Vaginal lumps and bumps

Vaginal lumps and bumps

At some point, some women may develop lumps, or bumps in the vaginal area. This is a common cause for concern. Most of the time, these lumps or bumps can be nothing to benign cysts, or they could be signs for infection, malignancy or sexually transmitted disease.

Harmless Bumps:

Harmless bumps in genital region include cysts, molluscum, vestibular papillomatosis (VP) and Fordyce spots.


Bartholin's GlandsEver felt a round lump that feels like a small pebble just under the skin over the vulva? This is usually a cyst. Cysts are painless unless infected. Sebacous cysts are caused by blocked hair follicles and ingrown hair from shaving or waxing. Most sebaceous cysts can be left alone without treatment so long as it is not causing any problem. Sometimes they may enlarge or get infected and this may require a small incision.

Bartholin cyst developes when the vulvovaginal gland called Bartholin gland becomes blocked and causes it to swell. Problem arises when it becomes infected and forms an abscess. In such case, this requires a minor surgery that is usually done in hospital.

Molluscum Contagiosum

They are usually multiple pearly white to skin coloured tiny bumps and it may spread. These bumps are caused by a virus called pox virus. These lesions are harmless and will eventually go away, but it may 1-2 years. They are also common in children and can appear in other parts of the body. When it occurs in adults, they may represent a sexually transmitted disease. In such cases, we normally advise to get tested for other STDs. Electrosurgery (laser), freezing (liquid nitrogen) and topical imiquimod 5% cream are some of the effective treatment options available.

Vestibular papillomatosis

VP appears as multiple shiny tiny papules arranged linearly and symmetrically typically over inner labia minor and vaginal opening. It is a normal variant of female genitalia, similar to pearly penile papules (PPP) in men. No treatment is needed.

However, they are commonly mistaken as genital warts as they can appear quite similar. A correct diagnosis of this condition is important to prevent undue stress and unnecessary tests and treatment. There are distinguishing features in VP that differentiates it from genital warts. Hence, it is important to get them checked by a medical professional.

Fordyce spots

Fordyce Spots on VulvaThese are enlarged oil glands that appear as small white to yellow lumps typically over labia minora. They are completely painless and harmless. These spots can be seen on the lining of your mouth and also sometimes on the penis in men.



Lumps and bumps related to infections include folliculitis and STD related genital warts, syphilis and herpes.


These tender red spots often with surface pustule can develop over labia region when the hair follicles becomes inflamed and infected. They can be caused by bacterial, fungal or even viral infection such as herpes or irritation from ingrown hair due to shaving, and waxing. Treatment depends on the underlying condition.

Genital warts

Genital warts are caused by Human papilloma virus (HPV), typically type 6 and 11 and they are contagious via skin to skin contact. They present as small, skin-colored bumps that develop either as a single lump or (usually) multiple. The course of the condition varies between individuals. In some, the warts may eventually go away,some may stay the same, or spread and become more in number.
Please go to our genital warts article for more information here.


They typically appear as a painless sore in the genital area or on the lips and mouth, also known as chancre. It is usually sexually transmitted and caused by bacterial infection. The sore can eventually go away within a few weeks even without treatment. However, the infection is still there and not cured. Serious complications can develop if left untreated


Herpes appears as multiple clustered painful blisters or ulcers in the genital area. Herpes infection is treatable but not curable. Hence, the blisters may recur multiple times, some more frequent than others.It is contagious and can spread to partners easily even with use of condoms. Medications such as anti-viral can effectively treat and prevent outbreaks.


Vaginal Cancer

Last but not least, vaginal or vulva cancer can also present as a lump or bump in vagina. However, usually they are accompanied with other symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge and pain during intercourse. In such cases, a pelvic examination and pap smear is done to look for any red flags.

Vaginal Melanoma

Although not common, vaginal melanoma can appear as a pigmented lump. 2% of melanoma are diagnosed in vagina or vulva. However, this is usually more common in women older than 50. Sometimes, it causes non-specific symptoms like itching, bleeding or pain.

If you think you have discovered a genital lump or bump that you are concern about, it is important to get it checked early by a doctor.


Need more advice?

Come down to Our Clinics for a discussion with Our Doctors, or call our clinics for more information.


  1. I have Vestibular papillomatosis is there anyway to remove the bumps?

    • Dr. Grace Huang

      Dear Star,

      If it is indeed vestibular papillomatosis which you have, treatment is not routinely required as it is a benign normal variant. However, the differential for vestibular papillomatosis would be possible warts and it would be best if you have been evaluated to ascertain it is not the latter.

  2. Hi Dr Tan

    I have this rock-like thingy under the skin of my vulva and it is quite showing. What do you think I should do to get rid of this?

  3. I have a hard red raised lump on the outer part of my vaginal, at the pubic hair region. I have it for abt 3 years now. It doesnt has pus. It doesnt bother me except itches occasionally. Recently, i noticed that it has grown in size (now its abt a fingernail). I dont shave. Should i seek for medical attention? Thank you.

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      HI Lim, best for you to see one of our female doctors so that we can properly assess the vaginal lumps that you are experiencing, otherwise it is difficult for us to advise and help you.

  4. Crystal

    Hi Dr. Tan, I have small tubelike bumps showing up by the opening of my vagina. Is this serious? Will my sex life change? I cannot feel them.

  5. Hi
    I have been noticing small bumps inside my vulva from over a month that some doctors are confusing for genital warts. I got my pap smear and swab done, nothing came. I experience itchiness, redness and swelling at times – which Monostat cream did help. however, the bumps are still there, they are not itching or irritating me in any way but worries me.
    Please help.

    • One of the best ways to know for sure what those bumps are is to do a skin biopsy. The doctor will cut off one of those bumps and send it to a lab. You can visit any one of our clinics for that. Click HERE for location info.

  6. My labia is itchy and been going on for a couple of months. Definitely think i have fordyce spots too but does that cause itchiness? How dobi cure this?

  7. Hi, I am having a lot of discharge which are rather itchy and sometimes accompanied by yellow marks on my pantiliners which have a fishy smell. I always get this symptoms before menses. Do you roughly knw what’s my problem and how much should I put aside for the whole consultation, testing and medication? Thanks.

    • Hi, sounds like you definitely have an infection. It could be yeast, BV, or even STD infections (if there is a risk of STDs). The best way is to get tested so you can have the correct diagnosis and treatment. The cost of the consultation, testing and medication varies depending on what we think it could be after examination and testing and also if you are testing for STDs (which will be more expensive). Feel free to visit us and we can further advice your accordingly.

  8. Willtan

    Dr Doctor Tan

    I experience slight pain after I urine but I do not have any discharge. Some women did perform oral sex on me. Wonder whether it is UTI or STD? How long does it take to get results?

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Slight pain after urination can be a sign of either UTI or STD. Both can be passed on through oral sex. Urine test results usually take up to a week to come back.