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.

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:

  • Vaginal atrophy
  • Vulvodynia
  • Vaginal thrush or candida

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.

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.

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.


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.