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Bartholin Cyst causes and symptoms


I had gonorrhea (already treated) and my women health doctor (gynecologist) said it could be a cause of Bartholin cyst. What are Bartholin Cyst causes and symptoms?

ANSWER from experts

It is well known that several vaginal infections could provoke Bartholin cyst development (including gonorrhea and some other sexually transmitted diseases).

Usually the Bartholin cyst develops when the duct exiting the Bartholin’s gland becomes blocked because of several reasons including vaginal infections, injury and/or or chronic inflammation. In normal healthy situation the bartholin gland produce very specific fluid which is moving out through Bartholin duct. During infections, injury and/or local inflammation the fluid produced by the Bartholin gland then accumulates, causing the gland to swell and form a cyst. In most cases Bartholin’s gland cyst is happening only on one side.

Bartholin Cyst causes and symptoms

Infected bartholin cyst (Bartholin abscess) occurs when a cyst becomes fully infected. Sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia, gonorrhea and other bacteria) could be a reason for infected Bartolin cyst.

In most cases the bartholin cyst can form an abscess that will increase in size over several days and could be very painful.

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.

Bartholin Cyst symptoms could be different depending on presence of infection in the cyst.

Uninfected Bartholin cyst causes swelling and/or redness of the labia on one side (near the entrance to the vagina) – a painless lump on one side of the vulva area. The cyst is usually not very painful but big size of cysts can be painful simply by virtue of their size.

Infected Bartholin cyst (abscess) causes significant pain in addition to the redness and swelling. The swollen area is extremely tender. Walking and sitting could be quite painful. Any physical or sexual activity can increase the pain. Women with Bartholin’s abscesses do not usually have fever but it could happen. Vaginal discharge may be present, especially if the infection is caused by a sexually transmitted diseases. Bartholin abscess should be removed as soon as possible.

Best recommendation for women who had Bartholin cyst would be PREVENTION strategy.

Bartholin cyst prevention

  • Insure your safe sex as sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia, gonorrhea and other bacteria) are the main cause of Bartholin cyst;
  • Check if you have vaginal infection (using home screening kits – see above);
  • Keep vagina clean and healthy. Take care of your vaginal hygiene and use special products;
  • Always avoid vaginal odor (vaginal infections).

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