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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » issues with vaginal entrance swelling?

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Author Topic: issues with vaginal entrance swelling?
evilstrawberry
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I have recently been having an issue where, after sex, my vaginal entrance (not my labia) has been swelling, like, an alarming amount. This has happened twice in the past week or so and I'm fairly sure it's never happened before now.

The first time was right on the end of my recovering from some irritation that was either BV/yeast infection/UTI some combination of something that basically had me inflamed, itchy, and with weird discharge for a week or so (ugh). I thought I had recovered enough that sex would be ok, and it didn't hurt except for a faint burning that I only was aware of right at the end. When I went to go check down below I looked awful [Frown] My vagina was SUPER red and engorged, I almost thought I had cervical prolapse or something. I took an ibuprofen and iced my poor vagina and the swelling went away in a day or so but I was extremely concerned. I figured that the extra stimulation to an already irritated area caused the reaction.

However, last night, about a week after this happened, same thing. This time I noticed it mid-way through sex, but it looked like the same thing had happened- red, engorged, tender to the touch (but I may have just been being paranoid). I had no pain during sex, and was going pretty slow/gentle this time. I'm fairly familiar with my body and while I know engorging is a thing that can happen with arousal and whatnot, this definitely seems out of the ordinary. I've been having sex with the same person for 2 year and was last checked out in November with a clean bill of health, so I am almost positive I am STI free. Help?

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Heather
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The first time and the second sound pretty different to me.

So, that first time I think we can be pretty sure that was probably in large part because of engaging in sex too soon after your infection.

Last night, you're saying there was no pain, everything was feeling really good, but your vulva just looked more red and swollen after sex (are we talking intercourse?)? Are you still having any swelling now or any physical discomfort?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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evilstrawberry
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Yes, intercourse. And everything felt fine, but because we were pausing anyway I wanted to check to make sure nothing was going on like the previous time. When I felt with my fingers it seemed swollen again (and this is literally just the vaginal entrance, nothing else seems out of the ordinary). I checked it out with a mirror and it looked...angry. Swollen to the point of being reddish-purple, like the skin could just burst. Definitely enough to make me/both of us halt intercourse. As of now though, I'm totally fine. Everything feels and looks like usual. I really don't know what to think.
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evilstrawberry
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Oh, and not sure if it's relevant, but I'm right at the end of my period now.
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Heather
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So, you've been this observant before and never seen anything like this?

Can I also check in about if you were using a lubricant throughout?

And if "felt fine" really means just fine or if it means really, really good? I ask because if you just felt meh/whatever the whole time, you being very aroused seems unlikely, so the swelling perhaps isn't something we'd lean towards saying was about arousal.

Also, that infection you had, did you ever get it checked out, diagnosed and treated?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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evilstrawberry
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Oh, everything was very nice during. [Smile] I really would have rathered we didn't stop at all, but figured continuing would probably not be a good idea since I had no idea what was causing my vagina to suddenly turn into a small overripe fruit mid-coitus. [Frown]
I wasn't using any lubrication other than my own, I actually never have. And while I haven't been this hyper-observant before, I think it's definitely something I would have noticed.

And no, I never did get checked out, since I only really noticed it right when I got back to school from being on break. In a couple weeks when the semester starts I will probably visit the health center if I haven't figured it out by then.

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Heather
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Okay, so part of this may be not using additional lube. Lack of adequate lubrication -- and if intercourse goes on for a while, almost everyone won't be lubed enough at some point, especially if condoms are being used -- is a big common reason for swelling or rawness.

But if you also never got checked out when you had what sound like pretty serious infection symptoms, that's a biggie, too. I'd suggest getting looked at ASAP just on that merit alone, and ideally sooner than in a couple weeks, especially if you are going to be engaging in any genital sex.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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evilstrawberry
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The sex the second time was not with a condom- that was actually what we paused for. And I get that lube is important, but....I've been raw before and felt "ouch, not enough lube" and this is not that.

And I do agree that getting checked out would be a good idea, initially I was going to wait until my student health coverage kicked in for the semester (technically I'm still on break) but I guess there's a convenient planned parenthood nearby (though I'm not sure how much that would cost me?)

What could I have that would cause this though?/How serious would it be? And are there any ways I could have gotten something other than through sex with someone else/my partner having sex with someone else?

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Heather
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Yeah, but things don't always feel the exactly the same, especially as time goes on. Bodies change, our experiences in them can change. It might not only be about lube, but if you're going without it altogether, that really just leaves the door wide open for things like this.

I really couldn't say what might be going on per your health with all the myriad possibilities (allergies or sensitivities, any number of infections, lack of lube, arousal, etc.): that's why seeing a healthcare provider who can really look at this, have your health history, run tests is the thing to do.

Planned parenthood clinics use sliding scale fees if you don't have insurance to use with that care.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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