Bartholin glands are very small glands situated on both sides of labia. These glands secrete fluid which keeps the vagina moist and lubricated during sexual intercourse. Normally the glands cannot be palpated due to their very small size. However, they become enlarged when there is development of a cyst. A bartholin cyst develops when the duct carrying the fluid gets blocked or the gland itself becomes obstructed.
When the fluid inside the cyst becomes infected it can form into an abscess which is a painful condition. Normally a cyst occurs in one out of the two glands.
What Causes Bartholin Gland Cyst?
Development of bartholin cyst is due to blockage of the duct. There are two reasons for the blockage, first being infection and other due to the overgrowth of the skin or a flap. As a result, the fluid gets accumulated in the gland. The gland becomes swollen and there is formation of a cyst. When there is an infection in the cyst, it results into an abscess.
There are number of bacteria which are responsible for the blockage. Most often bartholin abscess is caused due to sexually transmitted disease. Bacteria responsible for gonorrhea and Chlamydia are the usual culprits. E. coli is another bacteria often found in intestinal tract and urinary tract that has been blamed for bartholin gland infection.
Symptoms Of Bartholin Cyst
Barhtolin cyst may not be noticed by a woman if it is small and non tender.
- Sometimes the cyst may become tender. It may be painful during a sexual intercourse.
- The cyst may increase in size after sex because of secretion of fluid during sex.
- If the cyst becomes infected, it may turn red and warm. There may be throbbing pain and formation of an abscess.
- During the acute stage of an abscess, the woman may find difficult to walk or sit.
- Fever may be one of the concomitant symptoms.
Usually barhtolin cyst occurs only on one side of the vaginal wall.
Prevention And Home Remedies For Bartholin Gland Cyst
How To Prevent Bartholin Cysts?
There is no specific way to prevent bartholin cyst, because researchers are still not sure of the exact etiology behind the problem. However, preventive measures can be taken to curtail the formation of an abscess, by following healthy hygienic habits.
If the person is sexually active, and has several partners, then following safe sex methods such as use of condom is valuable when she has a bartholin cyst. This may prevent the infection of cyst.
Sitting in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes daily may help the cyst to open or burst. Thus it may abort the formation of bartholin cyst abscess.
Bartholin Cyst Home Remedies
Often Bartholin cyst does not require to be treated, especially when there are no symptoms. The condition may resolve on its own. The treatment may be necessary depending on the size of the cyst or if there is an infection which may lead to an abscess formation.
- One of the simplest home treatments for bartholin cyst is sitz bath. The patient sits in the tub containing water, it should be warm. This helps the infected cyst to rupture easily. The pus drains out from the abscess.
- Instead of sitz bath, the patient can also use warm towel compresses on the vulva.
- However if the infected cyst is big, it may require surgical drainage. He may also require antibiotics and painkillers.
- If the woman has repeated episodes of bartholin cyst formation, the gynecologist may opine for total removal of the bartholin gland, however it is rarely necessary.