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7 Causes and Compelling Reasons You Should Never Ignore Vaginal Lumps

September 13, 2023

This post looks at some of the common reasons you may get vaginal lumps and how we treat them.

It’s a very uncomfortable place to have a lump, so if you develop one in or around your vagina, you’ll want to know why and how to get rid of it quickly.

Image of a tree trunk with uncanny resemblance to a picture of vaginal lumps

Why Lumps in the Vagina?

The vagina is a tube open at one end but closed off by the cervix at the opposite end.

On the inside of the vagina are tissues that produce fluid that helps clean and maintain the vagina.

There are several possible causes of vaginal lumps or bumps. 

Often, they develop due to an infection (sexual and non-sexual) or skin irritation.

But they can also happen from hormone changes or changes to the glands and cells within the vagina from blocked ducts, friction and so on.

From Cysts to Warts and In Between

Here are seven common causes of vaginal lumps:

Bartholin’s Cyst

This is a fluid-filled sac that can form on one of the Bartholin’s glands located near the opening of the vagina.

Usually, it’s felt as a small, often painless lump unless it starts to get bigger.

This can lead to pain while walking/ sitting or during sex.

Sometimes, the cyst can get infected and swell very quickly. You would feel this as an excruciating swelling right at the opening of the vagina on either side, it might also feel hot, and you may also develop a high temperature.

This usually means it has grown into a Bartholin’s abscess. Small painful cysts that are not infected can be treated with painkillers, while an infected cyst will need antibiotics.

Treatment includes a surgical procedure where the sac is burst and drained, and antibiotics are given. 

Genital Warts

These vaginal lumps are commonly caused by the low-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) and appear as small, fleshy bumps on the genitals.

So they can be single lumps or multiple growths, separate or close together.

They are usually painless but have the potential to grow in size and spread.

It is essential to treat and ensure testing for other STIs.

Warts are treated in different ways.

Treatment options for anogenital warts include:

  • No treatment — one-third of visible warts disappear spontaneously within 6 months. However, many do not, and they can be unpleasant and disfiguring – leading to anxiety and distress.
  • Self-applied treatments (podophyllotoxin 0.5% solution, or 0.15% cream, imiquimod 5% cream, sinecatechins 10% ointment) or
  • Ablative methods (such as cryotherapy [freeze treatment], excision [cutting away the lump], and electrocautery [electric treatment that delivers heat/laser to cut away the lump]) exist. These should be considered only if the practitioner is appropriately trained.

While these treatments can be effective, sometimes they can leave scars or changes in the pigmentation around the areas where the warts were located, contributing to more distress about the change in the area’s appearance.

The HPV strain that causes warts is not the same as that which causes cervical cancer. However, it is possible you could get infected with the high-risk strains at the same time.

Therefore, you must maintain regular cervical smears to identify any early changes that could suggest Cervical cancer.


Genital Herpes causes painful, fluid-filled blisters that appear on or around the vulva or vagina.

It is transmitted by sexual contact and caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, it stays in your body as long as you live.

The symptoms can start reasonably quickly or delay several weeks after contact with an infected partner.

An infected partner doesn’t always show signs of being contagious, so using condoms or dental dams is recommended, as well as not sharing sex toys.

If blisters are present, they soon burst, leaving red, open sores around your genital area.

Apart from pain, they may be itchy, tingling or burning and cause very aching pain when passing urine.

In addition to vaginal lumps, some women may also have an unusual vaginal discharge.

There is no cure for genital Herpes, and the symptoms may clear themselves.

However, going to the sexual health clinic is helpful for treatment:

  • You can get painkillers, and
  • If it’s within 5 days of the symptoms developing, antiviral drugs could stop the symptoms from worsening or shorten the outbreak’s duration.
Easy Ways to CATCH Genital Herpes –

It is very easy to pass on (contagious), from the first tingling or itching of a new outbreak (before any blisters appear) to when sores have fully healed:

From skin-to-skin contact with the infected area (including vaginal, anal and oral sex)

When there are no visible sores or blisters

If a cold sore touches your genitals, by transferring the infection on fingers from someone else to your genitals

By sharing sex toys with someone who has Herpes.

Ingrown Hair

Ingrown hair occurs when a hair follicle becomes trapped under the skin, causing a small bump or pimple-like lesion.

Sometimes, it remains this way, but occasionally, it may get infected and grow into a painful lump, usually treated with antibiotics.

If the spot is not infected, you may use a Sitz bath with Epsom salts two or three times every day to treat it

Avoid squeezing or trying to make it pop, which could lead to infections.


This condition in which the bladder bulges into the vagina, causing a lump or bulge. It develops as a result of the weakness of the pelvic floor.

It is common in older women, women who’ve had multiple pregnancies or if a woman is obese.  Learn more about pelvic floor disorders here.


Although rare, cancer can cause lumps or growths in the vaginal area.

Vulva cancer can lead to skin changes, including a wound that refuses to heal or irregular tissue in the area.  Cancer that spreads from the cervix into the surrounding tissues may also appear as a lump growing from the vaginal canal.

Pimples or Acne

Like on other body parts, pimples and acne can also occur near the skin of the vaginal area. They can develop into boils, which need antibiotics.

Some women suffer repeat boils or skin infections in parts of the body like the underarm or groin. This chronic condition is known as hidradenitis suppurativa.

Summing Up

Don’t ignore vaginal lumps! These are some compelling reasons you should address them promptly.

Suppose you have any concerns about vaginal lumps or bumps. Speaking with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment is essential in that case.

Stay informed and take care of your health.

More Reading


Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners to help promote quality healthcare. 

The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
Please get in touch with a health practitioner
 to discuss your condition, or reach us directly here.

Our post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. You are in no way obligated to use these links. Thank you for being so supportive!

Image Credits: Canva

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