Good on you for being proactive about seeking answers. On top of being uncomfortable, recurring problems and changes to your vagina and vulva are typically a sign that something is going on that needs your attention—or at least a little TLC. As a reminder, your vulva is the external parts of your genitalia, like your mons pubis, labia minora and majora, and clitoris. Below, find the most common culprits behind a swollen vagina or vulva, what you can do about it, and when to see a doctor. This is known broadly as vaginitis , a large bucket of various causes of inflammation or infection of the vagina and vulva, according to Cleveland Clinic. Technically, vulvovaginitis is the proper term when referring to both the vagina and vulva, but vaginitis is commonly used as an umbrella term, just like people say vagina when they really mean vulva. There are several types of vaginitis with various causes, including a few other things on this list. One type is known as noninfectious vaginitis. Noninfectious vaginitis is vaginitis caused by dermatitis which is just the fancy medical term for skin inflammation, per the Mayo Clinic. Dermatitis—specifically contact dermatitis—typically happens around your vulva or vagina when something irritates your skin known as irritant contact dermatitis or causes an allergic reaction known as allergic contact dermatitis , according to research compiled by American Family Physician.
3. The sex you had was super rough or fast.
1. There wasn't enough lubrication.
Every once in a while, you may notice that things seem a little different below the belt after you have sex. An itchy vagina after sex? We all want our vaginas and vulvas to stay healthy, right? Here is what they told us you might notice.
1. You’re having an allergic reaction or some other irritation.
Vaginal swelling can be, as expected, a rather unpleasant experience. After all, who wants to feel any irritation or discomfort down there? However, if you are experiencing vaginal swelling, there are various possible reasons as well as solutions. Vaginal swelling is incredibly common during pregnancy because of things like increased blood flow, hormones, the pressure placed on the pelvic area as the baby grows, and the general swelling that occurs in the body. These can make the vulva appear larger and heavier, just like swelling. Another reaction, Twogood explains, is due to something called contact dermatitis, which is sometimes confused with an allergy. In order to avoid swelling from this, Garren suggests avoiding fragrances in your soaps, tampons , pads, and detergents whenever possible.
Periods, pregnancy, and intercourse can all cause swelling in the vaginal area, including the vaginal lips labia. Sometimes, swelling may be the result of another condition, disease, or disorder. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most common causes of vaginal swelling and what you can do to ease your symptoms. Chemicals in everyday products like laundry detergent and bubble bath can irritate the sensitive skin of the vagina, vulva, and labia. So can perfumed products and harsh toilet paper. Stop using a product you think might be affecting your vagina. If the irritation clears, you should avoid the product to avoid future swelling and discomfort. But if the swelling remains, you may need to talk with your doctor. They may prescribe a cream to help ease the swelling and other symptoms. Items you use directly in or around your vagina can also irritate the tissue and lead to itching, irritation, and swelling.