Anonymous on September 28, 2011

I can feel a small bump at the back of my girlfriend’s vagina when I finger her...what is it?

Lately when I finger my girlfriend, I feel a small bump on the back wall of the vagina where she likes to be touched. It feels like a pimple ⎼ it’s smooth to touch and it doesn’t hurt her. What is it? Is it because I don’t always wash my hands?

answered by Ruthann M. Cunningham, MD on September 28, 2011

Thanks for your question, and for your concern about your girlfriend’s health.

What’s causing the bump at the back of your girlfriend’s vagina? There are a few possibilities that I’ll describe below. But first and foremost, I would encourage your girlfriend to see her doctor for an exam…that’s the only way to know what’s causing the bump for sure.

While it’s possible that you’re feeling a natural variation of the skin of your girlfriend’s vagina, some other possibilities include a cyst, polyp, warts or herpes, among others.

Cysts in the vagina and on the cervix (at the back of the vagina) are common…and also generally harmless. Doctors sometimes call these nabothian cysts and they happen when the layer of skin on the surface of the cervix covers up the cells that create vaginal fluids or mucus. (Essentially, it forms a little balloon filled with mucus.) If your girlfriend isn’t bothered by it and isn’t in pain, then your doctor may advise her to leave it alone. Or, if it becomes uncomfortable, a doctor can do a quick procedure to remove it.

Polyps are a different type of skin growth that can occur on the cervix. Doctors aren’t quite sure why they happen, but they do know that polyps typically aren’t harmful. Polyps generally grow outward from the skin on the cervix and can vary in size... usually no larger than three centimeters. If a doctor confirms that your girlfriend has a polyp, and if it starts to bleed or cause her pain, it can be removed; otherwise, it may be fine to leave it as is.

In some people, genital warts can infect the inside of the vagina. Caused by specific types of the human papillomavirus (HPV), genital warts can sometimes be transferred by touching or fingering, especially by the unwashed hands of an infected person.

But if you don’t have genital warts, this isn’t very likely. On the other hand, if you do have genital warts, it’s possible that you passed the virus to her...and both of you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. You can learn more about HPV and genital warts in our HPV Overview.

Bottom line? It could just be a harmless bump, but to be on the safe side, your girlfriend should visit her doctor to make sure. 

Thanks again for writing to us, and I wish you both the best of health.

Related info:

Ruthann M. Cunningham, MD

Dr. Cunningham is a member of the Analyte Physicans Group. She's also a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, practicing at both Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital in Illinois and at Wheaton Franciscan All Saints Medical Center in Wisconsin. An ER physician since 2000, she regularly treats patients with STDs. Dr. Cunningham was educated at Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL.

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