Vaginal swelling or inflammation is a symptom that many women present throughout their lives. Since it can be a consequence of numerous factors and conditions, it is convenient to pay attention to it and go to a gynecologist. This inflammation in the intimate area, called vaginitis or vulvovaginitis, can be due to allergic reactions, hormonal changes in the female body, trauma, bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral infections. Therefore, it is essential to detect the origin as soon as possible and analyze the symptoms accompanying said inflammation. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we are going to clarify this question by showing what are the possible causes that can answer the question of “why do I have a swollen vagina?” and we insist on the importance of visiting the gynecologist to avoid complications and conditions that compromise the health of the intimate area and the body in general.
Swollen vulva after intercourse
Some women wonder why they have swollen genital lips after intercourse or why the vulva becomes inflamed after sex, and this symptom can have several explanations; Let’s see what they are below:
- There is little natural vaginal lubrication due to a lack of excitement or too long sexual intercourse.
- Too rough or violent sexual relations.
- Allergic reaction to latex in condoms, lubricants used during intercourse, or even allergy to men’s semen. All of these factors can cause inflammation of the genital lips after intercourse.
In addition to these causes of a swollen vagina, the inflammation of the vulva may also be due to the suffering of some gynecological disorder or condition, such as those that we are going to list and detail throughout the article.
Inflamed vulva in pregnancy
On the other hand, many women worry about inflammation of the vagina during pregnancy, and it must be taken into account that the female genitalia, like the rest of the body, also undergo significant changes in pregnancy due to to the hormonal changes that occur and to the increase in the volume of the uterus. The most prominent are the following:
- The genital lips and the skin in the area become a little darker, as well as the nipples and the linea alba.
- The vagina is broader and more elastic since hormonal changes promote relaxation of the muscles in the area.
- The most swollen genital lips are noticeable.
- You can perceive a heaviness in the vulva and even the appearance of vulvar varicose veins due to increased blood flow in the area.
- We increased pubic hair.
- More abundant vaginal discharge.
However, suppose the inflammation of the genital lips or vulva appears accompanied by other symptoms, such as irritation, itching, redness, abnormal discharge or foul-smelling, discomfort when urinating, and having intercourse. It is essential to consult with the gynecologist urgently since then it could be due to suffering from some vaginal infection.
Inflammation of the vulva from infections
On many occasions, the inflamed vagina is due to the suffering of infections caused by different microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses. In these cases, the inflammation of the vagina is usually accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as burning, itching, redness, changes in vaginal discharge, pain when urinating or during sex. Among the infections that can cause inflammation of the vulva, they are the following:
- Vaginal yeast infection: When a yeast infection causes inflammation, it is called yeast vulvovaginitis. Its symptoms, in addition to vulvar swelling, are thick white discharge, burning, itching, irritation, redness, and discomfort when urinating and during intercourse.
- Bacterial Vaginosis: An infection that occurs due to an imbalance in the bacterial flora of the vagina. In this case, symptoms such as white or grayish discharge with a fishy smell, burning, stinging, and internal and external itching may occur.
- Trichomoniasis: a sexually transmitted disease caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis and spread by having sex with an infected person. The affected woman may have yellow, green, or gray vaginal discharge, vaginal and vulvar inflammation, redness, itching, burning, and pain during intercourse.
- Other STDs: although to a lesser extent, vulvovaginitis or inflammation and infection of the vagina can also result from other STDs, such as genital herpes, mycoplasma genitalium, or genital herpes.
Faced with these infections, it is essential to go to the gynecologist to start the appropriate drug treatment in each case.
Inflammation of the Bartholin’s glands
In other circumstances, bartolinitis can also answer why I have a swollen vagina. Still, in this case, there is an inflammation of the Bartholin’s glands, which are located on the sides of the vaginal opening. These glands can become inflamed due to an accumulation of the mucous fluid that they produce, which instead of going to the outside, remains blocked inside, thus causing the glands to increase in size and form a kind of cyst. Bartholinitis can be caused by bacterial infections, sexually transmitted diseases, or other bacterial diseases that affect other body parts.
The main symptoms of bartolinitis are:
- Swollen and round lump on one of the vaginal lips.
- Inflammation of the affected genital lip.
- If there is an infection, pain may be experienced when walking, sitting, or having intercourse.
The gynecologist should check any lump that appears in the vaginal area. In the case of bartolinitis, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic drugs can be prescribed or resort to surgery to drain the cyst. In the article Bartolinitis: causes, symptoms, and treatment, we expand the information about this condition.
Swollen vagina in menopause: atrophic vulvovaginitis
In women in the menopausal period, another cause of a swollen and inflamed vagina can be atrophic vulvovaginitis or vaginal atrophy. This condition occurs due to the reduction of estrogen levels in a woman’s body, which is common in menopause. In addition to vulvar inflammation, other common symptoms are vaginal dryness, itching, burning, stinging when urinating, whitish discharge, urine leakage, pain during intercourse, and bleeding after intimate relationships.
To reduce all these symptoms and improve sexual health, it is advisable to have the appropriate gynecological tests and start hormonal treatment with estrogens if the doctor considers it appropriate. Vaginal moisturizers and water-based lubricants are also recommended to keep the intimate area hydrated and lubricated.
Other possible causes of the swollen vulva
- Use of irritating intimate cosmetic products or poor hygiene habits.
- Skin conditions.
- Hormonal changes.
- Trauma or presence of foreign bodies inside the vagina.
- Wearing very tight or tight clothing.
- Use of the IUD.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I have a swollen vagina, we recommend that you enter our Female Reproductive System category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.