Sexual health is incredibly important but unfortunately pretty complicated. For one thing, the genital region is very sensitive. It is prone to a number of conditions, infections and diseases. Most people also feel a bit of stigmatization and aren’t ready to be open about their sexual health. This is commonly seen with a diagnosis for a lump in the scrotum after vasectomy in men.
Every so often, you may notice a lump on the labia. It is common for most people to freak out or associate such a bump with diseases like syphilis, herpes or even cancer. While such diseases are common causes of lumps and sores on the labia, the lumps could as well be very harmless and somewhat normal.
All in all, the fact remains that it is very important to be sure that a lump on the labia is not harmful. If so, learn the available treatment options. In this article, we will discuss more on Hard and Painful Lump on labia and labia minora: Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms and treatments.
Hard lump on labia; vaginal cysts
Before getting any further, it is important that we understand what the labia is and where it is located. The labia are a part of a woman’s vagina. The labia majora are the outer, fatty vaginal lips that are more visible when a woman is standing. Labia minora are the inner lips that are covered by the labia majora. They are less fatty and closer to the vulva. In most cases, vaginal cysts will develop on the labia minora.
Vaginal cysts are perhaps the most common causes of hard lumps on the labia. They are of the following types:
Bartholin’s gland cyst
Bartholin’s glands are located under the skin, just above the opening of the vagina on either side of the vaginal walls. They are responsible for production of lubricating fluid that keeps the vagina wet. Sometimes, the glands can get clogged or blocked. This leads to formation of a hard lump on labia. Bacteria strains such as E.coli can lead to formation of these cysts.
A pea-sized hard lump appearing in the vaginal wall, mostly on the lower back is most likely an inclusion cyst. Due to their small sizes, these cysts are hard to notice. They mostly occur after childbirth. This is mostly if the childbirth involved complications or required an episiotomy.
Gartner’s duct cysts
Gartner’s duct cysts are forms of birth defects. The ducts are present in embryos and are supposed to disappear by time of birth. If this fails to happen, the ducts may come to form cysts on the labia and vagina.
Müllerian cysts form from materials that failed to disintegrate as required when a baby is developing. Most of them are filled with mucus and can appear anywhere on the wall of the vagina, including the labia minora.
A hard lump on the labia could be a sebaceous cyst. These cysts show up anywhere on the skin. They are harmless and painless. You can identify a sebaceous cyst from the presence of a white hue. They go away on their own even without treatment. A sebaceous cyst can cause a painful lump on the testicle in men if irritated.
Symptoms of lump on labia due to vaginal cysts
In most cases, a cyst will not cause other symptoms apart from being visible or noticeable by touch. Small ones like inclusion cysts may not even be felt or seen.
If a cyst on the inner labia gets quite big, chances of being noticed are high. It may for example cause discomfort when walking, masturbating or having sex.
Infected cysts are bound to become painful and show other signs of infection such as pus discharge and fever. They can also be a source of foul odor. Some like sebaceous cysts will appear whitish in color. A sebaceous cyst will mostly form on the labia majora.
Diagnosis and treatments for lump on labia due to vaginal cysts
Diagnosis can be done by observing the symptoms. Physical examination will also help, since most cysts form noticeable lumps. this can be aided by lump on the labia minora pictures. Many of such are available online. To confirm diagnosis, it is advisable that you visit a gynecologist.
Cysts are generally not harmful. Given enough time, they usually disappear on their own. A large painful cyst is best treated. The same goes for an infected one or if it is causing forms of discomfort.
Surgical removal and draining are the main treatment options to cure cysts. Surgical removal comes with the advantage of the fact that the removed cysts will rarely recur. It however can prove quite discomforting to many women. The treatment is commonly used for a hard lump on the top of the foot or wrist bone due to joint complications.
Draining is a less harsh treatment option. A catheter is inserted into the cyst and the filling fluid is drained. The main disadvantage is that drained cysts may come back after some time.
Antibiotics form an important part of cysts treatment. It is common for bacteria to find a way into cysts, where the start a chain of actions which are always harmful.
At home, you can try warm compressing or taking hot baths. This treatment option encourages unclogging of ducts and also draws cyst fluid towards the skin surface where it can drain.
Sore and painful lump on labia
A painful lump on the labia that forms a sore could be a sign of genital herpes. A sore lump due to genital herpes is in most cases itchy, painful and causes a burning sensation. It is more of a sore than a lump. However, inflammation and irritation on the labia minora skin due to the sore may result in a bump.
Some other STDs such as syphilis can also cause lumps or sores on the labia minora. This will only happen if you have had sex in the recent past with an infected partner.
Soft and painless lump on my labia
If you are to notice some soft, painless lump on the labia, it could be a wart or a skin tag. Warts are caused by HPV virus, which is a sexually transmitted virus. They can occur individually or in clusters and take resemblance of a cauliflower.
A skin tag on the labia minora will most likely form due to friction. It is a harmless skin growth that attaches to the skin through a stalk.
Both warts and skin tags are generally harmless.
Purple lump on labia causes
A purple lump on the labia could be due to angiokeratomas. These are tiny purple or dark red spots than occur due to dilated capillaries.
It is more common to see these spots on the labia minora. The condition resolves on its own and doesn’t require medical treatment. However, cold compressing may help calm the dilated vessels.
Is a pea-sized hard lump on my labia a sign of cancer?
It is common to associate a lump with cancer. A pea-sized lump on your labia could but is probably not cancerous. It is the same case that happens with a lump on scrotum skin in men. Vaginal cancer is fairly rare. Vulva cancer is not what rare but is unlikely to start on the labia minora. Cervical and uterine cancers are common but again not likely to start in the labia.
All the same, it is best if you can have the lump checked and tested for malignancy. In a clinic, the doctor may use ultrasound imaging, which involves sound waves to map a tumor in the body. X-ray is considered where there are signs of cancerous cells having spread. Signs such as a lump in the throat after eating and lumps elsewhere in the body may require that x-ray imaging be performed. Transillumination involves shining a bright light on the lump. Tumors will not let the light pass. If doubts still exist, a biopsy can be performed.
Cancerous lumps keep growing indefinitely. They are, in the beginning, not painful or itchy. The lumps will feel immovable and hard to touch. If not treated, cancer cells spread into the lymphatic system and then into other body organs. In the lymphatic system, signs such as a painful lump on the neck under the chin, in armpit and groin area will occur. When it has spread to organs, patients will experience chronic coughs, pain in belly, headaches, recurring ulcers and indigestion.
Routine checkups are always recommended. It is during these that some cysts and other causes of lumps on the labia can be found.
Self-care measures and home treatments for lump on labia
A bit of self-care and some home remedies can greatly improve lumps or bumps on the labia.
The first home treatment you should consider trying is a warm compress. It is only requires that you soak a piece of fine cloth in warm water and compress it on the bumps for about 10 minutes. This treatment can also help with a lump on the back of the head, in the armpit or even swollen lymph nodes in the groin area.
Sitz bath is another popular treatment approach. To try it, prepare lukewarm water in which you can soak up to 3 inches of your body in a tub. Place a cotton sack filled with about 3 tablespoons of Epson salt in the bath water. Sit in the water for about 20 minutes.
If the lump is showing signs of soreness or infection, you can use aloe Vera gel on it. For best results, leave the gel in a refrigerator for about 20 minutes before applying it directly. Rinse with fresh water after half an hour.
You can also try some garlic clove on the bumps. Garlic is a popular antibacterial natural remedy. To use it, first allow it to simmer in boiling water and make a paste out of it.
Bumps on the labia can treated at home with apple cider vinegar baths. All it requires is that you add half a cup of apple cider vinegar to bath water and sit in for about 10 minutes.
Be sure to maintain proper hygiene all through when dealing with lumps on the labia. This is very important, mostly to avoid contamination and spread of bacteria.