Bartholin’s Duct Cyst: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Complications

What is Bartholin’s Duct Cyst?

Bartholin’s glands are found on both the sides of the vaginal opening and secrete a fluid which is responsible for the lubrication in the vagina. But, sometimes these openings get blocked due to which the fluid blocks up in the bartholin’s glands. This causes a lot of swelling as well as pain and leads to condition known as bartholin’s duct cyst. If proper care is not taken the fluid may develop infection thereby collecting pus around the tissues, also known as an abscess.

Bartholin's Duct Cyst

What are the Problems Which Can Arise from Bartholin’s Glands?

  1. Bartholin’s Duct Cyst

    When the fluid is unable to get drained from the bartholin’s duct it gets collected and develops into a bartholin’s duct cyst. Bartholin’s duct cyst size may differ from person to person. It can be small like a pea or big like the golf ball. Sometimes it can be larger than that and highly dangerous for the body. As time passes the size of the cyst increases, however, the real reason is still not found what causes bartholin’s duct cyst.

  2. Bartholin’s Duct Abscess

    When the fluid in any glands gets infected, it develops pus which is called as an abscess. It can be found in any portion of your body and even in the bartholin’s gland. In a few cases, abscess arises from the bartholin’s duct cyst itself thereby creating a lot of pain for the person. In the course of time, the size of the abscess may increase and become really painful.

    There are different types of bacteria’s which are responsible for the abscess developed from the bartholin’s duct cyst. Some of the common ones include the Escherichia coli and the Staphylococcussp. Any woman can develop an abscess, out of which a few are due to the germs transmitted during sex like the chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

  3. Bartholin’s Gland Cancer

    Bartholin’s gland cancer is quite rare and usually found in the women under the age of 40. If swelling persists, consult the doctor and get a biopsy done to get a clear idea of the problem.

    Bartholin’s duct cyst or abscess is quite a common problem and can be treated well. The treatment depends on the size of the cyst as how much it is infected and painful.

    In some cases, home remedies like sitz bath can do wonders while in others you need to go for the surgical drainage. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics as well to cure the cyst if the size is small enough.

Cases Due to Sexually Transmitted Infections

In case you are suffering from bartholin’s duct cyst or abscess, you need to send a sample for the test. The pus inside your glands is used for testing and finding out the infection. In case the infection is caused due to the sexual activity, your doctor may suggest screening for both the partners as the case may be.

What Causes Bartholin’s Duct Cyst?

As already discussed, the bartholin’s glands are seen on the two sides of the vaginal opening. These glands secrete an oily fluid that lubricates the vagina. When the germs enter the glands, it causes infection and blocks the opening thus resulting into an obstruction.

As time passes, the fluid in the glands creates more pressure thereby resulting into swelling around that area. The pressure increases to such an extent that the skin breaks and the pus get into it. This can be found on any side of the vaginal opening.

The bartholin’s duct cyst may develop in several years but abscess builds very easily and is quite painful. That is why instant treatment has to be given to reduce the bartholin’s duct cyst pain.

According to the doctors, there are a number of causes of developing the bartholin’s duct cyst and most prominently the E. Coli germ or also the bacteria’s transferred during sexual intercourse causes bartholin’s duct cyst.

Signs and Symptoms of Bartholin’s Duct Cyst

If the size of the bartholin’s duct cyst is too small, you may not get the feel but when the size increases it forms a lump on the sides of the vaginal opening and you can easily feel it. The bartholin’s duct cyst is not painful but still it requires treatment as well as care.

With time, the size of the bartholin’s duct cyst may increase with abscess being very painful. Here are some of the signs and symptoms of bartholin’s duct cyst that you might come across.

  • Lump around your vaginal opening which becomes painful is the primary sign of bartholin’s duct cyst.
  • Fever.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse may also be a symptom of bartholin’s duct cyst.
  • Discomfort in sitting and walking.

The bartholin’s duct cyst or abscess will usually develop on any one side of the vaginal opening.

When to Visit a Doctor for Bartholin’s Duct Cyst?

Go for a home remedy like sitz bath if you feel the lump around the vaginal opening. You can use warm water to get some relief. If there is no relief, consult the doctor as they will be able to assist you in a better way and provide the right advice.

In case you are above the age of 40 and are facing this problem you need to hurry to the doctor as this can be serious and turn into cancer as well.

Here are a few questions that you can ask your doctor regarding the bartholin’s duct cyst.

  • What is the reason of the bartholin’s duct cyst?
  • What tests are necessary for bartholin’s duct cyst?
  • Do I need instant treatment for it or the medications will be enough to treat it?
  • How much time the treatment will take and when can I have sex?
  • Are there chances that it can develop again?
  • From where can I get more information on bartholin’s duct cyst or can you provide with few brochures or a website to go through.
  • Can I take some self-measures to get rid of it and are they effective?

Feel free to ask questions that are in your mind so that you are clear with the problem as well as the treatment.

Complications in Bartholin’s Duct Cyst

Below mentioned are the complications of bartholin’s duct cyst:

  • The bartholin’s duct cyst may develop again and have to be treated to get rid of it.
  • In case the abscess is not treated in time, there are chances that the infection may affect other organs of your body and infect the bloodstream as well. This complication is known as septicaemia and can be highly serious as it infects your entire body.
  • In few cases, people with bartholin’s duct cyst may develop a fever which can go up to 103 degrees and more. In such a case you will need instant medical help from an expert who can guide you in the right direction.

Tests to Diagnose Bartholin’s Duct Cyst

In order to find out the reason behind the bartholin’s duct cyst, the doctor can ask a few questions to you.

  • He or she may ask questions about and check your previous medical history.
  • Pelvic examination for testing bartholin’s duct cyst may be recommended.
  • A biopsy is yet another way to check the bartholin’s duct cyst if you are above the age of 40.
  • The sample of the vaginal secretion may be taken for a test or the sample of the cervix is also used.

In case your doctor finds some signs of cancer, you may be referred to the gynaecologist who can provide better advice as they specialise in the reproductive system itself.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 6, 2018

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