Swollen Vaginal Lips, Causes, Remedies, Treatment

Swollen vaginal lips are very painful and uncomfortable. This is the last thing a woman would want to encounter. Sometimes, the swollen vag lips are accompanied by tiny bumps and other symptoms depending on the cause which may include vaginitis and STDs.

It is important to get checked by a doctor because most of the inflammations are fungi, yeast or bacteria related.

Swollen vaginal lips
Swollen vaginal lips

What is vaginitis?

Vaginitis refers to any kind of inflammation of the vagina caused by a pathogen like bacteria, fungi which results into pain, itching, burning sensation and abnormal discharge .Poor hygiene, sexually transmitted diseases and infections, allergens, are the main cause of swollen vaginal lips.

Since vaginitis is a general term for all type soft inflammation on the vagina, it is named after the causative agent.

  1. Atrophic vaginitis

This is common in women who have hit menopause because their estrogen level is lower than that of younger women. The vaginal lining is thin hence gets easily inflamed

  1. Bacterial vaginosis

This is a bacterial infection in the vagina that causes swollen vaginal lips. It occurs when bad bacteria over multiplied sin the vagina mostly due to poor hygiene.

  1. Trichomonas vaginalis

This I s caused by a pathogen known as Trichomonas vaginalis and it is sexually transmitted.

  1. Candida albicans

Candida albicans is a type of yeast that grows naturally in the body and its balanced is put in check with the help of good bacteria. If they grow out of balance and over multiply then they caused yeast infection.

What can cause a swollen vagina?

A swollen vagina has got several causes ranging from diseases and pathogens to natural occurrence due to changes in the body. At one point in a woman’s life she may experience a swollen vagina. It is important to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis because some causes may be fatal while others re no course for alarm and resolve themselves without any treatment. The following are the main possible causes and reasons for swollen vagina.

1. Yeast Infections

There are good bacteria, bad bacteria and yeast called Candida albicans that co-exist in a balanced state the vagina. When the good bacteria are destroyed and the yeast population multiplies then one gets yeast infection.

Yeast infection causes swelling around the vagina. The labia majora becomes fuller. Other symptoms of yeast infection include redness of the labia, itchy feeling in the vagina and a vaginal discharge that is either white or light yellow with a cottage cheese texture.

2. Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial Vaginosis is a bacterial infection caused by overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina due to poor hygiene. When the immune system is weakened bacteria attacks the vagina because the number of good bacteria has been reduced as well.

It causes swelling on the vagina, a foul smelling grey vaginal discharge, pain during sex and a burning sensation while passing urine. This infection is treatable using antibiotics. Ensure you only take medicine that has been prescribed by your doctor. You can use natural yoghurt to wash the vagina in order to restore the good bacteria.

3. Cyst

There are glands on either side of the vaginal opening that are known as Bartholin’s glands. They secrete vaginal fluids that help in lubrication and health of the vagina. A type of cysts known as Bartholin Cyst forms when the glands are blocked and this fluid is trapped inside. This will result in a swollen vagina .If the cyst gets infected then it will become painful and red abscess. Ensure that you visit your doctor when you develop a cyst on your vagina.

4. Allergens

Allergens found in food, latex, pollen or chemicals found in bathing soaps and detergents can cause an allergic reaction to the vagina and result into a swollen vagina.

It makes the vagina red, itchy and painful. Your doctor will be able to identify the responsible allergen after conducting an allergy patch test. There after he will advise you on the best antihistamine to use

5 Pregnancy

The blood of a pregnant woman increases b almost 505 during pregnancy. This increase in blood supply to the vaginal area makes the labia swell.

The muscles around the vagina weaken in the second trimester hence the swelling is even more profound in the second trimester. You can use a cold compress or exercises like swimming to control the swelling. It does not medical treatment.

6. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases are contagious diseases that are passed from one person to another via unprotected sexual intercourse. A good example is trichomoniasis and chlamydia. They cause swelling in the vagina among other symptoms like abnormal smelly discharge with yellow green color. Sexually transmitted diseases should be treated or else they may result into serious health issues in the future. Some may disappear without treatment but will recur if not treated.

Can yeast infection cause swollen labia

Yes it can .Every woman gets yeast infection in their life time so it is a common cause of swollen virginal lips. Yeast fungi exist naturally in the vagina.

If any factor like dampness or reduction of good bacteria triggers their overgrowth. Yeast infection causes itchy feeling and discomfort in the vagina. Related symptoms of yeast infection include;

  1. Itchy and burning sensation in the vagina
  2. Red bumps or red rash on the swollen vaginal lips
  3. Pain in the vagina while urinating or menstruating
  4. Spotting between period
  5. Inconsistent menstrual cycle
  6. Pain during sex

Since yeast infection is very common, there are several home remedies that can be used to get rid of it.You can use natural yoghurt, garlic, oregano oil, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and coconut oil to get rid of yeast infection. The following are some guidelines on how to use these home remedies.

1. Natural Yogurt

Natural plain yoghurt is very health and women should drink yoghurt regularly in order to increase the number of good bacteria in their system.

Plain yoghurt contains good bacteria knowns as Lactobacillus acidophilus that maintain the acidic pH level of the vagina. Good bacteria prevent overgrowth of yeast in the vagina. Do not use yoghurt if you are allergic to dairy.

Requirement

  1. Natural yoghurt
  2. Honey
  3. Cotton ball
  4. Tampon
  5. Clean water
  6. Clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Soak a cotton ball in natural yoghurt
  2. Apply the yoghurt directly to your vagina using the soaked cotton ball by squeezing it so that the yoghurt runs over your vagina.
  3. Let the yoghurt settle in for an hour
  4. Wash it off using clean water
  5. You can also deep a tampon in the plain yoghurt and then insert in in your vagina and leave it in there for 2 hours
  6. The yoghurt should also be applied on the swollen vaginal lips caused by yeast infection
  7. Wash off the yoghurt after an hour
  8. Pat the region around the vagina dry with a clean piece of cloth
  9. Drink a cup of natural yoghurt once a day
  10. Mix a cup of natural yoghurt with 3 table spoons of honey to sweeten and drink it every day.

 

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is acidic hence it balances the natural pH balance of the vagina hence making the vagina conducive for the growth of good bacteria that prevent overgrowth of yeast. Apple cider vinegar also helps in getting rid of any foul smell that may be emanating from the vagina due yeast infection.

What you need

  1. Apple cider vinegar
  2. Clean water
  3. Cotton ball

What to do

  1. Mix apple cider vinegar and water in the ration of 1:10 and fill your bathtub with it
  2. Soak your body in this water
  3. If you don’t have a bathtub then you can pour the water in a basin and sit on it for half an hour.
  4. Repeat this process in the morning and in the evening everyday
  5. Alternatively, mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with drinking water and consume it once a day.
  6. If you have red rashes then apply diluted apple cider vinegar on the bumps

2. Garlic

Garlic contains an antiseptic and antifungal agent called allicin which is capable of fighting yeast infection in the vagina.

Requirements

  1. Garlic cloves
  2. A Pestle & a mortar
  3. A Knife
  4. Clean water
  5. A clean piece of cloth

Direction

  1. Peel off the back cover of garlic cloves
  2. Dice them into cubes using a knife
  3. Place them in the mortar
  4. Pound with a pestle to form a paste
  5. Add olive oil to the paste
  6. Apply the paste on the yeast infection rash
  7. Let it settle for 20 minutes then wash it off and dry your vagina.
  8. Before you go to bed
  9. Take another clove of garlic and peel off the back cover
  10. Cut the garlic into half and put the garlic in your vagina
  11. Let it stay there overnight
  12. Do this for 3 nights

3. Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is an antifungal agent that is capable of fighting free radicals in your body that cause infections hence boosting your immune system. It is also advisable to dilute Oregon oil with olive oil or coconut oil before applying it on your skin because it can be harsh on the delicate skin that covers the vagina.

Requirements

  1. Oregano Oil
  2. Olive Oil
  3. A Cotton Ball
  4. Clean water
  5. A clean piece of cloth

Procedure

  1. Ensure that your vagina is clean and dry
  2. Pour a little amount of oregano oil in a cup and mix it with coconut oil to reduce its harshness on your skin.
  3. Soak a cotton ball with the mixture of oregano oil and coconut oil
  4. Gently apply the oil mixture using the cotton ball on the red rash caused by yeast infection.
  5. Let the oil mixture settle overnight
  6. Wash it off in the morning and pat dry your skin using a clean piece of cloth. Remember that yeast infection thrives in damp environment.
  7. Repeat this process every night before you go to sleep.
Read more about Rash on vagina

Causes of swollen vaginal lips after sex

Some women experience swollen vaginal lips after they have sex while others don’t. If you are allergic to latex and you engage in sexual intercourse using condom made of latex then your vaginal lips will react to the latex and swell out of proportion. Some women are also allergic to semen.

Apart from allergies, other factors like Bartholin’s cyst or rough sex may result into irritated swollen vaginal lips after sex. Using a cold compress or natural yoghurt will be able to solve the problem. After you treat the swelling then be cautious enough to avoid these allergens and use a lubricant to avid friction.

Swollen vaginal lips with bumps

Tiny bumps or large bumps may form on swollen vaginal lips for one reason or the other. There are several conditions and infections that cause bumps on swollen vaginal lips.

Shaving pubic hair may cause development of ingrown hair that turn into painful bumps on the hair follicles on the labia majora.

  1. Sexually transmitted diseases like genital herpes and genital warts.
  2. Cyst in the vagina will form bumps on both the inner and outer lips of the vagina.
  3. Swollen veins around the vulva result into bump on swollen vaginal lips.
  4. Prolonged use of sanitary towels without changing them frequently: Sanitary towels encourage the growth of bad bacteria that causes infection and bumps around the vagina. Females are encouraged to change their pads at least after 2 hours of use especially if you have a heavy flow.

Swollen vagina with discharge

Swollen vagina with discharge is a clear indication of and infection or sexually transmitted disease. Yeast infection discharge causes yellowish or white discharge that has got a cottage-cheese like texture but has got no smell.

Sexually transmitted diseases like trichomoniasis and chlamydia produce foul smelling discharge that is thick and greenish yellow in color. You should ensure that you visit your doctor whenever you experience any of these symptoms.

Itchy swollen vagina lips

Itchy swollen vaginal lips are caused by most of the causes of swollen vagina that have been discussed above. Sexually transmitted diseases like Trichomoniasis cause intense itching. Thrush or Yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis also cause intense itching.

Not itchy vagina result from a disease or an infection. Allergies also cause itchy swollen vaginal lips. However, allergies do not cause abnormal discharge .If you have an itchy vagina and your discharge stays the same then you are likely having an allergic reaction.

Causes of swelling on one side of vaginal lips

Swelling on one side of the vaginal lips is likely to be a cyst. It gets painful when infected and turn into an abscess. According to NHS, “A soft lump just inside the opening of your vagina could be a Bartholin’s cyst. Cysts are small fluid-filled sacs that are usually harmless, and a Bartholin’s cyst can stay small and painless. But it can become infected and cause a painful collection of pus, or abscess, in the Bartholin’s gland (pea-sized glands just behind and either side of the inner lips).”

Fordyce spots may also form on vaginal lips on one side but for them they appear as a string of bumps along the labia majora.

Wearing pads for too long may also irritate your vagina and cause swelling on one side only.

How to stop vaginal swelling and itching fast using home remedies

There are several causes of vaginal swelling and some of the home remedies to specifically deal with yeast infection have been discussed above. The following are more remedies that aim at reducing swollen vaginal lips and reduce itching;

1. Cold compress

Ice is capable of constricting glands and prevents cysts from growing. It reduces the swelling by enabling the fluid in the cyst to drain out together with the bacteria causing the itchy abscess. Cold compress is also a fast way of relieving Sore on vagina

Requirements

  1. Ice cubes
  2. A clean piece of cloth
  3. A spoon

What to do

  1. Scoop one or two ice cubes using a spoon.
  2. Place them on a clean piece of cloth.
  3. Wrap them with the cloth and tie a knot so that they do not fall off.
  4. Press the ice cubes in the cloth against the affected area for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the ice cubes.
  6. Repeat this once a day until the bump on pubic area disappear
  7. Do not place cold ice cubes directly on your skin.

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an antifungal agent that is capable of fighting fungus that cause vaginitis. Mix tea tree oil with water or other essential oils like olive oil or jojoba oil to dilute its harshness on your skin. Pregnant women should not use tea tree oil because it is harmful to their baby.

Requirements

  1. Tea tree oil
  2. Olive Oil or jojoba oil
  3. A Cotton Ball
  4. Tampon
  5. Clean water
  6. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Ensure that your vagina and the skin surrounding it is clean and dry
  2. Dilute tea tree oil with water in the ration of 1:1
  3. Dip a tampon in the diluted tea tree oil
  4. Insert the tampon in your vagina
  5. Let it stay in their for 2 hours
  6. Remove and dispose the tampon
  7. This will stop the itchy feeling in the vagina
  8. Pour a little amount of tea tree oil in a cup and mix it with olive oil or jojoba oil to reduce its harshness on your skin.
  9. Soak a cotton ball with the mixture of oil
  10. Gently apply the oil mixture using the cotton ball on the swollen vaginal lips
  11. Let the oil mixture settle overnight
  12. Wash it off in the morning
  13. Repeat this thrice a week.

3. Calendula Flowers

Calendula is a natural herb that is both an antifungal and anti-inflammatory agent. It fights off bacteria and fungi that cause vaginitis and reduces the inflammation on the labia majora of the vagina. However, Calendula flowers remedy is not recommended for pregnant women.

Requirements

  1. Calendula flowers
  2. A Pestle & a mortar
  3. A knife
  4. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Wash the calendula flowers
  2. Cut them into big chunks with a knife
  3. Place them in the mortar
  4. Pound with a pestle to form a paste
  5. Ensure that your groin area is clean and dry
  6. Smear the paste on the rash caused by yeast infection
  7. Let it settle for 20 minutes and dry
  8. Rinse it off with warm water
  9. Dry your skin with a clean piece of cloth to avoid dampness
  10. Repeat this procedure 3 times a day until you notice a significant change

Swollen vaginal lips Treatment

Treatment of swollen vaginal lips depends on the cause. There are several causes of swollen vaginal lips therefore it is important to get proper diagnosis from a doctor. The vagina is a slow a sensitive organ that should be handled with care.

Antifungal medicine is available in the form of creams, ointments, and tablets that can be taken orally or inserted in the vagina. Your doctor will advise you on what to use.

If you have had yeast infection in the past or your infection is mild then you can just purchase these medicines over the counter and follow instructions given by the pharmacist. Some of these medicines are Miconazole, Clotrimazole ,Tioconazole and Butoconazole.

Bacterial infections like Bacterial vaginosis are treated with antibiotics like metronidazole or clindamycin. Sexually transmitted diseases are also treated using antibiotics since they are caused by bacteria.

Bartholin’s cysts do not require treatment unless infected. Antibiotics are used to treat infected cysts. Cyst that grows into large size can be drained surgically.

According to Mayo Clinic,” your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the Bartholin’s gland. Surgical removal is usually done in a hospital under general anesthesia. Surgical removal of the gland carries a greater risk of bleeding or complications after the procedure. “Painkillers help in getting rid of the pain brought about by an abscess.

A pregnant woman should get proper advice on which type of medication to use because some medication may interfere with healthy growth of the bun in the oven.

Reference;

  1. http://www.eczemarelief.org/vaginal-eczema-itchy-labia-vulvar-eczema-labia-groin-area-look-like-images-female/
  2. http://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/vaginal-lumps-bumps#treatment
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/175101.php
  4. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bartholin-cyst/basics/treatment/con-20026333
  5. http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Documents/vagina_problems_a_visual_guide.html
  6. http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/vaginitis/
  7. http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/common-symptoms-of-a-yeast-infection
  8. https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/vulva-vagina-ovaries-uterus/vulva-vaginal-irritation

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