A vaginal cyst is a fluid-filled lump located on or near the vagina. Vaginal cysts are usually caused by childbirth, injury to the vagina or blocked glands. Your healthcare provider can diagnose vaginal cysts during a physical exam and recommend treatment.
A cyst on the vagina is a lump or bump filled with air, mucus, pus or other materials. Cysts on the vagina can be undetectable — as small as a pea — or as large as an orange. There are different causes and types of vaginal cysts. Most vaginal cysts are not harmful, but some may become painful if they get infected.
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The vagina is part of the female reproductive system. If you have a vaginal cyst, you might feel it on the lips of the vagina (labia) or at the opening of the vagina. Vaginal cysts can also be found in the vagina — the canal that connects the cervix to the outside of the body.
There are several different types of vaginal cysts:
Cysts may appear as a result of endometriosis or benign tumors, but this is uncommon. Most cysts are not harmful unless they become infected.
Vaginal cysts are most common in people of reproductive age. However, you can still develop cysts through menopause.
The cause of vaginal cysts can vary depending on the type of cyst. Some common causes of vaginal cysts can include:
Sometimes, you might have a vaginal cyst without experiencing any symptoms. You may learn that you have a cyst during a routine pelvic exam with your healthcare provider. In other cases, cysts can cause discomfort or get infected.
Symptoms of vaginal cysts can include:
These cysts will look like bumps under the skin around your vaginal area, almost like a large pimple. They can be as small as a pea or as large as an orange. Some may become red and swollen. Other cysts may look like they are filled with pus or fluid. Cysts inside of your vagina may be small and not seen at all.
Most vaginal cysts are not spread during skin-to-skin contact. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may be the cause of your vaginal cyst. These are contagious.
Your healthcare provider can diagnose vaginal cysts during a physical exam. They may look at or touch the cyst. Cysts may be monitored over time for changes in size. Your treatment approach will be based on the type and severity of cyst you have.
Your healthcare provider may want to run tests to rule out cancer or diseases. Some tests include:
Treatment for a vaginal cyst should be directed by your healthcare provider. Even if it’s a treatment option that you can do at home, it’s best to talk to your provider first. Do not try to drain or squeeze a cyst because this could cause infection. You may want to get rid of a vaginal cyst on your own, but your healthcare provider will decide the best treatment. Some treatments for vaginal cysts may include:
There may be a little blood when a cyst drains or opens. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience prolonged or heavy bleeding.
There is no way to prevent vaginal cysts. Maintaining good hygiene habits will help prevent infection of a cyst. Using a condom during sex can also help prevent cysts caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
If you believe you have a vaginal cyst, don't try to diagnose yourself or drain the cyst yourself. Contact your healthcare provider if you:
Some cysts improve over the course of several days or weeks. Your healthcare provider can determine if your cyst needs removed or if it will go away without medical treatment.
It can vary depending on how large the cyst is or where it’s located on the vagina. If it becomes infected, it can be painful and interfere with daily activities. Other vaginal cysts cause no problems and do not need surgically removed or drained.
A note from the Cleveland Clinic
Don't hesitate to contact your healthcare provider if you feel a lump in your vagina. They will be able to diagnose and treat your cyst after a thorough exam of the area. Discuss any concerns you have or pain you’ve experienced so that a clear diagnosis can be made. Your healthcare provider will recommend the appropriate care you need.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/11/2022.
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