Bartholin Gland Cyst - Symptoms & Treatment

Bartholin Gland Cyst is a women's small area where swollen fluid-filled lump that moistens the outer genital area, or vulva develops from a blockage of one of the Bartholin's glands. The Bartholin glands are two pea-sized organs that are located under the skin in a woman's genital area. Normally they are invisible. The cyst can grow from the size of a dime to larger than a golf ball. The Bartholin's gland can become blocked for a variety of reasons, such as infection, inflammation or long-term irritation.

Symptoms of Bartholin Gland Cyst

Symptoms of an uninfected Bartholin's gland cyst include a painless lump on one side of the vulva area (most common symptom) and redness or swelling in the vulva area. Symptoms of an abscessed Bartholin's gland include a small Bartholin gland cyst is most often symptom-free. However, a large cyst or infection can cause symptoms.

Bartholin gland cyst that is not infected. Symptoms may include:

  • A painless lump in the vulva area. It is possible, though unlikely, for both glands to develop cysts at the same time.
  • Redness or swelling in the vulva area. A Bartholin gland cyst can swell from 0.25 in. (0.64 cm) up to 3 in. (7.62 cm).
  • Discomfort when walking.

Infected Bartholin gland cyst (abscess). Symptoms may include:

  • Fever and chills.
  • Swelling in the vulva area over a 2- to 4-day period.
  • Drainage from the cyst. 2 Drainage may occur 4 to 5 days after the swelling

Causes of Bartholin Gland Cyst

A genital infection, inflammation, or thickened mucus can block a Bartholin duct. There are main causes of Bartholin Gland Cyst are :

  • When this happens, fluid builds up inside and creates a Bartholin gland cyst.
  • Very rarely a cyst is caused by cancer, which usually occurs only in women over the age of 40. In many cases, the cause of a Bartholin's gland cyst is unknown.
  • Most infected cysts, called abscesses contain the normal bacteria that are found on skin.

Treatment of Bartholin Gland Cyst

Treatment of Bartholin Gland Cyst are below listed :

  • watchful waiting by the woman and her health care professional
  • soaking of the genital area with warm towel compresses
  • soaking of the genital area in a sitz bath
  • use of non-prescription pain medication to relieve mild discomfort
  • incision and drainage, i.e., cutting into the cyst and draining the fluid (not usually successful, as the cyst often reoccurs)
  • placement of a drain (Word catheter) in the cyst for two to four weeks so fluid can drain and prevent re-occurrence of the cyst
  • marsupialization
  • window operation
  • use of a carbon dioxide laser to open the cyst and heat the cyst wall tissue so that the cyst cannot form a sac and reoccur
  • incision and drainage, followed by treatment with silver nitrate to burn the cyst wall so the cyst cannot form a sac and reoccur
  • removal of the entire Bartholin's gland cyst