Why Is My Labia Swollen?
The vagina, vulva, is a very complex part of female anatomy and can change as a result of many different things. Inflammation in the labia of the vulva is often more common than it seems. In addition, sometimes this swelling of the vaginal lips is accompanied by pain, itching, burning, changes in vaginal discharge and other symptoms. Therefore, it is important to recognize any warning signs and the possible causes of this discomfort.
If you are experiencing agonizing pain or ongoing symptoms we recommend seeing a doctor. This oneHOWTO aims to help and answers your questions with reasons as to why your labia is swollen.
Vulvovaginitis due to infection
Vulvovaginitis is a common cause of swelling of the labia. It is the inflammation and irritation of both walls of the vagina and the vulva, the labia majora and the labia minora. This problem often occurs as a result of bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection or as an allergic reaction, specifically to substances such as soaps and sanitary towels.
Besides having swollen labia, you may experience other symptoms such as grayish or whitish vaginal discharge or experiencing a bad smell from your vagina. However, depending on the exact cause, these signs may vary. For example, in case of infection by the parasite trichomonas vaginalis, the flow may be yellowish or even greenish.
If you have swollen and itchy upper lips, in addition to any alteration in vaginal discharge or burning, do not hesitate to go to the gynecologist as soon as possible as it will be necessary to start adequate treatment as soon as possible.
Inflammation of the labia majora after sex
One of the most frequent moments in which inflammation of the labia occurs is after having sex. So, if you have ever thought labia swelling either during or after sexual relations, pay attention to the main causes of why you notice this inflammation during or after sex:
Very intense sex
Although it is normal for the excitement itself to induce slight inflammation in the genital area, if the lips are swollen or if they hurt, it may be because the sexual encounter has been somewhat intense. When movements are very sharp, strong and intense in sexual encounters, there is a lot of friction in the genital area that can redden the skin and cause an inflammation of the genital area. This swelling usually disappears after a few minutes by blowing or rubbing the sensitive area gently. It should also normally subside after a few hours. If you notice that the swelling is lasting longer than normal and there is uncommon sensitivity, we suggest seeing your gynecologist.
Some women are allergic to latex which is one of the main components of condoms. Therefore, if you notice this inflammation and also present other symptoms such burning, itching, vaginal dryness, a lot of irritation after using latex condoms, it is quite likely that you are allergic to this element. In severe cases, symptoms can be noticed on other parts of the body which have come into contact with the condoms. Nowadays, you can buy latex free condoms to avoid inflammation.
Labia majora swollen during pregnancy
If you are pregnant and you have noticed swelling in the labia majora and minora, it is normal that you may worry. When you are experiencing pregnancy, the growth of the uterus exerts pressure on the blood vessels of your pelvis, in turn causing inflammation in the genital area both internally and externally.
In addition, due to changes in hormonal levels during pregnancy you become more susceptible to vaginitis by bacteria and fungi. In such a case, the symptoms of a vaginal infection, such as itching or pain, will be noticed. If you are experiencing these symptoms and are pregnant, we recommend visiting your gynecologist to allow them to prescribe the most appropriate treatment for your type of infection. If left untreated it can result in problems during pregnancy as well as premature delivery.
Another thing which can produce discomfort in the genital labia during pregnancy are cysts in the Gartner duct, located on both sides of the vagina. This canal becomes visible while the fetus develops and it is normal that after the birth it will disappear. When residual parts of this conduit remain, liquid can accumulate in and get entangled. Again it will be the specialist in gynecology who must diagnose the problem and treat it.
Swelling of the labia due to cervicitis
Cervicitis or inflammation of the cervix can cause problems such as swelling of the labia majora and labia minora. This condition can occur because of STDs, bacterial or fungal infections. It can also be occur in women who started having sex at a young age.
This problem can be asymptomatic, that is to say, it does not show signs immediately. But in cases that there are some signs, they tend appear as these following symptoms:
- Pressure in the pelvic area
- Grayish or yellowish vaginal discharge
- Burning in the pelvis
- Pain when maintaining relationships
- Vaginal bleeding outside of your period cycle
- Lesions on the vulva
- Inflammation of the vaginal lips
Treatment will depend entirely on the case. It may be treated with antibiotics or in serious cases, surgery may be required. However, so that the condition does not worsen and complications do not occur, it is important thing to go to your annual check-ups as well as see a doctor if you detect any of these above mentioned signs.
Inflammation of the Bartholin's gland
Bartholin's glands are located on the sides of the vaginal opening and secrete a liquid to lubricate the entrance of the vagina and prevent dryness. But, sometimes, the exit orifice of these glands can be obstructed and when the liquidis not released because of this obstruction, the gland swells and increases in size until a cyst develops. In this case, it is common to notice an inflamed major lip or cysts lumps on one or two sides. Among these main symptoms of bartholinitis are the following:
- Constant pain and especially when sitting or touching
- Inflammation of the vulva and labia
- Irritation of the vaginal lips
- Bulge or protrusion on the sides of the vaginal opening
But, the inflammation of these glands can also be due to other factors besides cysts, such as infections and STDs. For this reason, the treatment will depend entirely on the cause and only a gynecologist will be able to determine what you are suffering from and how to treat it.
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 Why Is My Labia Swollen?, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.