Why is My Vagina Purple?

When it comes to female genitalia, there’s a lot of variation. You may have labia that are pink, brown or purple and they’re all perfectly normal.

It’s also common for vulva skin to darken as you age due to hormone fluctuations and friction from things like tight clothing and sexual activity.

What Is It?

Despite being one of the most private parts of the body, the skin around the vulva (the proper name for the female genitals) comes in a wide range of colors. The pigmentation can vary based on hormonal fluctuations, friction from everyday activities and tight clothes, or even pregnancy hormones. It’s important to be familiar with the normal color of your vulva to better identify changes in pigment.

For example, it’s common for the clitoris and inner lips to become darker during sexual arousal due to increased blood flow in the area. When the arouse subsides, the regular color returns. In other cases, a bump or a change in color could indicate an infection like yeast or anal or vaginal cancer.

Cancers of the vulva are more difficult to diagnose than other types because they’re usually hidden by pubic hair. However, it’s important to note that any lump or bump on the vulva that doesn’t go away should be evaluated by a gyno right away. A squamous cell cancer, melanoma or verrucous carcinoma in the vulva could cause a raw-looking sore that won’t heal. The area may also bleed or ooze pus.

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Pregnant women should be especially wary of any changes in pigmentation in the vulva, including purple-colored skin. Spotting is often due to the implantation of an embryo in the uterine lining and formation of the placenta, but it can also be caused by a miscarriage or a vaginal infection.

It’s Normal

It’s normal for your vulva to have an array of colors. The pigmentation of your private skin typically coincides with the tone of your skin and can range from pink to brown. The color of the vulva can also vary depending on your blood flow, with purple being especially common during sexual arousal.

This is because increased blood flow to the genitals causes not only lubrication (the first sign of sexual arousal), but a deepening of the color of the inner and outer labia lips, clitoris, and vaginal opening. When you stop orgasming, the vulva returns to its regular color of pinks and reds.

During pregnancy, it’s also normal for your vulva to take on a blue or purple hue. As Glamour explains, this is because of an increase in blood flow to your genitals due to your uterus expanding and pregnancy hormones.

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That said, it’s still a good idea to perform regular self-exams to get familiar with what your vulva looks like so you can identify any changes in color sooner. This will also help you be more aware of any pain or irritation you might feel, which can indicate a medical issue. In particular, if you’re experiencing spotting that isn’t pink or yellow, or you’re suffering from any other signs of an infection, make sure to call your gyno.

It’s a Mistake

A woman’s vulva naturally varies in color. Its hue can also change with blood flow. During sexual arousal, the body increases blood flow to the genitals. This is what causes lubrication and changes the colors to pinks and reds. When the arousal ends (or when you orgasm) and normal blood flow resumes, the color of the skin around your labia and cervix should return to its original shade.

You should check in and show your vulva some love regularly, but you don’t need to panic if its skin tone takes on an unexpected hue. Just make sure to tell your partner so he or she doesn’t get the wrong idea when looking down there. Also, if your purple spotting is associated with pain or other symptoms, talk to your gyno right away.

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It’s Not Normal

When a woman is sexually aroused, the body’s first response is to increase blood flow to the genitals. This not only causes lubrication and an orgasm, but it can also cause the color of the inner labia (lips), vaginal barrel, and cervix to deepen, turning pinks and reds into wine and burgundy colors. When the woman is no longer aroused, the vulva returns to its normal color.

According to Parents, this change in color can sometimes be one of the earliest signs that a woman is pregnant. It’s not a reason to panic, but it is something to be aware of.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with what your vulva normally looks like so that you can spot any abnormal changes quickly. But don’t be alarmed if your vulva does turn purple every now and then. Your body is going through a lot of changes during pregnancy and this is just one of them.

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