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Birth Control/Vaginal swelling and bumps?


Hello, I have a few strange embarrassing questions...

I am currently on the Depo shot.  This is my second shot I have gotten.  Lately, (and this may be completely unrelated to birth control) my vagina has has little itch bumps inside, and I have experienced very painful intercourse.  I have a bump on my labia, but that was diagnosed as a cyst, that is harmless and fairly common.  It has NEVER given me pain.  It's just, there.  Anyway, lately, after my partner and I have sex, I get this swollen painful feeling.  The bumps showed up around the same time.  My partner is my first, and he has only had sex with one other person, and it was also her first.  We have been tested for many STDS and been cleared.  I've seen a physician, but they said they did not see any of the bumps.  Even though I can clearly feel and see them myself...  Any ideas on what this could be?

Hi Jennessa,

Thanks for your message.

Unfortunately without a physical examination there's no way to know for sure what's going on, and I am an educator, not a clinician.

However, are you using condoms or any lubricant or sex toys? It could be an allergy to those. But if you are having a problem you need to go back to the doctor or get a second opinion. Going to a family planning clinic or gynaecologist might be better than a general practicioner because they have more experience in this department.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.

Good luck,

Birth Control

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Allison Macbeth


I can answer questions about how to choose which method of contraception is right for you, how to deal with mistakes, effectiveness, and emergency contraception. I also have training in HIV, STIs, and sexual health education. I cannot tell you what is the right choice, but I can tell you the pros and cons of each method to help you make an informed decision for your circumstances. If you have had a condom break or had unprotected sex and need emergency contraception please call you local Planned Parenthood or check out


I have been working in the field of sexual health for a decade with specific training in contraception, STIs, HIV, and sexual problems. I have worked in several Planned Parenthood-affiliated charities, telephone helplines, research, education, and currently work for a local health authority evaluating HIV programs in the city.

Macbeth, A., Weerakoon, P., Sitharthan, G. (2009). Australian Parentsí Opinions about School-based Sexual Health Education. Sexual Health. 6, 328-333. I write a weekly advice column for Morning Quickie website which can be found here:

I have a Masters in Applied Science (Sexual Health) where I did research on sex education in schools and at home with parents and young people, as well as many counselling skills courses.

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I have worked extensively with young people under 25, people living with or affected by HIV, and parents.

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