But it is a sign that something is going on that needs your attention—or at least a little TLC.
A swollen vagina could be caused by a bunch of different things. It's not always a one-size-fits-all problem. But rest easy—most causes are pretty benign.
Below, find the most common culprits behind a swollen vagina or vulva, what you can do about it, and when to see a doctor, according to Pharmacist Montana Grenfell.
Allergic reactions can occur almost anywhere on your body, including your vagina. Like anything, symptoms will differ however some common ones include inflammation, itching, burning or irritation, bumps, blisters, or pain during urination or sex.
If you suspect an allergic reaction, stop using the product or wearing the item of clothing that may be causing irritation. You should also try to limit your exposure to irritants that can cause further harm including vaginal sprays or douches, and perfumed sanitary products, soaps or toilet paper.
Yeast infections, or vaginal thrush, is extremely common – it’s estimated that 3 out of 4 women will get more than two vaginal yeast infections in their lifetime.
A yeast infection is a fungal infection that can occur if there’s an overgrowth of Candida fungus in the vagina, which can result from anything from antibiotics to pregnancy. In addition to vaginal swelling, some other common symptoms include thick white vaginal discharge, a burning sensation during urination or sex and pain in the vulva.
There’s plenty of over-the counter antifungal vaginal creams and ointments that can quickly alleviate the symptoms. A good example is APOTEX Apo-Clotrimazole 3 Day Cream, which targets the candidiasis build up directly.
If you find your symptoms aren’t disappearing with over-the-counter treatments, visit your doctor. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe either a single-dose or multi-dose oral antifungal medication. They may also recommend maintenance therapy if you have recurring yeast infections.
Bad genital hygiene
It goes without saying that the vagina is a very sensitive area and maintaining the wellbeing and cleanliness of this area is absolutely vital to preventing reactions, disorders and irritations, like itchiness and swelling.
Some ways to maintain good genital hygiene include making sure to wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom to prevent the spread of faecal bacteria to your vagina, avoiding harsh soaps, scented soaps and tampons.
Try Cottons Light Tampons, which are made from 100% chemical-free cotton (plus, they’re good for the environment). Also opt for cotton underwear, as they will allow your genital area to breathe and will prevent yeast from growing. Lastly, don’t douche. When you douche, you’re removing the good bacteria from your vagina. This allows the bad bacteria to overgrow and leads to vaginitis.
Sexually transmitted disease
Whilst it’s not the ideal outcome, swelling is a common symptom of a few different STIs including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and genital herpes – so it’s worth visiting your doctor to rule out this possibility first before pursuing different treatment options. To avoid contracting an STI in the first place, always use a latex condom, this will prevent sexual infections from spreading.
Lastly, so you’re not caught off guard, here are some questions that the doctor or licensed health care professional will ask you to help diagnose your condition:
- When did you first notice your vaginal swelling?
- Is it painful?
- Have you changed soaps or detergents lately or started using any feminine hygiene products?
- Have you had vaginal swelling before?
- Is there anything that seems to make it better or worse?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- What medications are you taking?
*Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.