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HealthInfo Canterbury

Vulval lumps

vulval lumps It's relatively common to find lumps on parts of your vulva. They have different causes, ranging from mild infections to skin conditions. Very rarely, the cause is cancer. If you notice or are concerned about any lumps or changes, you should see your doctor.

You might notice:

Causes of vulval lumps

An inflamed or infected hair follicle, called folliculitis, can happen anywhere that pubic hair would normally grow. It's common, not usually serious, and usually gets better without treatment.

A vulvar abscess is a build-up of bacteria and pus under the skin. It can be caused by an infection, such as from an ingrown hair from shaving or waxing, or a blocked sweat gland.

Genital warts are skin-coloured and can be anywhere around your anus (bottom) or genitals. They are often in groups. They are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) and can be treated, but treatment will not get rid of the infection and you may get them again.

A Bartholin's cyst is found on either side of the entrance to your vagina, towards your anus.

Very rarely, the lumps are cancer.

You might be more at risk of getting vulval lumps if you:

Smoking and repeated infections with certain types of HPV increase your risk of vulval cancer.

Treating vulval lumps

Sometimes vulval lumps will go away by themselves. The treatment will depend on the cause of the lump.

If you have an infection, you might need antibiotics.

For an abscess, warm baths may help ease pain. Over-the-counter pain relief can also help.

Sometimes you might need to have the pus drained from the lump to ease discomfort and speed up healing.

Reducing your risk of vulval lumps

Check your vulva regularly so you can see if there are any changes.

Using good vulva and vagina care can help lower your risk of getting an infection or abscess.

Getting the Gardasil vaccine to protect against HPV infection reduces your chances of getting genital warts.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Page created September 2021.

Page reference: 890904

Review key: HIVIP-32204