Bartholin’s cyst

Bartholin’s glands are located on each side of the vaginal opening. These glands secrete a fluid that helps moisten the vagina.

But sometimes the openings of these glands get blocked and the liquid they release collects in them. The result is a relatively painless swelling called a Bartholin’s cyst.

Sometimes, the fluid in the cyst becomes infected, forming a pus-filled, inflamed tissue /abscess/ around it.

Bartholin’s cyst or abscess is common. Treatment depends on the size of the growth, the pain it causes and whether it is infected.

Sometimes home treatment is completely sufficient and guaranteed to be 100% effective. In other cases, surgical drainage of the cyst is necessary.

And if the cyst develops an infection, then antibiotics are administered.

What are the symptoms?

If the cyst remains small and does not become infected, it is possible that one does not notice it.

If it grows, however, its presence can be felt as a single nodule or mass near the vaginal opening. Although the cyst is usually painless, it maybe tender.

If the cyst becomes infected, the following clinical manifestations may occur:

• Hard or painful lump near the vaginal opening;

• Unpleasant feeling when walking or when staying in a sitting position;

• Pain during intercourse;

• Increased body temperature;

A cyst or abscess occurs on only one side of the vaginal opening.

When should you seek medical help?

Notify your GP if you have a painful lump near the opening of the vagina and if it does not go away in 2-3 days despite taking all the methods to its cure, applicable at home, such as warm baths.

If the pain is too severe, make an appointment with your GP immediately.

What are the causes?

Scientists believe that the cause of the disease is the collection of fluid as a result of the blockage of the duct of the gland, or perhaps due to an abnormal growth of its opening.

The cyst can become infected and form an abscess.

A number of bacteria can cause inflammation of the fluid in the cyst, such as Escherichia coli, as well as infectious microorganisms that cause sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.

What are the complications?

Barctolin cysts very often become chronic, and abscesses are very likely to recur and need treatment again.

Bartholin cyst treatment

In most cases, cysts do not need treatment, especially if they do not cause clinical symptoms or discomfort.

If necessary, the method that will be used for treatment is determined depending on the size of the cyst and whether it is infected and, accordingly, there is a possibility of its infection.

Treatment options your doctor may recommend are:

Baths for the lower half of the body – soaking in a few inches of warm water several times a day for 3 or 4 days helps the small, infected cysts to descend and drain on their own si.

Surgical drainage – surgery may be required to drain the cyst, which is done under local anesthesia or sedation.

For the purposes of the procedure, the doctor makes a small incision in the cyst, which ensures its drainage, and then a small rubber tube /catheter/ is placed in the incision site.

The catheter remains in the incision site for up to 6 weeks to allow the cyst to drain completely.

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