Depending on the situation, your vulva can sometimes feel wet, itchy, burning, or swollen. Sometimes a new feeling in your vulva is the result of a health condition. For example, an itchy vulva is a common symptom of a yeast infection. Other times, the change is simply the natural order of things. For instance, your vagina gets wet when you’re turned on, and your vaginal discharge varies throughout your menstrual cycle — nothing to worry about. But what about a tingling feeling? What does that mean?
First, any time you're worried or curious about how your vagina feels, it’s a good idea to visit your GP to get things checked out. “Any new lumps, bumps, discomfort, itch, change of colour, size or symmetry should be reported to a GP or gynaecologist,” Dr. Adeola Olaitan, UCLH consultant gynaecologist and medical adviser to The Eve Appeal, previously told Refinery29. That said, here are some potential reasons your vagina might feel tingly.
You’re turned on
When you’re aroused, blood rushes to your vulva. You begin to get wet, and your genitals swell a little. For some people, this arousal feels like a tingling sensation. For others, it's more like throbbing. Some people might experience both. This should feel good — enjoy it!
You’re about to have an orgasm (or you’re having an orgasm, or you just had an orgasm)
You have a yeast infection
Along with itching or burning and a cottage cheese-like discharge, some people experience a tingling sensation during a yeast infection. This tingling should go away as you begin treatment.
You have a UTI
You’re about to have a herpes outbreak
Some people with genital herpes report experiencing a tingling feeling in their legs, hips, butt, or genitals just before an outbreak. If your herpes treatment includes episodic therapy (meaning you treat each outbreak as it occurs, instead of taking a daily medication), this symptom may indicate it’s time to start taking your antiviral medication. This medication may help lessen your symptoms or even prevent the outbreak, and speed up healing.
You went to spin class
If your vulva feels numb or tingly after riding a bike (or during spin class), you’re experiencing something called “saddle numbness.” While uncomfortable, this is simply a result of the extra pressure on your vulva. You may want to try a different type of bike seat, change your form, or shorten your time in the saddle.
You have another health condition
You’re using a tingling lube
Finally, some lubes are designed to cause a tingling sensation. They may be labelled as “tingling,” or they may get another label like “warming,” “cooling,” or “intense.”