Question: I started my period a year ago. I think I may have messed up my vagina with tampons because one of my lips has been swollen for over a year. What's going on?

  • Peer peer Answer
    Mai Nguyen provides information about vaginal care.
    Laura Martin
  • Mom mom Answer
    Ruth Anne Lemley answers your questions about your feminine care.
    Ruth Anne Lemley
  • Health Expert health expert Answer
    Molly O’Shea is a health advocate here to help you with your period.
    Molly O'Shea
  • If your vagina has always looked like this, and you think it looks different from a “normal” vagina, it might not be that something’s wrong but rather, that’s how your vagina looks and is. There isn’t a “normal-looking” vagina; each one is different (kind of like fingerprints). If your vagina has changed dramatically, I’d make an appointment with a health care professional just so you know for sure exactly what’s going on down there.

  • I can imagine you are embarrassed, but if you are uncomfortable and scared, tell your mom, aunt, or just call your health care provider.  I am not a medical expert but in my life I have not heard of a tampon damaging anything down there. I encourage you to look at our health expert Dr. Molly’s answer, I love the way she breaks down medical stuff to all of us.

  • Really tough to know without looking at your vagina, but sometimes the inner lips can be more prominent than the outer ones and be perfectly normal. We're all a bit lopsided from one side to the other (usually one breast is bigger, one eye is wider, etc) and so it may just be that your lips are somewhat different sizes. Regardless though of what exactly you look like down there, you didn't cause it by using tampons! Go to your healthcare provider for more info but, chances are, this is just how you're made.

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You can totally go swimming while on your period.


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It’s perfectly fine to go swimming while on your period. Challenge your friends and see if they know.


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Go ahead and hit the water if you want to. It’s okay to swim while on your period. Challenge your friends and see if they know.

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