First rule of thumb when it comes to anything you notice that is different “down there”: Don’t Panic! Panic does nobody any good and the majority of the time, our patients’ fears are completely unfounded. We have had women in here panicking about genital herpes, only to learn they had seriously infected ingrown hairs.
The flip side to that, of course, is that if you notice anything “different” about your labia, inner labia, vagina, etc., you should always schedule an appointment with us so we can take a look and evaluate what is going.
Notice a Painful Lump in Your Nether Regions? Schedule an Appointment and Find Out What’s Going on.
The thing is, on the off chance you do have something more serious going on between your legs, you want to know as soon as possible. Early detection means early treatment and that is always a good thing. In the meantime, here is a list of some of the most common painful bumps found in and around the vagina.
Ingrown hairs. If you shave or wax your bikini area, you are bound to get an in-grown hair from time to time. They can become red, painful and itchy and – when infected – can also become larger than you might expect. If you wax or shave, make sure to gently exfoliate the skin around the area to prevent in-grown hairs. When in doubt about whether it’s an ingrown hair or not, come in and we’ll tell you.
Vaginal cysts. Cysts can grow just about anywhere on your body and occur when fluid, air or other materials become trapped inside tissue. There are several common types of vaginal cysts:
- Inclusion cysts. These are the most common type and they’re typically found on the rear wall of the vagina. They are often asymptomatic but you or your partner may feel the lump or your OBGYN will notice it during an exam.
- Gartner’s duct cysts and Müllerian cysts. Both of these cysts are remnants of embryo formation and occur after the baby is born – sometimes long after – when fluid fills the remaining ducts.
- Bartholin’s gland cysts. Have you ever had a blocked tear duct in your eye? Well, in a similar fashion, the Bartholin’s glands sit on either side of your vagina and produce vaginal lubrication. When the ducts become blocked, often by skin or some form of bacterial growth, cysts will form. These are the only cysts that usually cause any discomfort. If you have one, you may feel discomfort when walking, inserting a tampon or during sex.
In most cases, an pain or discomfort with a cyst indicates it has become infected so the sooner you treat it, the sooner it will go away.
Sexually transmitted diseases. There are several sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) that cause painful and or itchy bumps or lesions. These include genital herpes, chancroid and genital warts. Each of these STDs are highly contagious and it’s imperative that you have them treated and/or are aware you have them so you prevent spreading them to others. Always use a condom when having sex with multiple partners, a new partner, or anyone who you suspect may be having sex with more than one person.
Molluscum contagiosum. While this isn’t an STD, it can be spread via sexual contact. Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that leaves small raised lesions or bumps on the skin. They can look like blisters or skin-colored moles and are typically painless. They usually go away on their own but can last for two to four years.
Contact dermatitis. That’s a fancy way of saying, “allergic reaction.” Your skin can react to any number of allergens, and the skin on and around your labia and vagina is delicate. Anything from a new soap or detergent to a particular type of fabric can cause an allergic reaction that results in itchy and/or painful bumps.
Don’t let mysterious bumps leave you wondering, worrying or – even worse – panicking! That’s the last thing we want. Women’s Health KC is here to figure out what’s going on and come up with a solution if one is needed. Contact us to schedule an appointment.