What is Bartholin gland cyst?
The Bartholin gland cyst is a tiny organ on each of the labia (vaginal lips), near the opening of the vagina. If the vagina were the face of a clock, these glands would be found at about 4 and 8 o’clock. Normally they are invisible.
Bartholin’s gland cysts and abscesses are commonly found in women of reproductive age, developing in approximately 2% of all women. The Bartholin gland cyst can grow from the size of a penny to larger than an orange, although most don’t get bigger than a golf ball. They can be tender.
A Bartholin gland cyst may form in the gland itself or in the duct draining the gland. A cyst normally does not cause pain, grows slowly, and may go away without treatment. It usually ranges in size from (1-3 cm) 0.4-1.2 in., although some may grow much larger. In order to heal, a Bartholin gland cyst usually must be drained.
Causes of Bartholin gland cyst
A Bartholin gland cyst may develop when the duct of one of the glands becomes swollen and blocked. Injury, irritation, or infection may cause a buildup of fluid and swelling that blocks the duct. A Bartholin’s gland cyst occurs if the duct becomes blocked for any reason, such as infection, injury, or chronic inflammation.
Symptoms of Bartholin gland cyst
Symptoms of an uninfected Bartholin’s gland cyst include a painless lump on one side of the vulva area (most common symptom) and redness or swelling in the vulva area. Common symptoms of an abscessed Bartholin gland includes
- Fever and chills.
- Increased swelling in the vulva area over a two- to four-day period.
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- Pain that occurs with walking, sitting.
Treatment and Cure of Bartholin Gland Cyst
Treatment for Bartholin gland cyst condition depends on the size of the cyst, whether it is painful, and whether the cyst is infected. Some common treatment for Bartholin gland cyst includes :-
- Soaking of the genital area with warm towel compresses.
- Use of a carbon dioxide laser to open the cyst and heat the cyst wall tissue so that the cyst cannot form a sac and reoccur.
- Soaking of the genital area in a sitz bath.
- Sometimes the cyst will go away if you put warm, moist cloths (compresses) on it or sit in warm baths. The moist heat can help unblock the opening so that the fluid can drain out. Nonprescription medicine such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen may help relieve the pain.
- A cyst may become infected. It may form an abscess and become very painful. If a cyst is infected, your health care provider may drain it and prescribe an antibiotic.
- Incision and drainage, followed by treatment with silver nitrate to burn the cyst wall so the cyst cannot form a sac and reoccur.
- Sometimes the whole gland needs to be surgically removed, especially if the cyst often comes back. The Bartholin gland can be removed without damage to that area of the vaginal opening. You can have sexual intercourse without the gland.
How can be Bartholin gland cyst prevented ?
There are few ways to prevent the formation of Bartholin’s gland cysts or abscesses are :-
- Avoid hard or deep rubbing in the area around the opening of the vagina.
- Make sure you keep the area of the vagina clean with mild soap and warm water.
- The practice of safe sex is recommended.
- If you take long bike rides or ride horses a lot, try to protect your genital area by cushioning it with soft padding.