Vaginal cyst is closed tissue pocket (pouch) full of air, different types of fluid or pus located in vaginal external lining (on or in vaginal wall). There are several types of vaginal cyst which could develop because of trauma or injury during childbirth, because of fluid (secretion) collection (buildup from Bartholin glands) or because of benign (non-cancerous) tumors within the vagina. Sometimes vaginal cyst can be infected – in this cases cysts transform into abscess (full of pus).
In general, vaginal cyst does not cause symptoms but it can trigger discomfort. Vaginal cyst size could be pea-sized or grow as large as medium orange.
Vaginal cyst – types
Medical experts identify several types of vaginal cysts including:
Vaginal inclusion cysts (most common),
Bartholin cyst (specific one side lump developed from Bartholin gland),
Gartner duct cyst (formed from a duct, usually appeared during pregnancy),
Endometriosis cyst (abnormal growth of uterine internal lining, endometeial implants),
Benign cystic tumor (made up from few vaginal cysts).
Vaginal inclusion cysts
Vaginal inclusion cyst is very common. Health experts describe it as a result of vaginal injury during childbirth or as a result of vaginal surgery. Once vaginal wall is damaged, it could trigger vaginal inclusion cyst development.
Bartholin glands are small glands located near the opening of the vagina (on each side of vaginal lips or labia). Bartholin cyst is a swollen fluid-filled lump that develops from a blockage of one of Bartholin’s glands. Not infected Bartholin cyst is not painful and has no symptoms (only kind of discomfort). Infected Bartholin cyst can be transformed into abscess in form of lump fulfilled with pus. Bartholin abscess can be inflamed and very painful.
Gartner’s duct cyst
Gartner duct is a vestigial remnant of the mesonephric duct (wolffian duct) in females. This duct is present while a baby is developing in uterus but will most often disappear after birth. If parts of the duct remain, they could collect fluid and develop so called “Gartner’s duct cyst” which is a benign vaginal cyst which developed from Gartner duct on the side walls of the vagina.
Endometriosis is very specific disease characterized by abnormal growth of uterine lining tissue outside of uterus. Typically, endometriosis occurs in the pelvis but it but can appear anywhere in the body including vagina. Actually pieces of endometriosis could appear as small vaginal cysts. Tissue of endometriosis (abnormal spots) always response on hormonal fluctuation and become very painful especially during expected menstrual period timing. Women with vaginal endometriosis often suffer from lower abdominal pain, pain during menstrual period and intercourse, infertility.
Vaginal benign cystic tumor
Benign tumors of the vagina are not common. In most cases small vaginal cysts compose the tumor.
Vaginal cyst – symptoms
Most vaginal cysts are not accompanied by any symptoms. Usually women could feel soft lump in the vaginal wall or protruding from the vagina. Some women mention discomfort during sex or trouble inserting a tampon.
Bartholin cyst commonly can be infected, inflamed, irritated, swollen and painful.
Vaginal cyst – diagnosis
Vaginal cyst diagnosis is pretty easy – it can be identified during ordinary pelvic exam. Sometimes biopsy can be recommended for exclusion of cancerous transformations. In cases of inflammation or abscess, bacteriological tests can be done for infection identification.
Vaginal cyst – treatment
In most cases vaginal cysts should be removed surgically (minor surgeries). Complications due to vaginal cysts are rare.
Vaginal cyst – prognosis
Most often cysts remain small and do not need treatment. After surgical removal most vaginal cysts don’t return. Bartholin cysts could have recurrence.
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.