Here's What You Need to Know About Blue Vulva and Blue Balls

The medical term for blue balls or blue vulva is epididymal hypertension.

Typically known as "blue balls," epididymal hypertension is a real condition that happens when a person is sexually aroused for an extended period of time, but they don't get any sort of physical relief. But it turns out that you don't need to have testicles or a penis to feel this way—people with vaginas can get a version of blue balls, too. Here's what you should know about "blue vulva," including symptoms, treatment, and what it feels like.

What Is Blue Vulva?

Shelby Sells, a certified life coach and love, sex, and life coach based in New York, refers to it as "blue vulva," but it's also known as "blue uterus" and "pink pelvis." 

"Vagina owners can experience this when blood flow to the genitals increases with sexual arousal," explained Sells.

"The clitoris and the penis are homologous, meaning they are parallel structures in biologically male and female bodies," added Gigi Engle, certified sex education. "Both the penis and the clitoris contain erectile tissue that swells with blood when aroused." 

That extra blood flow doesn't actually turn the balls or vulva blue. In actuality, when a person reaches orgasm, the blood is released back into the body. However, if orgasm isn't reached, the blood still leaves the genitals, but it can be uncomfortable.

What Does It Feel Like?

If you're experiencing blue vulva, you may have feelings of heaviness and achiness around your genitals

Sells explained that it generally resolves when blood flow to the region normalizes—either after orgasm or when sexual arousal calms.

"Mostly, it just feels like sexual arousal because it is sexual arousal," added Sells. 

Blue vulva can feel irritating. But whatever a person feels, know it's not harmful. Still, it may take time for it to go away.

How Common Is Blue Vulva?

Family and relationship psychotherapist and author Fran Walfish, PsyD, said it's a misconception that blue vulva isn't common. 

"I hear differently in my large Beverly Hills private practice," explained Dr. Walfish. "Many women, especially those above the age of 40, take longer or have trouble achieving orgasm. They either experience a physical discomfort in their uterus or a sense of frustration, or both."


Research on blue balls and blue vulva is still limited.

However, while it can take time for the aching to go away, there are ways to relieve the symptoms. One obvious way to relieve that heavy feeling is to have an orgasm. 

If you don't have a partner on hand, "grab your favorite vibrator and some lube and get yourself off," Engle said. 

Another way to ease the discomfort is to take a cold shower and give your vagina a rest, added Sells. And if none of those options are possible, distract yourself with nonsexual thoughts or apply a cold compress on your genitals.

A Quick Review

Epididymal hypertension—also known as blue balls or blue vulva—is a condition that can affect people of all genders. It may feel like an ache or heaviness caused when a person does not reach orgasm. 

There are a few different ways to treat the condition, and it isn't a serious condition that you should worry about.

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  1. International Society for Sexual Medicine. What are blue balls and blue vulva?

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