Picture the scene: You’re in the shower, washing your body, and suddenly you notice a bump on your vulva. Finding pimples is never enjoyable, and you’ve probably dealt with your fair share on your face, chest, or back. But your pubic area? That’s more of a novelty.
If you notice a small pus-filled bump or lesion in your pubic area, you might describe it as a vaginal boil because lumps and bumps can certainly appear boil-like. However, while the word “vaginal boil” may be a good description, it’s not actually medically accurate.
This is for a simple reason, and we’re going to need to rewind to your biology class days to help explain why. While the terms vulva and vagina are often used interchangeably, your vagina is actually inside your body. The part that you can see on the outside is the vulva, and the vagina is the canal that attaches your vulva to your cervix, which is the lower part of your uterus. Not entirely clear on it all? Check out this article on female anatomy with diagrams for some help.
So, when you say “vaginal boil,” you might actually mean a bump on your vulva, labia, or general pubic area. And “boil” is often used to describe all kinds of lumps and bumps, but it’s not a very precise term. That’s why, if you ever visit a doctor about a vaginal boil, they may diagnose you with something much more specific.
If you think you’ve spotted something that you’d call a vaginal boil but want to get to the bottom of what it really is, two Flo experts outline everything you need to know.
What is a vaginal boil?
First things first, you might be curious as to what a boil on your vulva is. Put simply, a boil or furuncle is a tender, pus-filled bump on your pubic area. It might appear reddish or purple.
If you notice a bump or lesion in your vagina — that’s the part of your genital anatomy that’s inside, remember — then you should speak to your doctor right away. Dr. Ruth Arumala, obstetrician and gynecologist, Texas, US, explains that, while it’s incredibly uncommon, this kind of symptom may indicate a cyst, or in even rarer cases, it could be a sign of cancer.
But if you’re looking at a small pus-filled bump or pimple-like spot on the skin surrounding your vagina — so on your vulva or your general pubic area — this is what doctors call a “pustule” or a “vulvar lesion.” It can be caused by one of many different things; keep reading to find out what they are