Bartholin cysts

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 27th Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Diseases & Infections

Women's Health is a crucial and Montreal woman are now talking better care of themselves. The following article is dealing with Bartholin Cysts. If you notice you have these cysts and are concerned you can make an appointment for the gynecology department of any Montreal hospital, or if you like you can contact private clinics.


The Symptoms and Causes for Bartholin Cysts

A common occurrence that worries women is when they feel a cyst or lump of some sort on the labia or other parts of the vagina. It is good to understand what is going on, and why. Remember however, that online information will never replace visiting your gynecologist for an examination and diagnosis. This article will give a summary of a common form of cyst called Bartholin cysts also known as a Bartholin abscess.

Bartholin cyst

There is a gland on either side of the vaginal opening called the Bartholin gland. These Bartholin glands are responsible for lubricating the vagina. Sometimes the opening of these glands are clogged and then the fluid remains within the gland with no outlet for release. The gland may become infected resulting in the formation of an abscess. The abscess which is the inflamed area may become infected and pus might leak out into the surrounding area.

The Symptoms for Bartholin cysts

Small and painless Bartholin cysts often go unnoticed.

Formation of a cyst on one side of the vagina
You may feel a lump if the cyst gets bigger and this lump might be tender to the touch.
If the cyst become infected you may experience:
A painful or tender lump near the opening of the vagina
You may experience some discomfort when sitting down or walking and/or
Painful intercourse

Causes for Bartholin Cysts:

Causes for Bartholin cysts

It is believed that a cyst forms because of a backup of fluid which has no where to escape thus, causing an infection. Or, the fluid may become trapped under the skin because a flap of skin has grown over the opening.

The infection can cause an abscess which carries a lot of bacteria. This bacteria could be a result of a sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, or it could be caused by the e-coli (Escherichia coli) bacteria.

The forming of abscesses could become chronic and women can end up with frequent breakouts.

When to consult a doctor:

If the cyst does not go away in a two – three days seek medical help.
If you are over 40.
Sometimes though rarely, the cyst may actually be cancer.

Remember these cysts are relatively harmless but if they do not go away on their own, you will need to see a doctor especially if they are infected. You will need to have the cyst drained.

Bartholin Cysts: Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Bartholin cysts appear on the labia or outer region of the vagina. Although they might seem scary because of their location, they are usually harmless. However, to make sure it is a Bartholin cyst and not herpes or another venereal disease, it is important to see a doctor if the cyst does not go away in a few days.

How to prepare for the doctor’s appointment

Write down all the symptoms you can think of even if you are not sure they are related.
Make a list of all medications you are taking including the birth control pill and over the counter drugs and vitamins.
Take a notepad with you to write down important information your doctor will give you.

Ask your doctor questions such as:

What causes these cysts?
How can I prevent them?
What is the treatment?
Are there any home remedies I can try?
Do you have any brochures or information I can take home with me?

If you don’t understand something ask your doctor to explain, don’t be shy, or pretend you understand what he is telling you, if you really don’t.

In turn your doctor may ask some question such as:

How long have you had the symptoms and how severe are they?
Are you experiencing painful intercourse, or is there any discomfort when you go about your daily activities, sitting, standing, exercising etc.
Does anything make your symptoms better or worse?

Remember it is important to understand what is going on with your body. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed of having something you do not feel is normal about your sexual genitalia. Make sure you get to the doctor if they cysts do not disappear on their own.

Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Don't be embarrassed about vaginal cysts. Go to the doctor and have them checked out if they do not go away in a few days.

Diagnosis for Bartholin cysts

Taking a medical history
Performing a pelvic examination
Pap smear

Biopsy of the tissue to test for cancer when the woman is postmenopausal or over forty years of age.

If cancer is suspected your doctor may refer you to a gynecologist specializing in cancer of the female reproduction system.

Treatment for Bartholin cysts

Sitz bath

Sitting in a warm bath with a few inches of water three or four times a day can cause the cyst to rupture and drain on its own.

Surgical drainage

This can be done in the doctor’s office with a local anesthetic or in a hospital under sedation. A catheter is inserted into the cyst and remains in place to keep the puncture hole open for about six weeks to drain the fluid. The catheter can then be taken out or falls out on its own.


The doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have a sexually transmitted disease, or if the cyst is infected. However, drainage is the preferred method if there is no STD and the cyst is just infected.


First the cyst is drained and then the doctor would add permanent stitches at each end of the incision to keep the opening created by the drainage tube (catheter). This procedure is done when these cysts continue to reoccur. Marsupialization can be done in the doctor’s office, but is most often done in the hospital under sedation.

If all else fails, there is surgical removal.

Laser treatment

Some doctors will remove the cyst by laser treatment, however, this procedure is not widely used and is more expensive.

After surgery

You may want to take sitz baths to help the wound to heal. You can resume having sex as long as there is no discomfort.


Of course you want to keep the area clean, and practice safe sex. However, there is no guaranteed absolute prevention for Bartholin cysts.

Remember, it is important to understand what is going on with your body. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed of having something you do not feel is normal about your sexual genitalia. Make sure you get to the doctor if they cysts do not disappear on their own.

All photos taken from the public domain

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Abscess, Bartholin Abscess, Bartholin Cyst, Bartholin Cysts, Bartholin Cysts Symptoms, Bartholin Gland, Bartholin Glands, Chlamydia, Cyst, Cysts, E-Coli, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Vagina, Vaginal Opening, Venereal Disease

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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