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Swollen labia majora, sore. Sexually inactive. Soaked in warm water. Reason?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I am 32 and am not sexually active. My labia majora is swollen quite a bit on the right side and sore. Will this go away or do I need medication? I have had swelling there before, but it was a small lump, not painful and went away. I have no other medical conditions. I haven't changed any of my soaps or lotions. I have soaked in warm water without any noticable change. Any suggestion you have would be appreciated. This is very uncomfortable!
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 22 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

Swelling on the labia majora with tenderness can be due to -
1. Bartholin's Cyst - Is located midway of the labia, and protrudes into the vagina and causes discomfort.
If infection sets in, the result is a Bartholin's abscess. Since you have pain present in the swelling, infection is a likely possibility. Usually systemic antibiotics are needed to control the infection.

2. Infected hair follicles - can form small absesses, which can cause a small swelling, but they are associated with redness and throbbing pain.

Proper diagnosis requires a proper physical examination of the swelling in question. You might need to consult a gynaecologist who can examine and then decide on the appropriate treatment.

Meanwhile doing a hot fomentation in the area might help in reducing the swelling. Taking over the counter anti inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen will also help.

I hope this answers your query effectively. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Swollen labia majora, sore. Sexually inactive. Soaked in warm water. Reason? 22 minutes later
This swelling starts at the back of the labia and pertrudes toward the front. It is like a tissue inside the labia that is actually swollen. There is no reddness or bumps on the actual labia. It feels as though it is swollen from the inside of my body and is using the labia as the escape.
For a Doctor visit, would it be better to see a gynacologist or should I start with my primary doctor.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 59 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
From the further details that you have provided Bartholin's cysts seems more likely.
Consulting a gynaecologist will be a better option for proper treatment.
Hope my answer is helpful. Write back if you have further queries.
Wishing you a trouble free speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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