What Does A Swollen Lymph Node In The Female Groin Indicate?
Infectious Diseases Data Verified

Swollen Lymph Nodes In The Female Groin - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Published on Sep 16, 2022 and last reviewed on Jul 11, 2023   -  5 min read


Swollen lymph nodes in the female groin can be exposed to bacteria, viruses, fungi, or an impaired immune system. Read the article below to know more.


Lymph nodes are a part of the immune system; these are small glands located in various parts of the body and are palpable only when there is an infection near the particular lymph node. They help prevent the spread of an infection in the body by trapping the infection. Doctors palpate the lymph node to check for any enlargement to confirm infection in the area. Swollen lymph nodes are more prominent behind the ear, the armpit, the groin, the neck, and under the chin. Swollen lymph nodes in the female groin may be due to a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, cancer or sexually transmitted diseases, or an impaired immune system.

What Does a Swollen Lymph Node in the Female Groin Indicate?

Lymph nodes in the groin area are called inguinal nodes. A swollen lymph node in the female groin is caused due to exposure to bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other medical conditions like cancer or autoimmune disorders. This indicates an infection or inflammation in the area surrounding the genital region or in the lower body.

What Causes Swollen Lymph Nodes In The Female Groin?

The common causes of a swollen groin lymph node in females include:

  • Bacterial Vaginosis: It is an inflammation in the vaginal area due to an overgrowth of bacteria that is present in the vagina, altering the vaginal pH.

  • Yeast Infection: It is a fungal infection characterized by redness, itching, and inflammation of the vulva and a viscous white discharge from the vagina.

  • Pubic Hair Shaving: Infection from shaving the pubic hair or legs.

  • Urinary Tract Infection: The infection affects any part of the urinary system - kidney, urethra, ureter, and urinary bladder. It is commonly characterized by a burning sensation, frequent urge to urinate, discolored urine, etc.

  • Athlete's Foot: It is a contagious fungal infection of the skin that begins between the toes and presents as an itchy, scaly rash.

  • Cellulitis: It is a painful and serious bacterial infection that affects the skin of the legs and may spread into the bloodstream if left untreated.

  • Foot Injuries: Injury to the foot may cause lymph nodes to swell.

  • Surgery or Radiation: These can affect the lymph nodes in the groin area.

  • AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome): It is a life-threatening disease caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Swollen lymph nodes may appear in the early stages of the infection; they may also occur in the third stage of the disease.

  • Gonorrhea: It is a sexually transmitted disease, which may show no symptoms at all but can include a vaginal discharge and pain while urinating.

  • Genital Herpes: It is a sexually transmitted illness caused by the Herpes simplex virus; the swollen lymph nodes may persist for some time, even after the resolution of the infection.

  • Syphilis: It is a sexually transmitted disease that starts as an infectious sore - on the genitals, mouth, or rectum - and then spreads to different parts of the body if left untreated.

  • Cancer: Cancer in the pelvic region, back, and lower extremities, like melanoma, ovarian cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, and cervical cancer, can cause swollen lymph nodes in the groin.

Some conditions can even cause generalized lymphadenopathy (more than two swollen lymph node groups at a time) like:

  • Lymphoma.

  • Lymphedema.

  • Leukemia.

  • Chickenpox.

  • Mononucleosis.

  • Tuberculosis.

  • Autoimmune disorders like Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.

  • Cat scratch disease.

  • Lymes disease.

  • Toxoplasmosis.

  • Medications like Allopurinol, Atenolol, Captopril, Carbamazepine, and Hydralazine.

What Are the Symptoms of the Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Female Groin?

The signs and symptoms of a swollen lymph node in the groin vary depending on the cause.

The common signs and symptoms include:

  • Elevated, palpable, and tender lymph nodes in the pelvis and labia.

  • The skin over the lymph node may be warm and red.

  • Fever.

  • Skin rash.

  • Vaginal itching.

  • Pain while urinating.

  • Groin pain.

  • Vaginal discharge.

  • Blisters around the genitals.

  • Cloudy urine.

  • Thickened skin in the affected area.

How Are the Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Female Groin Diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made primarily by obtaining the patient's medical history and even details of the sexual practices. The doctor will conduct a physical examination to check for the size, consistency, redness, and severity of the pain.

Other diagnostic tests include:

  • Pelvic Examination: It is the physical examination of the pelvic region.

  • Pap Test (Papanicolaou Test): It is done to detect the precancerous and cancerous cells in the cervix.

  • STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) Tests: This includes swabs, blood, or urine tests.

  • Laboratory Tests: Blood tests are used to confirm or rule out various types of infections.

  • Imaging Studies: An ultrasound or a pelvic CT scan can be used to determine the size and location of enlarged lymph nodes. These examinations may also aid in the detection of abnormal growth.

  • Biopsy: A tissue sample may be taken and examined in a laboratory by a healthcare provider. A biopsy can be used to rule out cancer.

What Are the Signs Swollen Lymph Nodes Could Be an Indication of Cancer?

Certain warning signs could be an indication of cancer:

  • A swollen lymph node that persists for more than two weeks.

  • Lymph nodes that seem to enlarge over time.

  • Lymph nodes that are fixed in a place and hard.

  • Persistent fever.

  • Fatigue.

  • Night sweats.

  • Unexplained weight loss.

  • Does not get better with medication.

What Are the Treatment Options for Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Female Groin?

Treatment of a swollen lymph node is based on the condition's underlying cause.

  • For Infections:

    • Oral and topical antibiotics.

    • IV (intravenous) antibiotics for severe infection.

    • Over-the-counter antifungal creams.

    • Antifungal drugs.

    • Antiviral drugs.

  • For Autoimmune Diseases:

    • Immune therapy to regulate the immune system.

    • Antiretroviral drugs for AIDS.

  • For Cancer :

    • Chemotherapy.

    • Radiotherapy.

    • Immunotherapy.

    • Targeted therapy.

    • Surgery.

    • Stem cell transplant.

How to Prevent Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Groin?

  • Safe and protected sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Maintain proper personal hygiene.

  • Take appropriate treatment and medication for conditions like autoimmune diseases as prescribed by the doctor.

  • Make sure to be up to date on all immunization vaccines and treatments.

When to Consult a Doctor?

Consult a doctor if there is a new swollen lymph node, especially if the lymph node appears to not resolve even after two weeks and feels hard and fixed to a place. And also if there is a chance of acquiring an STI (sexually transmitted infection).


Lymph nodes are filters that prevent the spread of infection and are a vital part of the immune system. A swollen lymph node can indicate an underlying condition and is usually resolved as the condition is treated. Swollen lymph nodes in the female groin could be because of any mild bacterial, fungal, or viral infection or any cut or scratch in the leg or bikini area. Cancer and autoimmune diseases can also cause swollen groin lymph nodes, although it is far from common as an infection. Consult a doctor in case of any new lump and get it checked.

Last reviewed at:
11 Jul 2023  -  5 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

I have swollen lymph nodes in armpits, groin and neck. Is it lymphoma?

Query: Hi doctor, I have noticed swollen lymph nodes on both my armpits and groin area as well on the right side of my neck. They have been there for six weeks now and are not painful. I had a blood test and they are normal. I am having a CT scan this week. I have no other symptom. Do you think it is lymph...  Read Full »

Does Prednisone help swollen lymph nodes?

Query: Hello doctor, Two years ago, I discovered a small lump in my neck near the back right side. My GP said it did not seem like anything to worry about and to come back if it grows. I noticed no growth, but it did not go away or shrink either. A year and a half later, I developed a rash and stomach bloa...  Read Full »

Will poor oral hygeine and improper diet contribute to swollen lymph nodes on neck with sore throat?

Query: Hello doctor, Recently (the last week at the most) my lymph nodes in my neck have been very swollen. When looking at the back of my throat, I can see small tonsil stones, small, but many. There is swelling which I am hoping is associated with the stones and there is a lot of swelling at the top of ...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Swollen Lymph Node or Female Groin?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.