Vaginal swelling may happen occasionally and is not usually a cause for concern. Normal activities like penetration and pregnancy can lead to a swollen vagina. But, if you are experiencing accompanying symptoms such as itching, and changes in discharge amount or color, there could be an underlying health issue. 

Knowing the cause of vaginal swelling is essential so proper treatment occurs if there is a health condition. Often, no medical treatment is needed as the swelling can go down on its own.

Causes of Vaginal Swelling


A puffy vulva often occurs following any sexual activity, whether alone or with a partner. When you are sexually aroused, there is more blood circulation to the vulva, which gives it puffiness and can also make the clitoris puffy. Fortunately, the puffy vulva and clitoris are temporary and last a few minutes to an hour.

Vaginal tissues are fragile and can quickly become inflamed with any rough activity. These activities include having rough or prolonged sex, sex without enough lubrication, forced intercourse, or using large vaginal sex toys. 

The vagina can also swell when there is insufficient lubrication during penetration with a finger, toy, or penis. If you use vaginal numbing creams, alcohol, or illicit drugs are used to block any pain down there, you may experience delayed swelling. Lubrication helps reduce friction, which can cause minor tears, vaginal irritation, and discomfort. So it is important to use lots of lubricants to avoid inflammation and swelling.


While some swelling is a natural response to arousal, you do not have to experience it. Make sure to use natural lubricants before any penetration. And the use of a cold compress can provide relief for any vaginal swelling or puffiness. 

If you are a victim of sexual assault, please reach out to a trained healthcare professional for medical treatment and call your local rape crisis center for additional help and support. You can contact the 24/7 National Sexual Assault Hotline number 1-800-656-4673 for assistance.

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An allergic reaction can also cause vagina swelling. The reaction can result from chemicals in:

  • Sanitary pads & tampons
  • Vaginal washes
  • Scented vaginal sprays & products
  • Creams & lotions
  • Latex condoms
  • Vaginal contraceptives
  • Fragranced soaps
  • Scented laundry detergents
  • Toilet paper
  • Douches
  • Lubricants & spermicides

Continued use of these products on the vulva and vagina can cause irritation and inflammation. These products contain irritants, such as fragrances, that are toxic to the vagina, labia, and vulva.

If you are having an allergic reaction, discontinue using the product, causing irritation. If you know the cause of the allergies, minimize your contact with the irritants to reduce future swelling. An over-the-counter (OTC) cortisone cream on your external genitalia might help soothe the symptoms. Be cautious not to apply the cream to your vaginal opening, urethra, or internal vaginal canal, as doing so could lead to side effects.

If you are not getting any results and the swelling stays or worsens, contact your healthcare provider for medical treatment. You may need a prescribed cream to soothe the swelling and accompanying symptoms. 

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) results from a bacterial imbalance in the vagina. It can also cause vaginal swelling—the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the vagina, affecting the Ph balance. Common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include painful urination (dysuria), fishy vaginal odor, white or gray discharge, and burning sensation.

You can treat BV by letting the infection go away on its own. 

Yeast Infection

Yeast infection is a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of candida in the vagina. Symptoms of yeast infection include 

  • Vaginal itching
  • Cottage-cheese discharge
  • Painful sexual penetration
  • Soreness
  • Burning & itching
  • Rash

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infection can be treated on their own (if symptoms are mild) or with at-home treatment, like our gentle and effective natural Vaginal Boric Acid Suppositories and products to help you fight BV and yeast infections head-on. Our suppositories are an all-natural solution to BV and Yeast infections. Its natural formula is gentle and quick. And 95% of women reported immediate relief. Benefits of Boric Acid Suppositories include a rebalanced vaginal pH and improved vaginal flora, relief from post-sex, menstrual, and menopausal BV or yeast discharge.

There are additional causes of vaginal swelling, including pregnancy, Gartner’s duct cysts, bartholin’s cysts, and STIs such as genital herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. You can take some precautions to avoid vaginal swelling, including stopping using irritants causing the swelling, do not use vaginal douches, and have a good hygiene routine. If you are worried about vaginal swelling, have no idea what the cause is, and have other severe or recurring symptoms such as pain and itching, we advise you to consult your gynecologist for medical treatment.


Vaginal swelling can happen because of irritants from products, allergies, sexual intercourse, sexually transmitted infections, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, or pregnancy. While you can wait for the swelling to go away on its own, given the diversity in underlying causes, the appropriate treatment differs accordingly; therefore, seeking consultation with a healthcare professional is crucial for obtaining an accurate diagnosis and the necessary treatment.

November 15, 2023

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.