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How to get rid of swollen and painful inner labia?

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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 9400 Questions
Posted Thu, 21 Feb 2013 in Vaginal and Uterus Health
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

Thank you for your query.

At first, we need to clear a few questions, if you do not mind.

They are the following:
-Last sexual intercourse? Or penetration?
-Any trauma (injury), either direct or indirect
-Introduction of any new sanitary products? (napkins, etc.)
-When did you notice the swelling and pain?
-Burning sensation?
-Dyspareunia (pain during intercourse)

The reason why I have asked for the above information is the following:
There are a few conditions that resemble the presentation you are having in pre-menopausal women (approximately 40-50 years of age)
-Signs of itchiness, discharge, burning sensation could be due to an infection (bacterial or viral)
-Direct injury/trauma could result in temporary swelling, and would subside gradually; if this is the case, you could try warm compresses or having a warm bath in a tub
-Sexual intercourse could also cause the transmission of an infection (if your partner is infected) or the penis could have caused trauma to the labia
-When did this happen? Thinking about the closest event that took place before the swelling and pain was noticed.

The best option would be to visit a doctor (gynecologist). Reason being:

The doctor can conduct a cotton-swab test. In this test, we use a cotton-swab and move it in a circular motion around and on the labia, to find the exact location of the pain. Also during this examination, the doctor can take a sample for a laboratory test to exclude the presence of an infection (bacterial or viral). The presence of a lump or anything else unusual. A visual examination would also help greatly in locating any abnormalities that you would have overlooked.

In addition, if you are nearing menopause, the doctor could examine the vulvo/vaginal region and look for any atrophy (which is the wasting of a body part that is commonly seen with older age and reduced function of that particular body part).

Possible causes:
-Vaginitis (caused due to infections, allergies, foreign body contact, hormonal changes, and diabetes)
-Other infections
-Muscular changes

For now, please schedule an appointment with your gynecologist and go about the above advice. All above mentioned conditions are treatable, all you need to do is seek the right advice and follow it.

Also refrain (avoid) from using anything on or around your vagina.

I hope I have managed in contributing in some way or the other. You can always write back to me for any further clarifications. I would be glad to assist you.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: How to get rid of swollen and painful inner labia? 1 hour later
Thank you for your response. In answer to your question. I recently visited the docot with painful blisters around my vagina and the doctor said that it looked like Herpes and gave me anti viral, this has cleared up. I have had the thickening around the labia more recenly, I have not had sex for two weeks, no trauma, my periods finished in April last year, no discharge or itchiness, no burning sensation. I have been using Bepanthol around the area which the doctor said was fine.
Hope this helps
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 13 hours later
Hello and thank you for the information.

Bepanthol is a regenerating and hydrating lotion, and should generally not cause side effects matching your presentation.

Your history includes Herpes, which was treated with the help of anti-viral drugs, and thus cleared up.

Even if there is a recurrence of Herpes, its presentation does not match yours. But, we can never be too sure. So we should get you checked.

As was my earlier advise, if this is an infection (viral or bacterial; herpes recurrence or a new infection), all we need to conduct is a swab test. This cotton swab can be sent to the lab and analysed for the presence of an infection. Once the infection (if present) has been diagnosed, treatment should help rid you of your presentation.

You should also know that there have been cases of pre-menopausal or post-menopausal women having presentations similar to yours. And after thorough investigation, the cause was found to be hormonal. Some chose to be treated with medication and some chose to wait it out. This can be diagnosed simultaneously, and also once all other causes have been ruled out.

Do not worry, as all the discussed conditions are treatable. Please schedule a visit with your gynecologist and get yourself tested. This will help in reaching an accurate diagnosis. An early diagnosis always has a better prognosis.

I hope I have succeeded in answering your questions. If you have anymore clarifications, you could write back to me, and I would gladly answer them.

Wishing you lots of luck and a quick recovery.

Dr. Shoaib Khan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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