The clitoris is simply a female sexual organ located slightly above the urethra, a section where urine is released from the female body. A clitoris has no standard size although it’s expected to increase in size during sexual arousal. However, if it enlarges without being aroused, the problem could be as a result of hormonal imbalances or another medical condition.
According to medical experts, an enlarged clitoris is referred to as macro clitoris or clitoromegaly which entails a clitoris longer than 9mm for new-borns or 10mm for adults. It is normal for women to experience swollen clitoris, but a new born or a child experiencing the same needs an evaluation by a pediatrician to examine the condition. If you are not sure whether your swollen clit is normal or not, keep reading as we tell you everything you need to know about the swollen clitoris.
Should you be worried about enlarged clitoris?
There’s no average size for the clitoris but you should at least be aware of the average appearance and size of yours. As stated earlier, the enlarged clit is caused by sexual arousal, but it can also be caused by other conditions that may make it stay enlarged longer than it should. An enlarged clit should not be an issue to give you sleepless nights unless you begin to feel pain, discomfort or distress which could be symptoms to underlying infection or medical issue.
If your clit has enlarged for a few days
Medical experts associate temporary enlargement to sexual arousal, a time in which the flow of blood to your genitals increases. As pleasure continue to build up, the clit and labia swell. Upon orgasm, the size of the clit reduces, and your genitals automatically go back to their unaroused state shortly after.
During orgasm, you release any sexual tension your body had built. However, if your body fails to release those tensions, the throbbing and swelling of your genitals subside slowly. Also, if you are aroused more frequently without experiencing a release, your clitoris is likely to stay enlarged for a long time.
Unfortunately, medical experts explain that your clit may enlarge due to other conditions apart from sexual arousal, for instance, due to various conditions and infections which may cause your vulva to become temporarily inflamed. Vulva inflammation which is also known as vulvovaginitis or vulvitis may happen because of the following reasons;
- Hair – It is normal for a woman to naturally have hair around her genital area, but splinters may cause problems. Medical experts have identified that a small hairpiece may splinter in your clit and may require tweezers to remove it.
- Clothing – Wearing tight clothes could lead to friction which in turn may cause swelling. Also, you may use a detergent that your body is so sensitive to hence causing swelling. If this is happening to you, try wearing loose clothes and rinse your clothes in plain water and air dry them and wait for the outcomes.
- Trauma – The genital areas are very sensitive, and a slight scratch or wrong touch may make the clit to become swollen. Again, rough intercourse or a scratch from a fingernail during foreplay or masturbation may cause enough traumas leading to a swollen clit.
- Cysts – According to medical experts, the clitoris is susceptible to Bartholomew’s cyst which could block the area and reduce the production of natural lubrication in your body. The result is that the clit becomes dry and swollen.
Other causes of the enlarged clitoris;
- Allergic reactions to chemicals or materials in creams, condoms, clothing, and other products
- Skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis
- Bacterial or fungal infections such as scabies, yeast infections, and pubic lice
- Prolonged masturbation or penetration
Causes of the enlarged clitoris for a week or more
Clitoromegaly which is clitoris sustained enlargement can be caused by the following;
1. Hormone disorders
Hormone disorder especially excess androgen hormone is a very common cause of enlarged clitoris. High testosterone levels, which can occur as a result of anabolic steroids or naturally in your body causes your clit to grow in size. Besides, women with endocrine disorders or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are at high risk of experiencing enlarged clitoris.
2. Ovarian tumors
There are certain types of ovarian tumors that produce androgens, such as steroid cell tumor and Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor. The increase in androgen usually causes the clitoris to grow in size.
Causes of the enlarged clitoris in children
1. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)
Infants born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) are also likely to experience enlarged clitoris due to the production of too much androgen. According to medical experts, it might be a problem to determine whether the genitals are female or male.
2. Disorders of sex development
According to research, congenital disabilities that affect children’s sex organs may lead to swollen clitoris at birth.
- A lympho-angiofibroma
- An epidermoid cyst
- A fibroma
When to see a doctor?
As stated earlier, the enlarged clitoris is normal and after arousal, it should return to its usual size in a day. However, if the swelling continues after a day, you should see a doctor without delay. In addition, if you experience discomfort, pain, or bleeding, you should make it your responsibility to see a doctor, because these symptoms could be a sign of underlying medical condition or vaginal infection.
As a rule of thumb, your health is your asset and if you feel uncomfortable with the size of your clitoris, make an appointment with your doctor without necessarily waiting for the symptoms to appear. Other symptoms to see a doctor include;
- Blisters on the genitals
- Redness, pain and a feeling of heat on the clit
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Bleeding in the area
- Pain during urination
Treatment options available
- If your enlarged clitoris is as a result of the allergic reaction, stop wearing any clothing or using any products that cause the reaction. You may also reduce the irritation with over-the-counter (OTC) cortisone cream, sit bath or use a topical estrogen cream.
- If your condition is as a result of bacterial or fungal infection, your doctor can prescribe oral medication to clear the infection or an OTC cream to ease your symptoms.
- If your condition is as a result of an endocrine disorder, your doctor can prescribe hormone therapy. Your doctor can also recommend a surgical procedure famously known as reduction clitoroplasty to remove the volume from your clit.
- If you have an ovarian tumor, your doctor may recommend radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery.
An enlarged clitoris should never give you sleepless nights or make you feel less a woman. In some cases, your clit will go back to its usual form on its own. In other cases, you may need to undergo surgery or take medication that will reduce the size of your clit.
As a rule of thumb, learn to speak with your doctor if you are worried about your clitoris’ size or any other symptom you could be experiencing.