Bartholin glands are located on either side of the vaginal wall opening. These glands help secrete fluids which lubricate the vagina.
In some cases these glands become obstructed, causing the fluid to back up in the gland leading to formation of the cyst. It is called as bartholins cyst.
If the fluid in the cyst becomes infected you may develop collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue.
If the cyst becomes infected, you may experience:
- Painful lump near the vaginal opening
- Pain during intercourse
- Discomfort while walking and sitting
Only a doctor can tell you for sure. She/he will physically examine and if there is abscess or pus formation then he/she may take a culture of it and send it to lab.
Most of the cases don’t require any treatment if there are no symptoms.
Sometimes treatment depends on severity of the symptoms
Treatment options include:
Sitz baths: soaking in tub filled with warm water three to four times a day may rupture the cyst and drain on its own.
Surgical drainage: large cysts are drained by making incision which can be done under local anesthesia.
Antibiotics: if the culture reports are indicative of infection, then antibiotics are prescribed for a period of time.
It is not clear why bartholin’s cysts develop. But it can be prevented by taking few measures such as
- Practicing safe sex
- Prevent sexually transmitted diseases
- Maintaining Personal hygiene