Swollen labia is a problem affecting women around the world many of whom find it difficult to discuss due to the embarrassment that it might cause. The skin folds or lips found at the vaginal entrance help in protecting the vagina as it is one of the most sensitive areas in your body.
The conditions known to cause this condition could also cause vaginal discharge, pain, or vaginal discomfort. You can often rely on natural remedies to soothe the discomfort caused by this particular condition. Below, you will learn about the causes of swollen labia, its symptoms, and the various treatments that you can use to ease the swelling.
Labia majora or labia minora swelling can be caused by:
- Development of cysts in your vulva
- Bacterial or yeasts infections
- Allergic reaction to a chemical
Sexual intercourse and pregnancy have also been seen to bring about this kind of swelling. Your daily activities are likely to be affected when you have swollen labia due to the discomfort caused by the swelling. You may also feel the constant urge to scratch the area between your legs when you have an infection as it causes a burning sensation accompanied by itchiness.
Swollen labia minora
Swelling in your labia minora may be due to a number of reasons; none of which are serious. Irritation in this region can be quite a nuisance as it may also lead to embarrassment due to the constant urge to scratch this region. Thrush is another condition that can cause inflammation of your vaginal lips; though it is normally accompanied by a vaginal discharge.
Allergic reactions are also known to cause swelling of the vaginal lips. You could be allergic to clothing items, soap, or beauty products, e.g., vaginal deodorant that you may have used in your nether region. Your vaginal region is very sensitive hence the need to ensure that you do not expose it to scented products such as soaps.
Swollen labia minora pictures
Try not to scratch the swollen labia as this may cause the symptoms to worsen. You should also not touch your lips too harshly. The following are pictures showing a swelling of the labia minora.
Swollen labia minora one side
The Bartholin cyst is mostly responsible for swelling of your labia minora on a single side. The swelling will mainly be found in the region near your vagina entrance. The cyst is normally not painful though the presence of pain may indicate that abscesses have started to develop.
Large cysts are normally very painful by virtue of their size. Abscesses developing due to the Bartholin cyst are quite painful. The pain is caused by the inflammation. Affected skin will also be reddened and very tender.
You may experience some difficulty when walking or sitting down when you have a Bartholin abscess. In addition:
- You are not likely to have any fever when you have this cyst
- There is an increased chance of noticing a vaginal discharge. The discharge is present when swelling has been caused by an infection, e.g., a sexually transmitted infection
- Ensure you call your doctor as soon as you notice additional symptoms like vomiting, fever, or vaginal discharge
Swollen labia minora treatment
Swelling of your labia minora should never be ignored as it may be an indication that there is an underlying problem that requires urgent care.
- Antibiotic or antifungal creams will come in handy when you have an infection
- You could make use of a warm compress to relieve pain caused by localized swelling
- Always make sure that your vulva region is clean and dry at all times. You should use plain water to wash the area; taking care to be very gentle. Do not use soaps or other scented beauty products when cleaning your vagina. Your inner labia are quite sensitive and could, therefore, be allergic to use of external products
- Do not wear clothing that is too tight. It is recommended that you stick to loose cotton clothes as they will ensure that this area will remain dry and healthy.
Swollen labia majora
Swelling of the labia majora is also linked to the development of the Bartholin’s cyst. One out of every fifty women will develop an abscess or cyst at one point in their lives, according to the NHS. The condition mainly targets women who are sexually active, and who are between the ages of twenty-five and thirty years.
Bartholin glands are located near your vaginal entrance. Their main function is to secrete fluids used as lubricants when engaging in sexual intercourse. The secreted fluid will then travel through tiny ducts and into your vagina.
A cyst is formed when these ducts become blocked leading to their expansion due to the presence of the secreted fluid. The ducts can be blocked when you have an infection, e.g., chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Swollen labia majora pictures
Symptoms attributed to the swelling of your labia majora will depend on what has caused the swelling to occur. Apart from swelling, you may also encounter some irritation due to the sensitive nature of your vagina. The following are pictures showing a swollen labia majora.
Swollen labia majora treatment
You can manage the symptoms of your inflamed labia majora by making simple changes to your lifestyle. You can use oregano oil to soothe the burning sensations as well as reduce inflammation of your vaginal lips. Yogurt also comes in handy in reducing irritation.
Inflammation can also be reduced by using a cold compress. Boric acid is another home remedy that is highly recommended for use in such a situation. Water based lubricants assist in reducing swelling.
Swollen labia ultrasound pictures
It is possible to confirm the gender of your unborn child by having an ultrasound. The ultrasound picture will provide you with a good idea of whether you are expecting a boy or a girl. It can, however, be unable to provide a good confirmation as there are cases where an unborn girl can have swollen labia, which would appear like a distended scrotum in the ultrasound pictures.
The following are ultrasound pictures of an inflamed labia.
Swollen labia before and during period
Hormonal changes are likely to occur in your body when you are having your monthly period. Your vaginal pH levels will also change during this particular period. The change in your vaginal pH levels increases your chances of getting a vaginal infection.
Any infection occurring before or during your monthly period will lead to your vagina becoming swollen. The swelling is in some cases deemed to be normal by medical experts. Any inflammation accompanied by a foul smelling discharge should, however, be checked out as there is nothing normal about a smelly vaginal discharge.
Swollen labia early pregnancy symptom
Your vaginal lips becoming swollen and changing their color are some of the early pregnancy symptoms that one must be on the lookout for. Pregnancy leads to an increase in the amount of oxygen being supplied to your vaginal lips. The increased oxygen levels will cause your lips to swell as well as change their color.
The lips are likely to turn from pink to red or dark purplish. Apart from swelling and a change of color, also look for an increased amount of vaginal discharge. In addition, pregnancy will increase your chances of getting thrush.
Swollen labia during pregnancy
Various changes are likely to occur in your genital region—ranging from appearance of varicose veins to color changes. When you are pregnant, you know that the chances of the baby exiting your body through the vagina are highly enhanced. What you may not know is that there are very many things that will occur down there when you are expectant.
Swelling is one of the many things you can expect to occur. An increase in the amounts of blood going to your vagina will make you feel as though your labia is swollen. You may not actually have swollen labia, but it will definitely feel as though the labia are swollen—and this is not always a bad thing—according to Dr. Bolt.
Some women may experience increased sensation during this period.
Swollen labia after oral Sex
Salivary vulvitis is a condition blamed for inflammation of the labia after engaging in oral sex. Salivary vulvitis was discovered in the sixties by American gynecologists. The discovery came about after the widespread popularity of oral sex in the western world.
The idea behind this condition is that a partner’s saliva can in a way irritate the woman’s vulva during oral sex. The irritation then paves way for the inflammation of the vaginal lips, leading to a lot of discomfort.
Swollen labia causes
Below are the causes of swollen labia. They include:
1. Yeast infection
Vaginal yeast infections are common reasons for swollen labia accompanied by vaginal discharge and itchiness. There should be a balance between the bacteria and yeast cells in any healthy vagina. A disruption of this balance leads to the development of Candida Albicans.
The fungi may then infect your vagina, labia, and vulva. Vaginal yeast infection symptoms include:
- Severe itching
- Vaginal discharge that may be clumpy or white in color.
- Redness around vaginal opening
Many sexually transmitted diseases like herpes simplex are likely to cause itching, redness, and swelling of your labia. The entire vaginal region is also likely to be affected by the STD. You should seek immediate care if you are sure that the swelling in your vaginal lips has been caused by an STD.
Early treatment assists in ensure that the infection will not be spread to other people. It will also aid in soothing any symptoms that may be present.
3. Sexual intercourse
You are likely to have swollen labia after engaging in sex related activities. The tissue surrounding your vaginal opening tends to be very sensitive. Any friction occurring in this region may, therefore, cause swelling and irritation.
The swelling should, however, go away on its own within a short time. You could apply a cold compress on your genitals to ease the swelling. You could also try using lubricants to prevent further irritation.
Vaginal swelling that is not accompanied by any discharge could be because of an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions may be due to the presence of foreign objects in your vagina, clothing, or food that you may have eaten. Allergic reactions to medication, condoms, tampons, and sperm may also cause swollen labia.
Swollen labia itchy
Vaginitis is a condition known to cause swelling and itchiness in the vagina. The condition is quite common and can affect girls and women of all ages. The condition is mainly caused by a yeast infection due to the Candida albicans fungus.
Your vagina should ordinarily contain both healthy and unhealthy sets of bacteria. An imbalance in the amounts of this bacteria will lead to the development of bacterial vaginosis as unhealthy bacteria will be more than the healthy bacteria. It could then cause the appearance of vaginal discharge with a fishy smell.
Swollen labia lips
Inflammation of the vaginal lining leads to the development of vaginitis. The condition can be caused by:
- Non-infectious vaginitis—vaginal inflammation caused by an allergic reaction or chemical irritants. Your vagina can be irritated by douching, fabric softeners, latex condoms, and detergents.
- Infectious vaginitis—attributed to yeast or bacteria. Common transmitted through engaging in unprotected sex with someone who is already infected.
- Atrophic vaginitis—occurs in women who have already reached the menopause stage. Comes about when there are reduced estrogen hormone levels in your body leading to thinning of your vaginal lining.
Swollen labia NHS
According to NHS, the symptoms of an inflamed labia include:
- Spotting or light bleeding
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Pain when having sex or when urinating
- Vaginal itching or irritation
Swollen labia may be caused by:
- Thrush–a yeast infection that affects all women at some stage in their lives
- Trichomoniasis—sexually transmitted infection brought about by a very tiny parasite
- Chemical irritation—for instance, fabric conditioners, perfumed soaps, or spermicides
Swollen labia treatment
The treatment for inflamed labia will mainly depend on what is causing the inflammation. Swelling caused by bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics while that caused by vaginal thrush may be treated using antifungal medication. Home remedies for use in treating an inflamed labia include:
1. Virgin coconut oil
It can be used in relieving the symptoms of a labia that is swollen. It assists in reducing pain when urinating, vaginal discharge, and itchiness in the vaginal lips. Applying a generous amount of this oil on your vaginal lips will also assist in reducing the swelling.
The Journal of Medicinal Food only just published a report that showed that coconut oil is effective in curing discharge, reducing swelling around your labia, as well as getting rid of the pain. It is recommended for swelling caused by a yeast infection.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar is another effective home remedy for use in easing the discomfort caused by swollen labia. Application of ACV to your swollen vulva will aid in reducing the swelling, getting rid of the infections, and soothing any itching that could be present. It contains acetic acid that aids in lowering the pH levels in your vagina.
- (2017). Vaginitis
- Daniel Braun. (2016, October 17). Bartholin Abscess
- NHS Choices. (N.D). Vagina problems: a visual guide
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Genital HPV infection—fact sheet