Before describing bartholin cyst, let us known in brief about bartholin glands. They are two round small pea size structures situated on either side of the vaginal entrance, in the groove between the hymen and the labia minora. In normal case they are not palpable, and their main function is to secrete a sticky substance that lubricates the vagina during intercourse and even in normal circumstances. When the opening of the bartholin gland gets blocked due to any reason, the fluid present in it starts to get accumulated resuting into a cyst, which we call it as bartholin cyst. It is a painless condition, but when the fluid in the cyst is infected it results into an abscess. Thus there are two conditions commonly noted with bartholin gland, one is cyst and other is an abscess. Usually bartholin cyst occurs only in one gland.
Bartholin Cyst Causes
Bartholin cyst develop when the fluid in the bartholin gland gets accumulated due to the obstruction in the gland. It may be due to the growth of a skin flap or an infection. Trauma and injury are other causes. A cyst can become infected forming an abscess. Common bacteria are E.coli, N. gonnorhea, and Chlamydia. The latter two cause sexually transmitted disease. In case the Bartholin cyst is not infected, there is only a painless lump in the vulva. However if the cyst is infected and an abscess develops, patient suffers from fever, chills, and increase in the size of the lump within one or two days. The woman finds difficulty in walking and sitting. Intercourse becomes painful and the area becomes tender to touch.
Treatment for Bartholin Cyst
If there are no symptoms and the cyst is small, there is no need of any rigorous treatment. But in case the cyst is enlarged and discomforting the patient, or if the cyst is infected medical intervention may be necessary.
Bartholin cyst can be effectively treated with home remedies. They play an important role in alleviating the symptoms.
Sitz bath: fill half of the tub with warm water and sit for 10 to 15 minutes inside the tub. Do this three to four times in a day. Warm water will help the cyst to rupture and drain. The method is also useful after the surgery for Bartholin cyst to enhance healing.
Warm towel compress: soak the vulva with warm towel compress three to four times in a day. The heat will help to remove the blockage and drain out the accumulated fluid from the Bartholin gland.
Surgical removal of the Bartholin cyst may be necessary in some cases such as its frequent recurrence.
To prevent the infection of the cyst, keep the area clean and dry.
Avoid rubbing too hard around the opening of the vaginal orifice.
Wear cotton undergarments so that the air can circulate around the area.
Lastly, practice of safe sex is of utmost importance if you want to avoid this condition.