Coping with Bartholin’s Gland Cyst

September 19, 2010
By marqpdx

Coping with Bartholin’s Gland Cyst

Found on every labia of the vagina or on the vaginal lips, the Bartholin’s gland are tiny invisible organs that are responsible for making the fluid that lubricates the woman’s vaginal lips. This lubricating fluid comes out from two tiny tubes that are located at the opening of the vagina. These tiny tubes are more commonly known as the Bartholin ducts.

Sometimes however when a flap of skin grows over one of the openings of the Bartholin’s gland, the tendency for the fluid is to back up and cause a swelling or a blockage of the gland that is medically termed as a cyst, or more particularly, the Bartholin’s gland cyst or Bartholin’s duct cyst. Cysts in the Bartholin’s gland range in sizes; they can be as small as a pea or grow to a big size like that of a large marble.

How to Tell Ii You Have a Bartholin’s Gland Cyst?

Thick mucus, a swelling, and an infection can cause a blockage in your Bartholin gland. This blockage will cause the fluid to build up and create a cyst. After sexual intercourse, this cyst can grow bigger as these glands produce more of this fluid during sex.

When your Bartholin gland cyst is not infected, it will only feel like a painless and tender bulge in the vulva area, near the opening of your vagina. This should stay the same size although it can be accompanied by some swelling or redness. You may be able to locate this cyst on your own or a doctor will be able to notice it during a physical exam. When this cyst gets infected, you will most likely feel pain as it forms an abscess. In these cases, walking or sitting and even having sex will be unbearable.

How Do You Treat a Bartholin’s Gland Cyst?

Treatment of a Bartholin’s gland cyst will vary and depend on some factors that include the size of your cyst, the degree of infection, and your age. In minor cases where the cyst is small, it can be easily treated by merely having a sitz bath or soaking in a few inches of water several times in one day for at least three to four days. This process will trigger the cyst to rupture and drain without much pain.

For other cases however, some procedures may be done at the doctor’s office to treat the cyst. One of these procedures includes making an incision into the cyst where a catheter can be placed. With the catheter in place for about four to six weeks, the cyst will drain and the catheter can then be removed.

Also, some doctors opt to make a small cut in the cyst to drain the fluid. At the edge of the cyst stitches are made where a small opening will be put; this process is technically called a marsupialization. Other less popular procedures may be surgically removing the entire gland or a laser treatment, both of which can be performed as same-day surgery in an outpatient office.

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