Sign in to your account

Don't have an account?

Create an account
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more
Black medical doctor in a white coat and red stethoscope examining a patient on a ward. Our doctors on askawayhealth have years of clinical experience to provide top notch care.

Need to check your symptoms?

Use our symptom checker to help determine what your symptoms are and to ensure you get the help you need.

Check your symptoms


Request a reset

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Reset your password

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Don’t Panic! Exploring 7 Common Causes of Vaginal Lumps and Bumps

May 31, 2023

Read this brief guide on vaginal lumps and changes that affect this part of a woman’s anatomy.

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.

Picture of a clay model of the womans naked pelvis with a lumpy/bumpy area above 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.  Here are seven common causes:

African lady in white bra and pants holding a red flower in front of her vagina

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. If a cyst is small, has no infection but is painful, treatments include painkillers; otherwise, you will need antibiotics if an infection is present.

Treatment includes a surgical procedure where the surgeons will open the sac, drain it and give you antibiotics.

Genital Warts

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

So these can be single 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 solution or cream is a common example) or Ablative methods (such as cryotherapy, excision, and electrocautery) exist. The latter methods 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 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.

Red graphic image simulating the vagina with some lumps and bumps around the opening

Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes can cause painful, fluid-filled blisters that can 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. The symptoms can start reasonably quickly or delay for several weeks after contact with an infected partner.

The partner may not show signs of being contagious, so using condoms or dental dams is recommended, as well as not sharing sex toys.

The blisters 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.

Some women may also have an unusual vaginal discharge.

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

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

You can get painkillers from the clinic, 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.

Remember these facts about how you can 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,
  • Or by sharing sex toys with someone who has Herpes. 
Image of the anatomy of the hair - ingrown hair can lead to vaginal lumps

Ingrown Hair

When a hair follicle becomes trapped under the skin in any part of the body, it can lead to inflammatory changes in the area. Of course, this occurs in the vagina and can cause a small bump or pimple-like lesion.

It has the potential for infection and may be common in women who shave their pubic hair.


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. This is common in older women, women who’ve had multiple pregnancies or if a woman is obese.  

Learn more about how prolapse happens and the other conditions that could make it more likely to happen.

Vulva/Vaginal Cancer

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.  

Acne (pimples) & Cysts

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 is known as hidradenitis suppurativa.

You may also have a cyst around the vagina, an empty space within the tissues. This can sometimes become infected, leading to painful swelling and other signs of inflammation.

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

More Reading

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to promote quality healthcare. 

The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
Don’t hesitate to contact a health practitioner to discuss your condition or reach us directly 

Image Credits Canva

Share this blog article

On this page

Let us know what you think

Want to know how your comment data is processed? Learn more

Access over 600 resources & our monthly newsletter.

Askawayhealth 2023 grant recipient from European Union Development Fund

Askawayhealth, 2023 Award Recipient

Our educational content meets the standards set by the NHS in their Standard for Creating Health Content guidance.

Askawayhealth aims to deliver reliable and evidence based women's health, family health and sexual health information in a way that is easily relatable and easy for everyone to access.

Askawayhealth symptom Checker tool image

Utilize our complimentary symptom checker tool to gain more information about any uncertain symptoms you might have.