Vaginal blisters can appear on the vagina entrance, the labia minora (inner lips), labia majora (outer lips), on clitoris and sometimes on pubic area. These lesions are just like the usual blisters that appear because of friction or burns except that these are caused by an infectious virus. Usually before the vaginal blisters appear, the woman can feel first signals – it called the prodrome stage. It can last for several hours up to a couple of days. Painful, burning and tingling sensations in the genital area where the blisters will appear characterize it.
Who can get vaginal blisters
Any person can get vaginal blisters. In many cases vaginal blisters are developed because of sexually transmitted diseases (very often during HPV). Sometimes vaginal blisters can be developed in women who are not sexually active. There are several main causes for vaginal blisters including infections, friction, ingrown hairs or clogged sweat glands.
Vaginal blisters diagnosis
Vaginal blisters can show up anywhere on the vulva, and most of the time they go unnoticed until you feel some sort of friction. Vaginal blisters usually don’t hurt but if you touch them directly, they will be at least a bit tender to the touch or could be painful. If you’ve got one on the inner labia, for example, you might not notice it at all until you experience a bit of pain when drying yourself after tinkling. In general vaginal blisters are not hurting if you’re not touching it.
Vaginal blisters could be different depending on causes. The ordinary vaginal blisters (not sexually transmitted) pretty much resembles any other blister and may contain fluid or blood. They can have different forms (ovular or circular). Ordinary vaginal blisters may feel like a gel bubble when touched. They might appear as clear colored blisters, or they may be very red, possibly turning very dark in the center as the blood inside ages – but they shouldn’t have an obvious border (raised or otherwise) and they shouldn’t itch or burn or smell badly. They typically would appear as a single blister, as opposed to a cluster like you’d expect to see with a Herpes outbreak.
Sexually transmitted infections develop different types of vaginal blisters. For example, HPV type of vaginal blisters (called genital warts) look like clusters of vaginal blisters. These can develop anywhere from a few weeks to a few months after exposure to the virus. Genital warts usually appear as a small bump or groups of bumps in the genital area. They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. Genital warts look like miniature cauliflower florets, which are usually flesh-colored, soft and moist. They can develop on the vulva, cervix and in or around the vagina. If left untreated, genital warts might go away, remain unchanged, or increase in size or number. However, it is possible to have an HPV infection without any genital warts symptoms.
Vaginal blisters causes
Sexually transmitted infection/diseases (STDs).
The sexually transmitted infections are one of the leading causes of vaginal blisters, especially genital herpes (HPV). This disorder causes groupings of blisters to form on and around the vagina; they are usually very painful and often burst and crust over. Herpes blisters are usually painful and contain clear fluid on a red base. They rupture to form small slowly healing ulcers. Herpes is quite contagious while the blisters are present, so if you have any concern about this you should avoid sexual activity until you are seen by your doctor and until the blisters heal up. Herpes can be prevented by practicing safe sex, although it is not curable once it is contracted. Some medicines can be taken to reduce the amount of vaginal blisters and limit the possibility of transmission to a sexual partner.
Other things that might be associated with vaginal blisters would include trauma from sexual intercourse. This could be avoided in the future by making sure to engage in adequate foreplay prior to intercourse to ensure proper vaginal lubrication.
Poor nutrition and/or Stress
Poor nutrition and tension can also cause vaginal blisters. When the body lacks the nutrients it needs or is creating large amounts of the hormones that go with stress, it can respond in strange ways; this may include developing blisters on the vagina. When a vaginal blister is caused by lack of nutrients or stress, it is usually just a single blister that is only painful when touched.
Certain types of underwear can also cause blisters on the vagina; tight jeans or pants especially when worn without undergarments can do the same. It is important to make sure that the crotch area is made of a breathable fabric such as cotton.
Bacterial or fungal infections can develop from wearing synthetic bathing suits or synthetic undergarments. The warm, moist environment that these items form can create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, which can cause vaginal blisters to form. Using pools or hot tubs that do not have the proper ratio of chemicals can also cause infections, and therefore vaginal blisters, to emerge.
Synthetic undergarments can trap moisture against the vagina, causing sores, or irritate the sensitive skin, also causing blisters. The same is true for tight pants. The friction caused by walking in tight pants can irritate the skin, resulting in the formation of blisters, much like the blisters that form on the back of the heels.
Some recreational activities.
Some activities, especially horseback riding and bike riding, can also cause vaginal blisters. Much like the problem with clothing, these hobbies can create a great deal of friction in the vaginal area. To prevent blisters from developing when doing these activities, wear breathable clothing (preferably cotton) and items that are thick enough to reduce some of the chafing.
By wearing breathable clothing and limiting the chances for infection, women can reduce their chances of developing vaginal blisters.
Vaginal blisters could be developed due to infection or a cut after shaving and designing personal pubic hair style. Vaginal thrush may be delaying the healing process. Alternatively, it could be that you have diabetes which is again delaying the healing.
Vaginal blisters – Symptoms
Symptoms that occur with genital sores include:
- Skin lumps on the vagina
- Skin ulcers on the vagina or labia
- Vaginal ulcer
- Genital/vaginal pain
- Genital tenderness
- Swollen glands in the groin
- Vaginal discharge
Important to know
An abnormal Pap test is often the first sign of a HPV infection. This is why it is important to start Pap tests by the time you are 21 years old. You should start earlier if you have special risks such as problems with your immune system or if you start sexual activities very early (13-15).
Vaginal blisters – risk factors
Women in their early 20’s tend to be the most at risk of developing vaginal blisters.
You are at greater risk of getting vaginal blisters if:
- You had sexual contact at an early age.
- Either you or your sexual partners have had many different sexual partners at any time.
- You or any of your sexual partners have had a history of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Any of your sexual partners did not wear a condom.
Vaginal blisters – prevention
- Completely abstaining from sex or being in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone who has tested free of the virus are the best ways to avoid genital warts.
- Using condoms consistently and properly every time you have sex may reduce your risk of contracting the virus but there is evidence to suggest that condoms are not very reliable at offering protection against the virus. Additionally, condoms cannot provide any protection if you come into direct contact with genital warts. If you or your partner are having an outbreak of genital warts, it is best to avoid all sexual contact until the warts have completely disappeared.
- Vaccines can protect males and females against some of the most common types of HPV. These vaccines are given in three shots. It is important to get all three doses to get the best protection. The vaccines are most effective when given before a person’s first sexual contact, when he or she could be exposed to HPV.
- Two vaccines (Cervarix and Gardasil) are available to protect females against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. One of these vaccines (Gardasil) also protects against most genital warts. Both vaccines are recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls, and for females 13 through 26 years of age, who did not get any or all of the shots when they were younger. These vaccines can also be given to girls as young as 9 years of age. It is recommended that females get the same vaccine brand for all three doses, whenever possible. The HPV vaccine is given in a series of 3 shots over 6 months. The first shot is given at a time of your choice. The second shot should be given two months after the first shot, and the third shot should be given about six months after the first one.