What Causes Lumps in Vagina & How is it Treated?

The human body is prone to developing bumps and lumps. Sometimes these lumps develop in the vagina.

Vaginal bumps and lumps are very common, especially during childbearing age. They can occur due to a variety of conditions and can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

They can occur in the internal part of the vagina or external area called the vulva, which includes labia.

What Causes Lumps in Vagina?

The common causes of vaginal lumps include:

Vaginal Cyst

Vaginal cysts occur as a pouch-like projection on the wall of the vagina. They might consist of pus or air and scar tissue.

Vaginal cysts are of different types that include:

  • Bartholin’s cysts: Lumps on both side of the vaginal opening
  • Endometriosis cyst: Cysts occurring due to lump of tissue in the vagina
  • Gartner’s cyst: Cyst which forms only during pregnancy
  • Vaginal inclusion cyst: These cysts result due to trauma to the vaginal wall, mostly after giving birth. They form as injury to the tissue that then gets trapped under the skin’s surface.

Most of the vaginal cysts are small and have no symptoms, but a few may be large and painful.

Vaginal cysts can be drained or removed surgically.

Vaginal Polyp

Also referred to as skin tags, vaginal polyps are outgrowths of the skin.

They are mostly painless and would not require any treatment. If these tags bother, they can be removed by a doctor surgically.

Vaginal Warts

Vaginal warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) and are a sexually transmitted infection.

They can be seen as:

  • A cluster of skin-colored bumps
  • Rough patches or warts that are closely placed
  • Itching and burning on the affected area
  • Vaginal warts are small and irregular vaginal growths. Feeling warts inside the vagina is a bit difficult, growths present outside are noticed.
  • The treatment for warts includes getting them removed by laser, surgery, or using over-the-counter wart removers.

Some types of HPV can increase the risk of cancer. If vaginal warts are present it is important to get the Pap test done to know the type of HPV.

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus and is sexually transmitted.

One in five Americans is known to suffer from this condition.(1)

Often the symptoms are mild and the condition goes unnoticed. The symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Swollen glands
  • Large sores
  • Pain in genitals, bottom and legs
  • Tingling and itching
  • Multiple red bumps
  • Small indentations

The duration and severity of herpes can be controlled by antiviral medications. Otherwise, there is no treatment for it.

Vaginal Cancer

Vaginal cancer leads to unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge. Rare cases can lead to lumps in the vagina, which could be due to excess development of cancerous cells in the lining of the vagina.

The symptoms of vaginal cancer include:

  • Thickened patches of skin
  • Flat raised sores or bumps in the vulva
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Itching and burning
  • Darkening and lightening of the surrounding skin

If cancer advances it may lead to constipation, pelvic pain, back pain, and leg swelling.

Varicosities

  • Swollen veins around the vagina are known as varicosities. They are found occurring after pregnancies or with aging.
  • They appear as raised blue bumps or round swollen veins around the labia minora or majora.
  • They may lead to itching and bleeding.
  • In non-pregnant females it can be a cause of discomfort during intercourse or when standing for long.

Fordyce Spots

Fordyce spots of sebaceous glands are found as small white yellow bumps in the inside of the vagina. They are painless and not harmful.

They get more with age.

Lichen Sclerosis

Lichen sclerosis is an uncommon condition that affects the females who are going through menopause. It is found occurring on the vulva and the anus.

The symptoms are:

  • Itching
  • Thin and shiny skin that may easily tear
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Blisters
  • Pain during intercourse and also while urinating
  • White spots on the skin
  • Lichen sclerosis can be treated with corticosteroids creams and ointments.

How are Vaginal Lumps Treated?

  • Most of the vaginal lumps do not require any treatment.
  • Their symptoms, if required, are medically managed. Sometimes the symptoms of some types of lumps can be managed at home.
  • Warm baths for a few days can help drain the cyst
  • Avoid wearing clothing that runs or chafes the vulva
  • Wear cotton panties as they are breathable and keep the genital cool and dry
  • The precancerous cells if present in the vagina are destroyed with topical treatment or laser surgery.(2)

Vaginal cancers may also include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Medications are given to keep the cancer cells from spreading.

Conclusion

Lumps in the vagina are a normal occurrence.

They are usually painless. But, if pain, bleeding or discomfort occur, it is important to consult a doctor and get treated as soon as possible.

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