Causes of Swelling in Labia and Its Treatment
Swelling in the labia may be generalized, that is, throughout the vulva, or localized, confined to particular structures only.
It may be unilateral or bilateral. There may be other symptoms associated with it like burning, pain or itching.
The cause of vulval swelling is diagnosed on the basis of the presentation of the swelling.
Cyst– Vulva has plenty of glands in it which secrete lubricating secretions. It is possible that the duct of one of the glands gets blocked to produce a swelling (bartholin’s cyst). Such swellings may be painless to begin with. However, there are chances that it gets infected and becomes painful and tender.
Hernia– A part of the internal viscera may protrude through a vulvar lip to give a swelling. Swelling due to hernia are reducible and usually painless. They become more prominent on prolonged standing.
Abscess– An abscess is collection of pus due to a localized infection. This may be due to pulled hair, blocked duct, insect bite etc.
An abscess needs immediate attention. You need to get it drained at the earliest.
This may be due to an infection involving both inner and outer labia, some allergy or edema.
Allergy produces redness in the skin area and some swelling.
You may be allergic to a particular soap or douche being used. Allergies to clothes, touching the vulval skin, is also common.
As a general practice, it is advised that you wear only cotton undergarments. Let your clothes be loose allowing ventilation and less of friction, particularly at night times.
If you notice some swelling in your labia minora or labia majora each time after intercourse, you may be allergic to some stuff being used during sex. This may be your condom (latex) or any lubricating gel being used.
Some women are allergic to semen. There are ways to manage it.
A generalized infection is called vulvovaginitis. It may be due to many causes.
Due to Yeast Infection
This is the most common cause of vulvovaginitis in women of all age groups. The causative organism is a fungus called candida albicans.
The infection spreads very fast if left untreated. It may go from the vulva to vagina and then to the cervix (cervicitis).
Anti fungal medications are given to treat it. Topical creams are available to combat it.
Trichomonas vaginitis is a parasitic infection involving the vulvar region. The vagina is also affected. Labia are swollen and itchy. A yellow to green vaginal discharge is often present.
Bacterial vaginosis, is a bacterial infection of the genital area. A clear or yellowish vaginal discharge with fishy odor is present.
This may have a vascular cause.
As the pregnancy advances, the enlarged uterus puts pressure over the blood vessels of the pelvis.
The venous return and lymphatic drainage is affected and the labia may appear swollen.
Any Blockage of Lymphatic Channels of the Pelvis
This may produce a swelling in the vulvar structures.
Some females may have hypertrophied (enlarged) labia minora. This may be a normal variation.
Due to Injuries
A rough intercourse may injure your parts and cause bruises over the labia.
Injuries due to instrumentation during child birth are common.
If you have a swollen labia, do not ignore. Visit your gyne for evaluation and treatment.
- For infections, anti-fungals or antibiotic creams are given.
- Keep the vulval area clean and dry. Wash it regularly, but gently, with plain water. Avoid using much of beauty products and soaps for the area. The inner labia are very sensitive, and may become dry or allergic to outside products. It’s just the normal vaginal secretions that they want.
- Avoid tight clothing around your genitals. Loose cotton clothes are the best to keep the area dry and healthy.
- For localized swellings, warm compress techniques may be used to relieve pain.