Bumps on Vagina

When a woman discovers bumps on her vagina it can cause anxiety. However, before you panic, it is important to note that there are several harmless causes for these bumps. Vaginal Bumps don't automatically indicate an STD or a contagious condition. In this article we will explore the causes for vaginal bumps, from the most common to the more rare.

Causes for bumps on vagina

Symptom: Bumps are under the skin

Have you experienced any of the following?

  • The bumps on the vagina are under the skin.
  • They feel like a pebble or small pellet when touched. They can also be moved around with your fingers.
  • The bumps do not grow in size, nor do they change appearance.
  • They may resemble pimples.
  • They are generally painless.

Most likely cause: Cysts

Cysts are a sac like structure that manifest under the skin. They are usually filled with either liquid, air, or a hard substance. There are two main types of vaginal cysts: Skene's duct cysts and Bartholin cysts. Skene duct cysts manifest around the urethra. Bartholin cysts occur outside of the vagina on the lower labia majora.

Treatment: Treatment is not normally needed for cysts, but if they are particularly large you may wish to have them drained by a doctor. If they are causing any discomfort you can relieve them with a warm bath or a heat pad.

Symptom: Bumps are red, purple, or blue

Have you experienced any of the following?

  • The bumps are red, purple, blue, or black.
  • They do not change in size.
  • They do not bleed or weep.

Most likely cause: Angiomas

Angiomas are clusters of overgrown blood vessels. They are benign (harmless) and are caused by multiplying endothelial cells, which are the cells that cover blood vessels.

Treatment: Due to the fact that angiomas are harmless, treatment is not an imperative. However, if you are unsatisfied with them for cosmetic reasons, then you can have them removed through vascular laser treatment, cryotherapy, or electrosurgery.

Symptom: Bumps are small, smooth, and red

Have you experienced any of the following?

  • The bumps are either white, pink, or flesh colored.
  • There is a small pit or indentation in the middle of the bump.
  • The bumps are smooth and firm.
  • The bumps can become red, swollen, and sore.
  • They normally disappear within 6 to 12 months.
  • When they disappear they don't leave scars.

Most likely cause: molluscum

Molluscum is a contagious skin disorder that is caused by a virus. Though it is quite a mild skin disorder, it is very contagious and can be spread through sexual contact.

Treatment: If the bumps disappear by themselves after 6-12 months, treatment will not be necessary. Alternatively, if they persist you should contact a doctor to obtain treatment. Treatment may involve a cream that is applied to the bumps or an oral medication. Laser therapy may also be a suitable avenue of treatment for molluscum.

Symptom: Bumps are soft and widespread.

Have you experienced any of the following?

  • The bumps are flesh coloured.
  • They can be raised or flat.
  • They may actually resemble a cauliflower in appearance.
  • The bumps may be inside the vagina, or on the surrounding skin around it.
  • The bumps may also appear on the lips, throat, and mouth.
  • Other symptoms include increased vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, and bleeding after sex.

Most likely cause: Genital warts

Genital warts are growths that manifest on the skin or membrane in the vaginal region. They are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Treatment: You will need to see a doctor to treat genital warts. The normal treatment method administrated by a doctor is prescription medicine, which could be Imiquimod, Podophyllin or Trichloroacetic acid. The warts can also be removed through cryosurgery, laser surgery, or surgical removal. It is recommended that during treatment you refrain from sexual activity, as they can be spread through sex. After treatment, you will need to visit your doctor for a follow-up to ensure that the warts are completely removed.

Symptom: Bumps are painful and small.

Have you experienced any of the following?

  • Bumps that are on the labia, vagina, cervix, thighs, and buttocks.
  • They are small, painful, and either clear or straw colored.
  • Before the bumps manifest, the skin normally feels tingly, burning, or itchy.
  • Painful urination and an increase in vaginal discharge can also be experienced.
  • Other symptoms include a fever, decreased appetite, muscle aches, and sore lymph nodes.

Most likely cause: Genital herpes

This is a sexually transmitted infection that is instigated by the herpes simplex virus.

Treatment: There is no cure for genital herpes; the treatment method only relives pain and some of the other symptoms. Antiviral medication is effective at reducing pain and can accelerate the healing process of the genital sores. If you experience reoccurring bouts of herpes, it is important that you take the antiviral medication before the actual sores manifest. They should be taken when the tingling, burning, or itchy sensation occurs. Warm baths can also relieve the pain caused by the bumps/blisters.

Symptom: Bumps change in appearance

Have you experienced any of the following?

  • The bump(s) will enlarge and change in color.
  • The outline of the bump is wavy and uneven.
  • The bump is asymmetrical.
  • The bump is elevated.

Most likely cause: Skin cancer

This is the rarest cause of vaginal bumps, and the most deadly if left untreated.

Treatment: Surgery is the most common type of treatment for skin cancer. The aim of a surgical procedure is to remove the cancerous tissue. This can be done through laser surgery or by a scalpel. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used to treat skin cancer.

If you ever experience bumps on your vagina, it is important to notify a doctor. Though the cause is normally harmless, it could potentially be detrimental to your health. Thus it is recommended that you see a doctor immediately to obtain an accurate diagnosis.