Bartholin's cyst

A Bartholin's cyst is a bacterial infection of the Bartholin's gland, which is located between the labia minora (inner labia on each side of the vaginal opening).

Overview

A Bartholin's cyst is a bacterial infection of the Bartholin's gland, which is located between the labia minora (inner labia on each side of the vaginal opening). This is indicated by swelling and severe pain. Disinfecting sitz baths or the opening of the collection of pus by a doctor can provide relief.

Symptoms

  • Very painful, reddened swelling or lumps in the vulva area
  • Possibly swollen lymph nodes in the groin
  • Rarely, fever and a general feeling of being unwell

As men don't have these glands, the disease only affects women.

Causes and treatment

Causes

The genital region is naturally inhabited by countless bacterial strains which could cause inflammation of the Bartholin's glands. Excessive use of soap and vaginal deodorants also promotes infection.

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Gynaecological examination, e.g. smear test to identify the bacteria
Possible therapies
  • Sitz baths using disinfecting ingredients
  • Antibiotics
  • Painkillers
  • The doctor can make a small incision to drain the pus, if necessary in the operating theatre

What can I do myself?

If the swelling at the vulva is not painful, the following therapy options can be tried:

  • Take disinfecting sitz baths, e.g. with chamomile or sea salt
  • Don't wear tight and synthetic underwear
  • Use condoms during intercourse
  • Avoid vaginal deodorants and conventional soaps in favour of pH-neutral intimate cleansing products .

When to see a doctor?

  • If the swelling doesn't improve within 1 to 2 days or if it worsens

Synonyms

inflammation of the Bartholin's glands, swollen vulva, Bartholinitis, Bartholin's cyst

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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