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Vaginal irritations and swollen labia

Vaginal irritations can be uncomfortable, but more often very painful, therefore affecting the quality of life. Swollen labia can cause you to feel restless, not being able to sit still or wear trousers because of friction. This condition is often accompanied by other symptoms, like burning or itching.

What causes swollen labia?

There are several causes to this condition, some of which are:

  • Irritation or an allergic reaction. In this case, the irritation is most likely caused by a product , whether it is soap, bubble bath, lotion, vaginal spray, etc. All these products may contain harsh chemicals that can irritate the delicate skin of the intimate region causing swelling and pain. Sometimes this kind of reaction can even happen with products you’ve been using for years.
  • Does the swelling develop after sex? You may be allergic to latex that condoms are made of, to a lubricant or to your partner’s semen. The swelling may also develop after rough intercourse, especially if you haven’t used a lubricant and your natural lubrication is not sufficient.
  • Yeast infection. This condition can usually be recognized by white, thick discharge that resembles cottage cheese.
  • Bacterial vaginosis. Other symptoms often include white to yellowish discharge with a strong fish-like odor.
  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the pressure on the reproductive organs is increased by the baby’s weight and the circulation is reduced, causing swelling and pain in the vulva.
  • Childbirth. Sometimes during delivery women experience tissue damage that later results in swelling and pain.

  • How to prevent swollen labia?

    Avoid using products that contain strong detergents, harsh chemicals, perfume or coloring. In case you do experience irritation right after applying a certain product, rinse the area thoroughly as soon as possible to remove the product and minimize the damage. Afterwards you can apply a natural soothing product to reduce the symptoms and speed up recovery. Choose an intimate wash that contain only mild detergents and no fragrances or preservatives.

    "There are several causes of swollen labia, some of which are irritations, intercourse and infections."

    If you experience vaginal dryness, use a lubricant during intercourse or apply a vaginal moisturizer daily for a more long-term effect. This way you will experience long-term relief from dryness. If the irritation has already occurred, avoid having sex until the area heals and the symptoms disappear. In case you have a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, you may want to visit your doctor to receive appropriate therapy. You can also use a prebiotic-based product that will promote the growth of good bacteria and help rebalance your vaginal flora.

    Avoid wearing tight clothing, especially while the irritation lasts. Make sure that your underwear is made out of natural material (cotton allows the skin to breathe, while synthetic fabrics can only make the irritation worse). Try sleeping without any underwear to allow the skin to breathe and recuperate overnight.

    If you are experiencing swollen labia, try cooling down the irritated area (you can either use a cold compress or try an ice bath). The cold will reduce the swelling and temporarily relieve the pain. Avoid the urge to scratch the area, since this can create tissue damage and symptoms that can become even more uncomfortable. If the swelling lasts for more than a week, make sure to visit a doctor to discover the reason behind the irritation.