Anonymous on September 27, 2011

There’s a skin-colored bump on the lip of my vagina...what is it?

I found a bump on the inside of my vagina on the smaller lips (labia minora). It’s the same color as everything else and it isn’t elevated. However, when I touch it, it feels like a bump. I’m not sexually active, so I know it’s not an STD. What is it?

answered by David Sobel, MD, JD on September 27, 2011

Thank you for writing. I understand your concern and I’ll do my best to help. 

There are several possible causes of bumps on your vaginal lips…including harmless conditions like pimples or cysts.

Sebaceous cysts, for example, are relatively common in the vaginal area. Although they aren’t painful, they can become inflamed and cause some discomfort. These types of cysts will usually go away on their own…but under certain circumstances, your doctor might need to intervene. 

Or, you might have dermatitis from things like soap, laundry detergents or perfume.

It’s also possible that the bump you feel indicates a viral or bacterial infection. So I first encourage you to see your regular doctor or gynecologist for a full visual examination and a definite diagnosis.

When you visit your doctor, it’s a good idea to disclose your full sexual history. You mentioned that you’re not sexually active, but remember that some STDs can be spread through sexual activity other than intercourse. For example, if you’ve ever had unprotected genital-to-genital contact (even without penetration) with someone who’s infected, perhaps in the past, you might have been exposed to genital warts…regardless of whether your sexual partner showed any obvious sign or symptoms of infection.

 So, depending on your individual risk for STDs, you may want to consider STD testing. You can talk it over with your doctor to see what makes sense. Or you can look into online testing. If you test negative, that’s great. And if you test positive, you’ll be on the right track for timely treatment.

Thanks again for trusting us with your concern. And, for more detailed information about STD risk factors, symptoms, testing and treatment, see our Expert Guide to STD Basics.

Related info:

David Sobel, MD, JD

Dr. Sobel is a Colorado-based urologist and Director of the Denver Center for Men’s Health. His areas of expertise include men's sexual health and all areas of urology, including urologic oncology, treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy, stone disease and incontinence. Dr. Sobel was educated at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and completed his residency at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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