10 Possible Causes of a Swollen Vagina or Vulva—and How to Find Relief


For those who’re at present coping with a swollen vagina or vulva, it’s comprehensible to have questions—like, lots of them. One biggie: How lengthy does it normally take for that swelling to relax?

Sadly, there’s no one-size-fits-all reply right here. “It actually relies on what’s inflicting it,” Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn on the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, tells SELF. “It could possibly be a day or a few weeks.” (On your sake, we’ll hope it’s the previous.)

Sadly, the reply may not all the time be apparent, as there are a number of points that may trigger a swollen vagina or vulva (together with your labia and clitoris). Right here’s a breakdown of what is likely to be triggering the puffiness, plus when it’s essential to see a health care provider already.

Let’s discuss vaginitis, the most probably purpose you might have a swollen vagina or vulva.

If in case you have swollen labia and it’s not going away, you in all probability need to test in along with your physician. Whilst you wait to be seen, right here’s what you need to know: It’s not unusual to take care of vaginal and vulvar irritation generally for a complete bevy of causes. That is identified broadly as vaginitis, an umbrella time period for varied causes of irritation or an infection of the vagina and/or vulva, in accordance with The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

First, there’s noninfectious vaginitis, which is brought on by dermatitis, the medical time period for pores and skin irritation, per the Mayo Clinic.

Dermatitis—particularly contact dermatitis—usually occurs round your vulva or vaginal space when one thing irritates your pores and skin or causes an allergic reaction.1 The particular irritant in query can differ primarily based in your pores and skin’s sensitivities. In the case of the vulva and vagina, nevertheless, a few of the foremost culprits embrace soaps, douches, and bubble bathtub merchandise, Mary Rosser, MD, PhD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, tells SELF. Along with the swelling, you may discover itching, stinging or burning, or blisters.

Right here’s some common recommendation: It’s finest to maintain something with perfume away out of your vulva and vagina, interval. Sure, even cleaning soap, as a result of it’d hassle the actually delicate pores and skin of your genitals. You really don’t must clean your vulva with something however water, however for those who actually really feel compelled, use the gentlest cleaning soap you will discover and check out to ensure none will get within you, the place it will possibly trigger extra irritation.

That stated, we’ll stroll via a few of the commonest causes your vagina and/or vulva is likely to be swollen and irritated, together with merchandise you may not even remember are an issue.

Back to top

1. Scented tampons or pads

Scented tampons and pads have principally fallen out of favor over issues that they introduce pointless fragrances to your vaginal space. However there are nonetheless lots floating round on the market disguised below the promise of being “odor blocking.”

However Dr. Greves says you shouldn’t fall for this deceptive (and stigmatizing) advertising and marketing. “You possibly can swell up simply from a scented tampon or pad,” she notes.

In response to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), you may expertise irritant or contact dermatitis because of the perfume in these merchandise, which may result in a rash, excessively dry pores and skin that peels or cracks, tender pores and skin, burning or stinging, hives, and even blisters along with swelling.

What to find out about therapy: This actually relies on how unhealthy your swelling is. For starters, Dr. Greves recommends that you simply cease utilizing scented tampons and pads ASAP and see the place that will get you. “Typically the swelling will go away rapidly,” Lauren Streicher, MD, a scientific professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, tells SELF.

When to see a health care provider: For those who’ve stopped utilizing scented tampons or pads and your swelling is sticking round for greater than a day, Dr. Greves says it’s time to see a health care provider, who could prescribe a steroid cream to assist resolve the state of affairs. Ditto for those who really feel like your signs are getting worse.

Back to top

2. Scented laundry detergent

Laundry detergent appears harmless sufficient, however it will possibly positively wreak havoc on the fragile pores and skin of your vulva, together with your labia and clitoris. It’s an identical state of affairs to utilizing a scented pad or harsh cleaning soap, some laundry detergents comprise fragrances that may irritate your vulva, inflicting contact dermatitis, Dr. Streicher says.

Leave a Comment