Bartholin's Cyst


Bartholin glands are positioned on both sides at the opening of the Vagina. The size of these glands is like a pea, which generates fluid to keep the Vagina humid. This fluid gets into the Vagina via a tube and keeps it hydrated. Sometimes, the fluid gets blocked and cannot enter the Vagina. In this situation, the fluid gets back into the Bartholin gland.

If fluid suffers from blockage to enter the Vagina, the glands become swelled. This swelling can develop a cyst. As per physicians, this cyst is known as a Bartholin gland cyst. It is also known as an abscess, which seems common in women. The treatment of this health issue depends on the size and infection of the cysts. Many times doctors suggest some home remedies which can cure this health problem. But, if it is painful, doctors suggest surgery to remove the cyst.

Women should call the doctor whenever they feel a painful lump inside the Vagina. Suppose you notice that the situation is not getting recovered after necessary self-care treatment. In that case, it is necessary to consult with a physician.


Women can suffer from Bartholin gland cysts, but doctors are yet to diagnose the actual cause of this health issue. This cyst is caused when the Bartholin gland gets blocked, and the fluid cannot travel to the Vagina. Doctors are unaware of the exact cause of such blockage.

Experts suspect that women suffering from bacteria like E-Coli can face this problem. The sexually transmitted disease can also develop this problem, but this is rare. Sometimes bacteria like Gonorrhea or chlamydia can also cause infection in the Bartholin gland. Most women can suffer from this problem in their 20s, and as per research, 2 out of 10 women can suffer from this health hazard. Women need to check the sexually transmitted diseases which can develop a cyst.

  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria of Gonorrhea, can develop due to unprotected sexual contact and can develop a cyst.

  • Women who have chlamydia, which arises due to the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, also develop cysts at the opening of the Vagina.

  • Escherichia coli, the bacteria which can damage the water supply, can develop hemorrhagic colitis.

  • Streptococcus pneumonia, which develops pneumonia, can also develop a Bartholin gland cyst.

  • Women can suffer from ear and respiratory infections due to Haemophilus influenza, and this infection can also develop.

Women often query whether the Bartholin gland cyst is harmful or not. This cyst generally does not cause many problems unless you feel excess pain. But, this cyst can re-appear in the future and need further treatment.

Besides the above causes, women can suffer from Bartholin's cyst in the following cases.

  • Sexually active women.

  • Mostly women between 20 to 30 years of age can suffer from the cyst.

  • Sometimes, previous Bartholin's cysts can re-appear.

  • If women have already suffered from any physical trauma in that particular part can also feel the swelling in the Bartholin gland.

  • Women who have undergone vaginal surgery can suffer from Bartholin's cyst.


Often, women cannot feel whether they are suffering from a Bartholin gland cyst. Normally, if the cyst size is too small, you may not feel or notice it. However, if you feel the swelling gland near the vaginal opening, it can be a Bartholin gland cyst.

This cyst does not always cause pain, so diagnosing the problem is tough. Women often do not know that she is having a cyst at the vaginal opening unless they go under routine physical checking.

A painful lump, tender near the vaginal opening, is the prime symptom of having a Bartholin gland cyst. Women can face discomfort while walking or sitting due to this cyst. Again, suffering from pain during intercourse is another cause of the Bartholin gland cyst. Sometimes women can also suffer from fever due to severe pain. Women can also notice drainage from the cyst, which can be uncomfortable.


Bartholin cyst is the swelling inside the vaginal gland, which is primarily trouble-free. However, once it grows big, it can create problems with walking and sitting. Hence, when women feel uncomfortable, they need to consult a physician.

Healthcare professionals will do the necessary physical examination. However, doctors will conduct a biopsy if women have the cyst after age 40. Here the experts will take tissue from the cyst as a sample and check it under the microscope. If the physicians feel that the cyst can cause cancer, they will remove it.

While diagnosing the cyst, the doctors will ask the patient about the medical history and conduct a pelvic examination. They will take the emissions from the cyst as a sample and examine if there is any infection related to the sexually transmitted disease.

After diagnosing the cyst and its position, the physicians will recommend medications. Doctors often suggest simple home remedies if the cyst does not look harmful. All can go through varied treatment options for Bartholin gland cysts.


  • The first and most effective remedy is Sitz baths. Here the patient needs to fill the bathtub with warm water and sit in the warm water a few times a day. It will provide extreme comfort and healing to the patient. Regular practicing of this will burst the cyst and drain it automatically.

  • Doctors may suggest certain antibiotics, and over-the-counter medications help the patients feel comfortable. Normally, physicians suggest antibiotics if the cyst is developed due to STI or Sexually Transmitted Infections.

  • If doctors find the cyst large and painful, they will recommend surgical treatment to drain the fluid. Doctors will place a catheter in the affected area to drain the fluid completely. The catheter can be kept in that place for a few weeks.

  • Another effective treatment is Marsupialization which will help to drain out the fluid inside the cyst entirely.

Apart from those above, if physicians feel that the removal of cysts can cause danger to the patient, they can opt for the removal of the gland.

Updated on: 24-Jan-2023


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