14 Conditions that Cause Lumps in the Vagina
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Lumps in the vagina can be alarming at first. They’re more common than you might think and the first reaction is usually to think of cancer. Although this can’t be ruled out, the truth is that most of the time they are due to other reasons.
Lumps in the vagina are almost always small benign cysts. It’s very common for them to be caused by a blocked gland. It’s always advisable to consult a doctor if they don’t disappear.
Some preliminary clarifications
Before we dwell on the reasons why these lumps appear in the vagina, it’s good to make some clarifications. The word vagina is usually used to refer to both the vagina and the vulva, which corresponds to the external genitalia.
The vagina is a muscular tube that connects to the uterus. It’s covered by a mucous membrane and has roughness on its surface called folds. These allow the vagina to expand during sexual intercourse and childbirth.
The vulva, on the other hand, is formed by the labia majora or external lips. In the inner fold of these, we find sebaceous glands. In the inner part are the labia minora, which surround the opening of the vagina. There are Skene’s glands and Bartholin’s glands, which produce lubricants.
Conditions that cause lumps in the vagina
Having clarified the above, we will now look at the main conditions that cause lumps in the vagina and vulva.
1. Vulvar cysts
This type of cyst is formed when there’s obstruction of the Skene’s glands or Bartholin’s glands. They’re almost always hard and small, but don’t cause pain unless they become infected. They usually disappear on their own.
2. Vaginal cysts
This type of cyst forms in the wall of the vagina. They’re usually caused by some kind of injury or appear after childbirth.
They’re no bigger than a pea. They don’t need treatment, unless they cause discomfort, in which case they’re drained or removed.
3. Fordyce spots
Fordyce spots are tiny bumps that can appear on the vulva and other parts of the body. They are whitish, benign, and non-infectious. They’re painless and don’t require treatment.
4. Varicose veins
Another reason for the appearance of lumps in the vagina is pelvic varicose veins. These are swollen veins around the vulva.
They look like round cords or blue bumps. They sometimes cause itching or bleeding. They may not require treatment.
5. Ingrown hairs
An ingrown pubic hair can also cause bumps in the vagina. It looks like a small, round bump that sometimes causes itching and pain. It may fill with pus and darken the skin around it. It usually resolves without treatment.
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are sexually transmitted and appear as small skin-colored bumps. They sometimes have a similar shape to a cauliflower.
7. Lichen sclerosus
Lichen sclerosus is a rare condition that appears on the vulva and around the anus. It can cause severe itching, white patches that turn into thin, wrinkled patches of skin, bruising or bleeding, blisters, and pain during urination or sex. It requires treatment with corticosteroid-containing creams.
8. Vaginal acne
Another common cause of vaginal bumps is vaginal acne. It appears as small, red, irritated bumps, often filled with pus. These pimples can be very uncomfortable, but the best thing to do is not to remove them, but to let them disappear on their own.
Folliculitis is the inflammation of a hair follicle. In the genital area, it usually begins when the follicle is damaged by friction or blocked by shaving or improper hair removal.
Then an infection by staphylococcus bacteria occurs and this is when lumps appear in the vagina area. Antibiotics may be prescribed.
10. Blocked sweat glands
Blocked sweat glands can occur anywhere in the body and the vagina is no exception. It causes a condition called hidradenitis suppurativa, which causes pain and leaves hard scars. It’s treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics.
11. Molluscum contagiosum
This is another condition in which small bumps appear in the vagina, which in this case are pearly, firm, and contagious. It’s a skin problem caused by a virus of the same name.
Sometimes the bumps grow and ooze fluid. They can spread to other parts of the body, but usually disappear without treatment.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that has re-emerged with increased prevalence in recent years. One of its symptoms is the appearance of small lumps in the vagina, which are painless.
They disappear after about 3 weeks, but this doesn’t mean that the infection has been defeated. It requires treatment and is potentially fatal.
13. Skin tags
Skin tags are small flaps of skin that stick out and are visible to the naked eye. They aren’t dangerous and don’t usually cause discomfort. If they do, they can be removed by laser or surgery.
Cases of vulvar or vaginal cancer are very rare. It’s characterized by the appearance of flat, raised sores or bumps on the vulva that don’t heal after a few weeks. It usually cause pain, itching, or burning, and sometimes unusual discharges or bleeding. They’re diagnosed by biopsy.
Prevention and treatment of lumps in the vagina
Most lumps in the vagina can be treated at home without any problems. In the case of cysts, which are the most common lumps, it’s sufficient to take warm water baths several times a day. This helps to drain them.
It’s best to use cotton underwear that ism’t too tight. This type of textile is more breathable and helps maintain proper conditions for the genitals. It’s also recommended not to wear very tight pants.
If the lumps in the vagina don’t disappear after a few weeks or are accompanied by strange symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a doctor. Especially if there’s pain, secretions or bleeding.It might interest you...