The clitoris is the center of pleasure on a woman’s vagina, and is one of the most sensitive parts on a woman’s body. As such, a swollen or infected clitoris can also be the sign of a much larger problem. If you suspect that you are suffering from a clitoral infection, you should see your gynecologist immediately.
1. Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is one infection that can affect the clitoris, causing it to swell and enlarge. Those affected with the disease at birth might have a large clitoris that resembles a male penis. Further gender ambiguity can arise from the fact that the individual also may have fused labia that resembles testicles. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia can be treated with estrogen injections. In some instances, genital reconstructive surgery may be necessary to correct abnormal clitoral and vaginal structures. Besides swelling and enlargement of the clitoris, other symptoms include vomiting, hypertension and early pubic hair in childhood.
Gynandroblastoma is a type of hormonal cancer that affects the ovaries. Similar to congenital adrenal hyperplasia, women who become infected with gynandroblastoma might notice that their clitoris becomes enlarged. Other symptoms include the growth of facial hair, a decreased sex drive and the deepening of your voice. Cancer specialists typically treat Gynandroblastoma.
3. Urinary Tract Infection
A swollen, painful clitoris can be a symptom of a urinary tract infection. Women who have frequent sexual intercourse are more at risk for developing urinary tract infections.
4. Clitoral Piercing Infections
Body-piercing enthusiasts will already be well aware that the clitoris is a popular piece of the anatomy for piercing. Though rare, bacterial and viral infections can result. To avoid the former, you should wash your hands before touching your piercing. Symptoms of bacterial infection include a smelly discharge, pain and redness. In the event of a bacterial infection, you should consult with both your piercer and your gynecologist on what to do next. You should not try to remove the piercing yourself, as this can lead to the development of a closed abscess under your skin, which is an even more serious problem. A newly pierced clitoris is also at risk for viral infections of such serious diseases as HIV and hepatitis A, B and C.
In order to avoid such infections, you should avoid sexual contact and the exchange of bodily fluids in your vaginal area until the piercing is fully healed.