6 Causes of Vaginal Swelling

6 Causes of Vaginal Swelling

An enlarged vagina can occur as a result of unrelated events, such as the end of pregnancy or after sex. It can also be caused by vaginal irritation from wearing synthetic fabric underwear or a sexually transmitted disease such as genital herpes.

If you detect vaginal swelling in addition to other symptoms, consult your family doctor or gynecologist. The doctor will assess your symptoms and may recommend more testing to determine the underlying problem. This will help to guide treatment decisions.

Here are the possible causes of the swollen vagina:

1. Skin irritation
The vaginal mucosa, like other regions of the body, has defense cells that respond to external substances. Applying an irritating product to the vagina can produce irritation and symptoms such as swelling, itching, and redness. Some goods, such as soaps, vaginal creams, synthetic garments, and lubricants, can cause vaginal discomfort and trigger a reaction.

If you are using a new vaginal product or fabric, keep an eye out for signs of a response. If the swelling, soreness, and redness do not go away within two days, you should consult your doctor.

2. Vigorous sex
Following sex, the vagina may remain inflamed due to an allergy to the condom or an allergy to the partner's semen. Swelling can also result from inadequate lubrication and increased friction on contact. Vaginal edema may also occur after multiple sexual interactions on the same day, and it usually resolves on its own.

If you experience dryness or irritation during sexual interactions, utilize odor-free, water-based lubricants with no chemicals. Lubricated condoms are also available to help reduce friction during intercourse.

In addition to the swelling, if you experience pain, burning, or vaginal discharge, consult your doctor to rule out any other disorders.

3. Bartholin cysts
An enlarged vagina can indicate the presence of a cyst on the Bartholin gland, which lubricates the vaginal canal during intercourse. If the gland becomes clogged, a tiny, benign tumor develops that can be palpated.

In addition to swelling, this cyst can produce pain that intensifies when sitting or walking, and it can fill with pus, forming an abscess.

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor for a pelvic exam. Treatment for Bartholin cysts typically includes pain relievers, antibiotics if pus is present, and surgical excision of the cyst.

4. Vulvovaginitis
Vulvovaginitis is a vaginal infection caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses, or protozoans. Symptoms include vaginal swelling, stinging, and irritation, as well as foul-smelling discharge that can be yellow or green.

In most cases, vulvovaginitis can be spread through sex without creating symptoms, thus women who have an active sex life should see their doctor every few months for a checkup. Trichomoniasis and chlamydia are the primary diseases that cause vulvovaginitis. 

Suppose you observe any of the symptoms listed above. In that case, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to review your medical history, do a pelvic exam, and, in some situations, get bloodwork. The doctor may offer certain antibiotics based on the type of infection. It is critical to maintain proper genital hygiene during treatment.

5. Yeast infection
Yeast infections are common in women and are frequently caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans, which is naturally present in the vagina. This infection can cause symptoms such as severe itching, burning, redness, skin breaking, white plaques, and an enlarged vagina.

Using synthetic, tight, or moist clothing, eating too much sugar or dairy products, and failing to practice genital hygiene can all raise your chance of having a yeast infection. Women who have a history of diabetes, use chronic antibiotics, or have a weakened immune system are also more likely to acquire yeast infections. Learn about the signs and causes of yeast infections.

If you experience these symptoms, you should visit your doctor, who can confirm the infection through tests and begin treatment as needed. Treatment may include optical ointments and/or oral medications. Read more about the most common treatments for yeast infections.

6. Genital herpes
The herpes simplex virus causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection. It causes symptoms such as burning, itching, and the formation of tiny blisters on the vulva that can rupture and create sores. Furthermore, this infection can cause local inflammation, pain, and burning during bowel movements, particularly if the blisters are near the anus. Learn about the other symptoms of genital herpes.

A gynecologist should monitor the treatment of genital herpes and may recommend antiviral medicine such as acyclovir or valacyclovir in pill or topical form.

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