Lump in Vagina

Question

There is a hard, lump in my vagina. It started out small, and now it has increased in size. It hurts a bit when I go to the bathroom and wipe, and is more painful during sexual intercourse. Is it ovarian cancer or something less worrisome like a vaginal polyp or cyst? Should I ignore it or should I visit the doctor? Please help.

Answer

There are several reasons for a lump in vagina. These are called vaginal cysts. They are just under the vaginal lining and consist of a fluid or semisolid substance. When you feel a lump inside vagina it should never be ignored. Although most cysts are benign, you will never be able to tell for sure until a doctor examines you.

Subaceous Cysts

One of the most common lumps or bumps in the vagina is due to sebaceous cysts. These are small lumps that are found just underneath the surface of the skin. Sebaceous cysts are often found in the neck, face and trunk of the body. However, there are chances of it occurring in the genital area. Most women think that they have contracted genital herpes or have cancer of the cervix. These cysts occur as a result of skin trauma caused by rough sexual activity or due to an examination or procedure done by a gynecologist. Lumps may form when the vaginal tissue does not heal properly. If you feel a painless cyst in your vaginal area, you should not try to touch it as it will aggravate the cyst and cause an infection. However, there are times when a sebaceous cyst might become infected due to germs in surrounding skin area. If the genital area is red, tender, and if the temperature around the bump in vagina is high or if there is a foul smelling, grayish-white substance oozing from the cyst, you should obtain medical attention right away.

Gartner’s Duct Cyst

Another reason for a lump in vagina can be due to Gartner’s duct cyst. This is a cyst that develops in the space where the Gartner’s duct was. This is on the side walls of the vagina. This duct is present in pregnant women and usually disappears after having the baby. Fluid gets collected and results in a cyst that becomes apparent later in life, when portions of the duct remain in the vaginal walls. There are no symptoms associated with Gartner’s duct cysts. Gartner’s duct cysts do not require any treatment. However, sometimes; these cysts enlarge and make it very uncomfortable for the person during sexual intercourse. Hence, it may require surgical removal. Gartner’s duct cysts are benign and are very rarely infected. However, it is recommended that you seek medical advice on what should be done.

Vaginal Warts

If you are sexually active and feel a lump inside vagina, you could be infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV). This is a very common sexually transmitted infection and can lead to cervical cancer if it is not treated. Warts can be found on or in the vagina, vulva, cervix and anus. There are no visible symptoms associated with HPV. The wart will be felt only two to three weeks after contracting the virus. They will be small, fleshy growths that will appear externally or internally. Medical treatment is necessary as you may infect others during sexual intercourse. Creams or heat treatment are methods prescribed by doctors for wart treatment. Sometimes, surgical excision may be necessary to remove the warts.

Although most vaginal cysts are treatable and should not cause worry, a bump in vagina should not be ignored. If you feel a lump in vagina, consult your doctor without fail. It is always better to get a professional diagnosis to avoid any unnecessary complications.