Bartholin glands are located on either side of the vaginal opening and contains fluid which is used to release to lubricate the vagina. These glands’ entrances can occasionally get blocked, which leads to a buildup and accumulate of fluid inside the gland known as a Bartholin’s cyst which is a relatively painless enlargement. If the cyst’s fluid becomes infected, a pus-filled bump encircled by swollen tissue (abscess) may develop.
The lips of your vagina (labia) will have spherical pimples under the skin that are actually Bartholin’s cysts. They frequently do not hurt. If an infection develops, some may become red, painful, and swollen. Other Bartholin’s cysts may appear to be fluid- or pus-filled. Bartholin’s cysts can range in size from the size of a pea to that of a golf ball. Your labia may appear asymmetrical or with one side being enlarged due to the cyst. An abscess or cyst from Bartholin’s gland is typical. The course of treatment for a Bartholin’s cyst is determined by the cyst’s size, level of pain, and infection status.
About 2% of all women will develop Bartholin’s cysts at some point in their lives. Women who are fertile are more likely to have them. After menopause, there is a decreased risk of Bartholin’s cyst development.
There are situations when home treatment is sufficient. In some situations, the Bartholin’s cyst needs to be surgically drained. Antibiotics may be useful in treating the infected Bartholin’s cyst if an infection develops.
You might not be aware of a small, uninfected Bartholin’s cyst, but you will feel a lump or mass close to your vaginal opening if the cyst expands. Cysts are mostly harmless, however they can occasionally be uncomfortable.
A Bartholin’s cyst infection can become fully developed in just a few days. Following an infection of the cyst, you could experience:
- Fever or chills
- A painful, sensitive bump close to the vaginal opening
- Cyst drainage
- Cyst increases in size
- Discomfort while walking or sitting
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Discomfort and soreness after using the restroom, especially while inserting a tampon or wiping.
Typically, a Bartholin’s cyst or abscess only affects one side of the vaginal opening. If a sore lump near the opening of your vagina does not go away after two or three days of self-care, such as soaking the region in warm water, call your doctor. Make an appointment with gynecologist if the pain is severe or if you are older than 40 and discover a new lump close to your vaginal opening. Even though they are uncommon, such lumps could indicate a more serious issue such as cancer.
A fluid backup is thought by experts to be the root cause of a Bartholin’s cyst which occurs when the gland’s (duct’s) opening becomes blocked, either by an infection or an accident. An abscess may develop from an infected Bartholin’s cyst such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and bacteria that cause gonorrhea and chlamydia, which are sexually transmitted infections.