done with pimples when you were past your adolescence. However, these breakouts can and may happen in your adulthood. And just as with other acne blemishes, the pimples on your vulva can be red, painful and at times full of pus.
And as uncomfortable as these zits might be, do not squeeze them. Keep your hands away and let your skin clear up by itself.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Itchy bumps on outer vaginal lips are among the symptoms of certain STIs. The bites from crabs (pubic lice) typically manifest themselves on the vulva as tiny blue dots that itch incessantly.
Herpes Simplex Viruses 1 and 2
For instance, during a herpes outbreak for simplex viruses 1 and 2, it is not unusual to see clusters of blister-like bumps which are both itchy and painful. These bumps usually appear between 2 and 20 days of getting the infection, after which they may go dormant for weeks, months or even years between breakouts.
Genital warts are whitish or skin-colored bumps that form around the vulva and anus. They are caused by either of the two types of the HPV Virus (6 and 11). They can be irritating or itchy but do not usually hurt. Fortunately, your immune system can usually successfully ward off the virus causing these warts. However, they might stick around for a while, and thus, you should see a doctor so that they can treat and remove the warts if necessary.
While a lot of people are unaware of this symptom, one of the early symptoms of syphilis is the “syphilis sore,” which shows up as a small chancre sore around the vulva or anus. It is round, firm, and painless, and there is usually just one. It might also appear in very discrete spots such as inside the vagina or rectum, making it hard to find.
Molluscum contagiosum is an incredibly common but little-known STI. It is quite prevalent among young women – especially those in their twenties – who are sexually active. It manifests itself through sprinkles of tiny bumps all around the vulva and is highly contagious. However, these bumps typically go away by themselves.
This is the last section of our list because it is the least likely. Avoid jumping to this extreme conclusion if you ever spot a bump in the land down under. This is because cancers of the vulva are incredibly rare, and cancers of the vagina are even less likely to occur. Nevertheless, symptoms of cancerous vaginal conditions might include:
- Elevated or flat bumps and sores on the vulva
- Burning, itching or pain
- Lighter or darker patches of skin around the area
- Thickened skin patches
- Unusual discharge or bleeding
- Wounds that do not heal within a few weeks
Older women and those who smoke have been found to be more susceptible to cancer of the vulva. Moreover, having the HPV virus puts you at a higher risk of this cancer. Vaginal and vulvar cancers can only be diagnosed through obtaining tissues from suspicious lesions and examining them under a microscope.
When You Should See Your Gynecologist
Occasional bumps on a woman’s vagina are a fairly common occurrence, often with fairly innocuous causes. Even though these lumps are not typically painful, they might cause pain or bleeding when they grow too large, in addition to increasing the risk of infection. As such, anyone who develops vaginal bumps or lumps should see a gynecologist to ensure that they are not at risk of a severe condition.
But if you notice any change in the vaginal area, including lumps and bumps, you should see a doctor for medical advice and treatment if necessary. It is especially vital that you see your gynecologist if your lumps:
- Have a foul-smelling or unusual discharge
- Are painful for you
How Does the Gynecologist Diagnose and Treat the Bumps?
While diagnosing vaginal bumps or lumps, your doctor will examine the outside of your vulva. They might take a swab from the bump and send it to a lab to test for any harmful cells. They might also have to do some imaging tests so that they can see the size of the bumps.
Most of these lumps do not necessitate surgical treatments, and may be treated with a simple prescription. Your gynecologist will evaluate the bumps to know whether they require medication or any additional treatment methods.