It’s pretty easy to have a freak out when you find a strange lump or bump on or around your genitals. Luckily most of them harmless but it’s better to make sure.
Are you overworking your genitals?
The most common cause of lumps and bumps down there are:
- Genitals are sensitive! There’s no need to go to town on the soap down there. Washing your genitals with water only and perhaps some mild and natural soap will keep you fresh!
- Vaginas are self-cleaning wonders! Douching your vagina is a no-no! A healthy vagina has a balance of flora (bacteria) that is essential to protect it from infection and inflammation. Douching can upset this balance and can increase your chance of having Bacterial Vaginosis.
Shaving / Waxing
- Most lumps and bumps come from shaving or waxing pubic hair – you might get pimples, ingrown hairs or cuts from your razor.
- Trimming your pubes (or getting rid of them all together) is totally fine – as is keeping it all natural of course! If you do some man-scaping or vag-dazzling use clean scissors or a new razor, and only a very gentle lotion to moisturise.
- Itchiness can be caused by your pubic hair growing back or a reaction to hair removal or other products, so make sure you try a small patch first to test for allergies. Read more about hair removal here.
Skin irritations can also be caused by sex – sweat and skin friction can give you rashes or pimples. Other common lumps and bumps include skin tags, moles, pearly penile papules (small bumps found around the edge of the head of the penis) or Fordyce spots (smooth bumps found on the penis and around the vaginal lips) – these are all harmless!
So what’s not normal down there when it comes to lumps and bumps?
- If rashes or pimples don’t settle down a few days after shaving, or seem to spread or blister see your GP or go to a sexual health clinic.
- Some lumps and bumps can be genital warts. Genital warts are often rough on the surface, painless and flesh-coloured. If you find any new or unusual lumps you can get them looked at when you get a sexual health check-up. Genital warts are caused by a Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and can be spread to others during sex by skin to skin contact. Using a condom when having sex can reduce the risk of catching or spreading genital warts.
If you want to know more you can ring 1800 451 624 between 9:00am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday to talk with a sexual health nurse. It’s confidential and free if you call from a landline.