Gynecological examination

What Causes Clitoris Swelling

What Causes Clitoris Swelling

Feeling the clitoris swelled and sore is something that happens to many women, but given to the high sensitivity and delicateness of this area, it can cause worry when it happens. Discomfort and clitoris swelling can be due to many different factors, and in this oneHOWTO article we're going to list some of the most common: vaginal infection, ingrown hair, too much rubbing during sexual contact, high testosterone levels...

Read this article to find out the causes of clitoris swelling and learn when it's advisable to consult your gynecologist.

You may also be interested in: Clitorodynia: Symptoms, Causes and Cure
  1. Are you aroused?
  2. Vaginal infection
  3. Stuck hair
  4. Bartholin's cyst
  5. Allergies
  6. Excessive sexual contact
  7. Excess testosterone
  8. Clitorodynia
  9. What to do with a swollen clitoris

Are you aroused?

The clitoris is an important female erogenous zone and during arousal this area expands its size because it fills with blood as a reaction to the situation that generates excitement.

So if you have noticed that your clitoris becomes swollen when you get excited or immediately after masturbation or sexual contact, know that this is completely normal and not a situation to generate alarm or concern.

You will notice this is the case by searching for other symptoms of arousal that, accompanied by a swollen clitoris, will let you know this is the case. Common symptoms are:

  • Vaginal lubrication
  • Sensitive breasts
  • Increased body temperature

Vaginal infection

Some types of vaginal infections may also cause your clitoris swelling. In these cases we will notice that the area is swollen and sensitive for no apparent reason. Other symptoms such as itching in this area and in the vagina and sometimes a burning feeling are signs of a fungal or bacterial infection. If so, you will also notice bad discharge smell and a possible change in color and quantity. Out of all the vaginal infections, you may have the following:

The best practice, if this ever occurs to you, is to visit your gynecologist for a check up and to receive prompt treatment. If you have suffered from vaginal infections before then you can apply the same treatment you used in the past to treat it.

What Causes Clitoris Swelling - Vaginal infection

Stuck hair

However, there are other reasons for clitoris swelling that are not so worrying and that you can solve by yourself at home. For example, sometimes a pubic hair may get stuck by the clitoris, this may cause friction and will therefore make your clitoris swell. If this happens, try to locate the loose hair and pluck it out. To do it properly, check our article on how to get rid of ingrown pubic hairs.

What Causes Clitoris Swelling - Stuck hair

Bartholin's cyst

Another reason for the clitoris to swell is the formation of a cyst which may block the formation of lubricant in the clitoris area. If this is the reason, you will notice constant pain, especially when walking, sitting and during intercourse in the area, which will also appear red. You may also feel occasional chills and even fever if it is infected. Make sure you notice all of these symptoms:

  • Appearance of a lump in the area
  • Discomfort during sexual intercourse and when walking
  • Fever
  • Increasing pain

Apply lubricant to ease the pain, but visit a specialist if this condition persists. If you need more information, visit how to treat Bartholin's cyst.


Sometimes, certain items of clothing can cause allergies or irritation due to rubbing in the area. Try wearing cotton underwear and avoid very tight knickers. To relieve the pain, you can also use a cooling pad on the area and get an allergy test to know if this is the case. Allergies that can affect this area include fabrics, products in soap, softener or certain products in scented toilet paper.

You will also notice the following:

  • Itching in the area
  • Excess smegma buildup

Although this can be a temporary condition for your clitoris, we advise you to change habits such as wearing tight pants and synthetic underwear, as such behavior prolonged in time may cause Clitorodynia, as we'll explain below.

Excessive sexual contact

One of the most frequent reasons for prolonged inflammation in the clitoris is very strong or excessive sexual contact which makes that area remain extremely sensitive and slightly swollen for longer than usual due to the blood supply and rubbing.

In such cases it is advisable to discontinue sexual activity until this discomfort disappears. Similarly, it is advisable to control the force applied during friction and penetration.

Excess testosterone

Testosterone is known as the male hormone. If you are currently taking testosterone pills, the clitoris will be one of the first to notice its effect. If you are not undergoing treatment, then a certain hormonal imbalance may be the problem. If this is the case, you will also notice the following symptoms:

  • Increased facial growth
  • Excessive hair loss (including bald patches)
  • Acne
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Low libido

These can also be symptoms women who are going through menopause experience, so it's important to know the difference.

What Causes Clitoris Swelling - Excess testosterone


Have you also noticed visible changes in the color or texture of the clitoris apart from a throbbing sensation coming from the area? Have you recently been under a lot of stress and/or commonly wear tight clothes? You may be suffering from a rare form of Vulvodynia known as Clitordynia.

This condition can be associated to other conditions such as Multiple sclerosis, lichen sclerosis or vestibulodynia.

To make sure this is the reason for your clitoris swelling, you should identify the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the clitoris
  • Burning sensation in the area when touched
  • Rip and tear pain during sexual encounters and/or introduction of tampon

Take a look at our article on Clitorodynia if you'd like to know more about this condition, its causes and care.

What to do with a swollen clitoris

It is important to remember that the clitoris is a sensitive area and must be stimulated with care during masturbation or sex. Violent stimulation can cause swelling and discomfort in the area.

If after or during your sexual encounters you suffer, besides the typical swelling, pain in the clitoris you should visit your gynecologist for a check. If you feel your clitoris swollen and experience some discomfort you can try these remedies to reduce inflammation. Additionally, if a clitoris inflammation persists over five days or a week it is also advisable to visit a specialist.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Causes Clitoris Swelling, we recommend you visit our Family health category.


  • If you suspect you have an infection, contact a specialist as soon as possible.
Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
My lady s left clit was swollen after sex so plz help
hi im a 12 year old girl and i had sex for the first time ever last week and ever since my clitoris has been swelling and itchy but if i itch it it becomes really painfull and starts to burn and i dunno if it just somthing that will only last for a week or somthing or if its a STD but my mam cant find out cos she will kill me and i cant go to the doctors by myself so what do i do?
OneHowTo Editor
We don't know the relationship with your mum. Often parents are more understanding than we think they will be. If you absolutely cannot speak to her, you will need to speak to someone. By using the word 'mam' we think you are maybe from the UK. If this is the case, you can call NHS 24 for specific advice. If not, look up local sexual health services in your area and call to speak to them. They will be able to provide advice on the available options where you live.
my clitoris is swelling for 2 days now and its hurting me very badly iv try worm water with salt but it only easy the pain for a few mints and my clitoris has a split on the side and im so afread dont know what to do
OneHowTo Editor
Hi sweetgirl,
If you have a wound you should definitely go to the gynecologist so he/she can take a proper look at it, as it could get infected and needs proper treatment.
Hope this helps
sarah Vivien
Hae doc. am 22years old. i have a swollen clitory and it started the day my periods start but now it's like blood coming out of the swollen place and its paining like hell. what should i do. its my first time experiencing this.please help me.
OneHowTo Editor
If you are experiencing bleeding you should go to a doctor as soon as you can.
Hope this helps
ayieko nantume
hello,am 24 years old av hard sex three tyms in my life ,tho the last time i had i started noticing that my clitories swelling and is making me so uncomftable,its nw two weeks n' with no clue of what it may be. plus a little of rashes on walls on my glatues just after the vulva. please help

OneHowTo Editor
This may be due to friction, though you should visit a gynecologist to make sure it's not too serious.
Hope this helps
What is this
Hello, I am only 14 years old and have not had any sex ever. I have experienced pain in the area and the clit seems to b swollen. I am afraid of asking my mother to go to the doctor and want to know the reason. I don't know what to search for when looking for ingrown hair and I don't have any other lumps in the area. Please please please help me with this problem.
Thank you
OneHowTo Editor
Hi there,

You should not be ashamed about this problem, though the best way to know if you have ingrowing hair that is causing the pain is to search for a dark line around the area that would indicate there is a hair growing in the inside, we would strongly advise you to ask your mother to take you to a gynecologist so he or she can find the source of your clitoris swelling.
Do not feel afraid, your mother will understand and she'll know that it is vitally important you seek proper medical attention to avoid this problem.

Hope this helps
What does it mean when your clitorius is just swollen and hurts like hell? Cuz mine it's bed hurts for maybe about a week but I'm too embarrassed to ask my mom so maybe you can tell me if I should be worrying or not and how I can treat it :/
OneHowTo Editor
We advise you to go to the gynecologist as soon as possible so a professional can take a look at the cause.
Hope this helps
i had sex with my hubby on sunday and he inserted his finger and rubbed my clitoris very hard at that time i was not having any pain.. but from the next day till today my clitoris is swollen and itching.. what will be the reason?
OneHowTo Editor
As the article mentions, this hard friction may be causing the pain. Apply cold to it and if the pain doesn't disappear after two days, we advise you to visit a specialist to check on you.
Can ovulation cause sensitivity and a little swelling? I've noticed this feeling recurs and it's also accompanied by heightened arousal.
OneHowTo Editor
Yes, certain women experience tender breasts during ovulation. There is no need to worry about these symptoms.
Hope this helps
I woke up and my clitoris is swollen this has never happened before so now I'm worried , does taking a warm bath take the swellen Down ?
Miss B
I really don't know what to do,this has lasted over a year and I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone about it..I noticed the swelling after sustaining an injury while I was shaving the wound has healed completely but the swelling wouldn't go down. Pls tell me what to do about it cause I don't think i want to open my body for any doctor. Thanks.
OneHowTo Editor
It is highly important you go to the doctor, you may have a severe infection but the only way of knowing what is wrong for certain is to see a professional. You may have the chance to ask for a female doctor if the issue is a man doctor visiting you. You may be able to ask for a woman, especially if it's the first time you've visited a gynecologist, but you MUST go to see a doctor.
my left side of my clit are is very swollen, its been that way for 3 days and it wont go down, i tried to ice it once and it didnt work and it hurts everytime i put my legs together what can i do
OneHowTo Editor
If the swelling is persisting you should go to a gynecologist as soon as you can so you can get a proper checkup.
I'm worried, I'm not comfortable with the way my clitoris swells during or after sex. Is there something I can use to stop it?
Alba Charles (oneHOWTO editor)
This article might be useful for you:
It's normal that your clitoris swells during sexual activity but if it produces pain and discomfort you should explain the problem to your gynaecologist. You can also try using lubricants to avoid rubbing.
I have a swollen clitoris and pain during sexual intercourse what could be the problem
OneHowTo Editor
All of the reasons mentioned above could be a possible cause. If the pain is constant we advise you to visit a gynaecologist so he/she can give you a solution
So my girlfriends vagina was itchy a few days after we had sex. Weve been together 3 years. She checked in the crevis above her clitoris and found these little blisters that were itchy and was red. It looked irritated. She was complaing that it felt prickly around there because i just shaved and she was on top for a while. Pretty much the whole time. Shes worried that it could be herpes even though neither of us have shown signs of it before. The blisters are very few and they are above and the left of her clit. They look like heat blisters and none didnt ooze or anything. What could this be please help
Alba Charles (oneHOWTO editor)
Hello Wood, it seems like the best thing your girlfriend could do is visit a gynaecologist. He/she will look at the blisters and will give you a complete diagnose. Hope this helps.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Wood,
Your girlfriend's best bet is to go to the gynecologist as soon as possible so he can rule out herpes or any other disease. Meanwhile she can use some Vaginal cream to ease the pain, but she should visit a specialist as soon as possible.
One side of my clitoris is itches but little discharges.
One side of my clitoris is itches but little discharges.
OneHowTo Editor
We advise you to visit a doctor so you can get a proper check-up.
my girlfriend clitoris and minora is inflamed and and slightly swollen for 4days.. what treatment should be done, is there any treatment cream for this?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Rex, we think it's time for your girlfriend to visit the gynecologist so the specialist can analyze the cause of the swelling properly and prescribe the most effective cure
I use a vibrator to get aroused and my clit is swollen. How long will it go away?
i have been having itching clitoris and its a very serious one that makes me uncomfortable,so whenever i rob it to ease the itch it get swollen and become watery. i suspent i have been suffering from virginal fungal or bacterial. please help me.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Vera,
It may be a fungal infection or an allergic reaction. The best thing to do is to visit a specialist so he/she can diagnose your problem properly.
After my boyfriend ate me out my clit is swollen what do I do
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Teresa,
Don't worry too much about it, sounds like it should cease in a day or two. A quick relief would be applying Lidocaine but if the pain doesn't stop after two days we'd advise you to visit your gynecologist.
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What Causes Clitoris Swelling