Learn all about bartholin gland cyst causes and treatment with home remedies. The two Bartholin’s glands are located at the entrance to a woman’s vagina, one on each side. They are small and cannot be seen or felt when they are normal. Their function is to secrete fluid onto the mucosal (inner) surface of the labia-the liplike skin surrounding the vagina.
Problems with the Bartholin’s glands include cysts, which are relatively painless enlargements of the gland, and abscesses, which are infections of the gland. Typically only one of the two glands is affected.
Some Bartholin gland cysts go away without treatment. You can take a nonprescription pain medicine such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin, for example) to relieve pain. To help healing, soak the area in a shallow, warm bath, or a sitz bath. Don’t have sex while a Bartholin cyst is healing.
Sometimes a carbon dioxide laser or silver nitrate is used to prevent a cyst from growing back. For severe cysts that keep coming back, you may have surgery to remove the Bartholin gland and duct.
There is a procedure called marsupialization in which a pouch is created by making a cut over the cyst and stitching the sides together. This allows the cyst to drain.
Bartholin Gland Cyst Treatment
Bartholin gland cyst requires no treatment often especially if the cyst causes no signs or symptoms. When needed, treatment depends on the size of the cyst, your discomfort level and whether it’s infected, which can result in an abscess. Treatment options your doctor may recommend include:
Sitz bath: Soaking in a tub filled with a few inches of warm water (sitz bath) several times a day for three or four days may help a small, infected cyst to rupture and drain on its own.
Surgical drainage: You may need surgery to drain a cyst that’s infected or very large. Drainage of a cyst can be done using local anesthesia or sedation.
Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if your cyst is infected or if testing reveals that you have a sexually transmitted infection.
Marsupialization: If cysts recur or bother you, a marsupialization (mahr-soo-pee-ul-ih-ZAY-shun) procedure may help. Your doctor places stitches on each side of a drainage incision to create a permanent opening less than 1/4-inch (about 6-millimeter) long. An inserted catheter may be placed to promote drainage for a few days after the procedure and help prevent recurrence.
What does Bartholin Cyst look like?
If a Bartholin duct gets blocked, fluid builds up in the gland. The blocked gland is called a Bartholin gland cyst. These cysts can range in size from a pea to a large marble. They usually grow slowly. If the Bartholin gland or duct gets infected, it’s called a Bartholin gland abscess. Bartholin gland cysts are often small and painless. Some go away without treatment. But if you have symptoms, you might want treatment. If the cyst is infected, you will need treatment. A Bartholin Gland cyst is an abnormal lump filled with fluid. It is usually a small pea-sized bump that can grow to be as big as a large marble. It is usually noted as a small bump around the vulva. A redness or swelling around the vulva indicates the presence of a Bartholin Cyst. Bartholin Gland cysts are usually painless and go away on their own. But an infection in the cyst can produce painful symptoms. Bartholin cysts are normally diagnosed during a common gynaecological exam.
Bartholin Cyst Causes
A Bartholin Cyst develops when a duct of the Vulvovaginal Gland gets blocked. An obstruction of vaginal gland typically occurs due to a bacterial infection. A bacterial infection causes unnatural conditions such as the abnormal growth of a flap of skin. Abnormal skin growth blocks the duct, or opening of the gland, and leads to a buildup of fluids in the gland. When fluid has accumulated for a long period of time, an abscess or cyst develops in the Bartholin Gland. In many cases, Bartholin Cyst develops only in a matter of days. These get swollen and appear hot to touch.
Bartholin Cyst Location and Drainage
If the cyst is infected, it may break open and start to heal on its own after 3 to 4 days. But if the cyst is painful, your doctor may drain it. You may also need to take antibiotics to treat the infection. To keep the cyst from closing and filling up again, your doctor may put a small drainage tube with a small balloon at one end inside the cyst. The balloon is inflated inside the cyst to keep the cyst open. After the gland has healed, the tube and balloon are removed.
Bartholin Cyst Operation Surgery
Bartholin cyst operation surgery is done if the cyst is not able to treat by medication or drainage. The doctor cuts out the entire cyst and sometimes the gland and duct. This is not done often. This is a more complex surgery. The doctor will numb your vulva so you feel less pain. Most women go home 1 to 6 hours after surgery. You can expect to feel better each day, but you will probably need 2 to 4 weeks to recover. Your doctor will advise you to avoid having sex for at least 2 weeks, or until your vulva is completely healed. After one of these surgeries, your cyst and any pain in your vulva should go away. Some women need more than one of these surgeries to permanently get rid of a cyst.
Bartholin Cyst Treatment Home Remedies
Daily soaking in warm water, several times a day, may be adequate to resolve an infected Bartholin’s cyst or abscess. After a surgical procedure to treat an infected cyst or abscess, soaking in warm water is particularly important. Sitz baths help to keep the area clean, ease discomfort and promote effective drainage of the cyst. Pain relievers also may be helpful.