There is a lot of things that make those with vaginas question whether they are normal or not. One of the most significant areas of concern is finding bumps or lumps on the labia. This can be quite distressing for some women and maybe an embarrassing issue.
However, in most cases, finding a bump on the labia is not that big of an issue. Lumps or bumps on can actually be very common, especially for those during childbearing age. It can also be something that occurs naturally with age.
There is often a lot of confusion when we talk about women’s problems. Many people refer to the vagina when they actually mean the vulva, which is the external parts of this sexual organ.
The vagina is a term given to the internal parts of this sexual organ. Those who find lumps or bumps on their labia are referring to an external issue.
As the vulva is the external parts of the vagina, it includes:
- Labia majora: These are the outer lips of the vagina, and this is where pubic hair will grow. This is the part of the vagina where you will find lumps or bumps occasionally.
- Labia minora: These are the smaller lips of the vagina that you will find if you open the labia majora.
When we are talking about bumps on labia, we will mainly be referring to the labia majora.
Bumps on labia could be a normal bodily reaction, or they could be a sign of an infection or illness. Some kinds of bump on the area are common and shouldn’t cause you too much worry.
There are multiple reasons why you may find bumps on labia, including:
- Vulvar Cysts
The labia majora and labia minora are home to many different glands, such as oil glands, Skene’s glands, and Bartholin’s glands. A common reason why you may experience bumps is if these glands become clogged, which will create a vaginal cyst on the surface.
The size of vaginal cysts can vary quite a lot, but most of the time they will feel like small hard lumps under the skin. Vulvar cysts are generally not painful unless they become infected, which may mean you need to seek some form of treatment.
Standard vulvar cysts do not need medical treatment and will go away on their own in time.
- Fordyce Spots
Fordyce spots, also known as sebaceous glands, are small white or yellow-white bumps on labia. These can often look like zits and are a common occurrence during puberty, just like you will get them anywhere else on the body.
These bumps on labia are not painful and will dissapear on their own in time.
These are swollen veins that can appear around the vulva, including on the labia. They commonly occur during pregnancy or aging. Varicosities appear as either round swollen veins or bluish raised bumps around both the majora and the minora.
These bumps are not normally painful, but they can cause itching, feel heavy, or may even cause bleeding.
For those who get varicosities during pregnancy, no treatment is needed as they usually go away around six weeks after birth. If you are not pregnant or experience a lot of pain from varicosities, then a doctor or vein specialist may be able to treat you.
- Ingrown Hair
A lot of times bumps on labia appear due to ingrown hairs. If you shave, wax or pluck your pubic hair, then you are increasing your chances of having ingrown hairs.
Ingrown hairs cause small, round and sometimes painful bumps to appear on the labia or around the vulva. This can be quite severe in some cases, as the ingrown hair can cause the bump to be full of pus and cause infections.
If this is the case, do not try to extract the hair on your own. In most cases, this problem will go away on its own, but you can seek a doctor if you think the bump on the labia has become infected.
- Vaginal Skin Tags
Skin tags can appear anywhere on the body, including around the vulva and on the labia. Skin tags are small yet protruding flaps of extra skin which may look like a bump on your labia.
These do not usually cause any harm or pain unless they rub against clothing or become caught in something. Skin tags are a natural occurrence, but you can get them removed by a doctor if you find it uncomfortable or embarrassing.
- Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that is very common as it can be passed on vaginally, anally, or through oral sex.
Unlike a lot of sexually transmitted diseases, there are a few symptoms of genital herpes that you can look out for in the vulva or labia:
- Large sores
- Swollen glands
- Itching or irritation
- Painful red bumps or blisters
It can also make you feel like you have the flu. These symptoms often clear up, only to return again. It is important that you seek medical advice as a doctor may be able to alleviate some of the pain, discomfort, or reduce the sores.
- Genital Warts
Genital warts are an infection that can be spread through vaginal or anal sex, but they can also be spread through oral sex on some occasions.
These can grow on your vulva, including on the labia, in your anus or even in the vagina. There is no way to cure genital warts, but they can be removed by a doctor or by using a prescribed treatment. Never use over the counter treatments for genital warts.
Vulva cancer is rare but is more common in older women or those who smoke.
Symptoms of vulva cancers include sore bumps on labia, significant skin changes, and unusual bleeding or discharge. If these symptoms persist, you should go see a doctor.
Cancer needs to be diagnosed by a doctor who can seek the best treatment for you.