How Are Bartholin’s Cysts Or Abscesses Diagnosed
An examination by a doctor can usually diagnose the problem. A Bartholin’s cyst and collection of pus have a typical appearance. No test is usually needed to make the diagnosis.
Sometimes a sample of the pus inside an abscess may be taken . This is sent to the laboratory to find out which germs are causing the infection. This helps the doctors choose the right antibiotics if these are needed.
Is A Bartholin Cyst An Std
A Bartholin cyst is not a sexually transmitted disease . One of the causes of a Bartholin cyst is sexually transmitted infections , but the cyst itself is not considered an STI or STD.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you feel a painful lump in your vaginal area, contact your healthcare provider so they can examine you for infection. Be open about your symptoms and any concerns you have. They will be able to diagnose and treat you after an exam of the area.
Silver Nitrate Gland Ablation
Silver nitrate is a mixture of chemicals sometimes used to burn blood vessels to stop bleeding. A small, solid stick of silver nitrate is used in silver nitrate gland ablation.
A cut is made in the skin surrounding the vagina and the wall of the cyst or abscess. The cyst or abscess is then drained and the stick of silver nitrate is inserted into the empty space left after draining the fluid.
The silver nitrate causes the cyst cavity to form into a small, solid lump. After 2 or 3 days the silver nitrate and cyst remains are removed or may fall out on their own.
It’s possible for the silver nitrate to burn some of the skin of the vulva when it’s first used. One small study reported this occurs in about 1 in 5 of those who receive this treatment.
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What Are The Treatments For A Bartholin Cyst
Treatment for Bartholin cysts depends on the symptoms. If a cyst is small, painless and doesn’t appear infected, it may not need treatment.
If symptoms persist or the cyst grows, then you may be developing an abscess . In severe cases, abscesses may need surgically drained.
Treatment options may include:
- Sitz baths: Sit in a bathtub with 3 to 4 inches of warm water a few times a day for several days. This can provide comfort and promote healing. It could also help the infected cyst to burst and drain on its own.
- Over-the-counter pain medications: Take as directed for pain relief and discomfort.
- Antibiotics: If your cyst becomes infected or tests show you have a sexually transmitted infection , your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics.
- Surgical draining: If your cyst is large and infected, surgery may be done to drain the fluid. A small tube called a catheter will be inserted into the cyst. The catheter is usually left in place for several weeks to allow for complete drainage.
- : The cyst is surgically opened and drained. Then, the surgeon will stitch the edges of the cyst wall to form a permanent open pocket or pouch for continuous drainage. This is often helpful for recurrent Bartholin cysts.
- Removal of the Bartholins gland: In extremely rare cases where treatment is not working, your healthcare provider may surgically remove the Bartholin glands.
Anatomy Physiology And Embryology
The Bartholin’s glands, also called greater vestibular glands, are two pea-sized glands located at the posterior region of the vaginal opening. The glands have an oval shape with an average size of 0.5 cm and are located lateral to the bulbocavernosus muscle. The glands are homologous to the male bulbourethral or Cowper’s glands. The glands are connected to ducts, approximately 2.5 cm in width, situated between the labia minora and the hymenal edge . Through these ducts, the glands drain the mucus into the vaginal vestibule. The ducts open at the 4 and 8 o’clock position at the vaginal vestibule on each side of the vaginal opening . Embryologically, the Bartholin’s glands originate from the urogential sinus and therefore, utilize the external pudendal artery as a blood source . The gland is innervated by the pudendal nerve. The lymphatic drainage of Bartholin’s glands includes superficial inguinal and pelvic nodes.
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Home Remedies For Bartholins Cyst
If your cyst is small, pain-free and not infected, then there are plenty of home remedies that you can try in order to treat it. If however, your symptoms do not clear up within a few days, it is important that you see a doctor for professional medical advice. The following treatments may help treat a small Bartholins cyst without the need for medication or surgery.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil has outstanding antibacterial properties and is one of the most effective and diverse of all essential oils. As with apple cider vinegar, the internet is full of anecdotal evidence from women who have successfully treated their Bartholins cyst with tea tree oil.
It is very important that you dilute your tea tree essential oil in a carrier oil like coconut oil before applying it to your cyst. So long as you dilute the oil, it is unlikely to cause any adverse reactions. When applied topically, it can ease discomfort and irritation and can help kill the bacteria responsible for any infection you may have.
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Side Effects Of Marsupialization Of Bartholin Cyst
Its possible that the pain and discomfort will last for a few days, but it is likely you can resume your normal activities within 2-4 weeks. If prescribed medicine isnt enough or if an infection develops after taking care of business on its own then antibiotics may be necessary before resuming full activity!
Are There Any Other Tests Done To Diagnose Bartholin Cysts
In women older than age 40, healthcare providers may perform a test called a biopsy to rule out cancer of the vulva. During this test, your healthcare provider will remove a small sample of tissue from the cyst and look at it under a microscope.
A Bartholin gland cyst may need to be surgically removed if your healthcare provider feels it may be cancerous. It’s rare for cancer to develop in the Bartholin gland, however, it’s more common if you are over the age of 60.
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Deterrence And Patient Education
The clinician, the nurse, and the pharmacist play a pivotal role in educating patients and their families about their condition. Women should be instructed to observe for any signs of infection, such as foul-smell vaginal discharge or any abnormal bleeding. Women should be encouraged to drink an ample amount of water and ambulate early, as this will help to speed their recovery.
What Comes Out Of A Bartholin Cyst When It Opens
A Bartholin cyst could be filled with pus, mucus, bacteria, blood or other fluid. This discharge can be thick and range in color from light yellow to brown or red. Infected Bartholin cysts could have an unpleasant odor when it ruptures. It is important to keep the area clean and practice good hygiene in the affected area.
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What Treatments Can Get Rid Of A Bartholin Cyst
There are many medical issues that can arise when it comes to the vagina. Many of them are well-known medical concerns, while others might be concerns you might not have heard of. A Bartholin cyst might fall into the latter category for many, overlooked due to how easily it can be for it to be missed. However, it can present its own problems if left untreated especially if it were to get infected. Luckily, there are some treatments that can be done to help get rid of a Bartholin cyst, including CO2 laser treatments for Bartholin cysts. There are also some things that you can even try at home if you have a mild cyst.
Removing The Bartholin’s Gland
Surgery to remove the affected Bartholin’s gland may be recommended if other treatments have not been effective and Bartholin’s cysts or abscesses keep coming back.
This operation is usually carried out under general anaesthetic and takes about an hour to complete. You may need to stay in hospital for 2 or 3 days afterwards.
Risks of this type of surgery include bleeding, bruising and infection of the wound. If the wound does become infected, this can usually be treated with antibiotics prescribed by a GP.
What Does A Bartholin Cyst Look Like
Bartholin cysts will look like round bumps under the skin on the lips of your vagina . Theyre often painless. Some may become red, tender and swollen if an infection occurs. Other Bartholin cysts may look like they are filled with pus or fluid. Bartholin cysts can be as small as a pea or grow as large as a golf ball. The cyst may make one side of your labia appear larger or look lopsided.
Symptoms Of A Bartholins Cyst/abscess
A Bartholins cyst or abscess usually only affects the gland on one side. Bartholins cysts which remain small and do not become infected may not give any symptoms and do not usually need any treatment. Sometimes if the cyst becomes large it may cause discomfort or pain, especially when walking, sitting, or during sex. If an abscess forms it can enlarge quickly, over hours or days, and is usually very painful. The skin over the abscess often becomes red and hot and there may be discharge from it. It may also be associated with feeling unwell and a high temperature.
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Recurrent Huge Left Bartholins Gland Abscess For One Year In A Teenager
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Dodoma, College of Health Sciences, P.O. Box 395, Dodoma, Tanzania
2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Dodoma, College of Health Sciences, P.O. Box 395, Dodoma, Tanzania
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 1464, Mwanza, Tanzania
Bartholins gland abscess is the commonest worldwide reported abscess in gynaecological outpatient clinics it has also been reported that Bartholins gland abscess is three times more common in occurrences compared to Bartholins gland cyst. It is more common in women who are at risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections however, other causes of infection should be investigated to exclude other causes of disease. We present the case of an 18-year-old female patient, a teenager of the reproductive age group, with the recurrent development of huge Bartholins gland abscess in a period of one year. The marsupialization surgical technique of repair was performed successfully. She was discharged home and she was scheduled to visit STIs clinic where she was receiving regular screening for STIs and she was also given health education regarding preventive measures for STIs.
Recurrent Bartholins gland abscess among women of reproductive age is commonly associated with the risk of being in contact with the sexually transmitted polymicrobial infection.
2. Case Presentation
Do Bartholin Cysts Go Away On Their Own
It is common for Bartholin cysts to resolve on their own. Most healthcare providers will recommend sitz baths to manage symptoms. If a cyst drains or bursts on its own, this is OK. Keep the area clean and dry to minimize the spread of infection. Do not squeeze or drain a Bartholin cyst yourself as this can cause infection. Contact your healthcare provider if the cyst becomes painful, infected or lasts several weeks without signs of improvement.
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Home Treatment Options For A Bartholins Abscess
In its early stages, a Bartholins abscess can sometimes be treated at home using a sitz bath. A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath you can give yourself in your bathtub or with a sitz bath kit. Soaking may not cure the abscess, but it can help ease your pain and discomfort.
To treat a Bartholins cyst, which can lead to an abscess, the Mayo Clinic recommends soaking in three or four sitz baths a day, for at least 10 to 15 minutes each.
It may take many days of sitz baths to treat an abscess because the opening of the Bartholins gland is very small, and it may close before drainage is complete.
Other home treatments for cyst care may help the abscess drain and heal on its own. Using a mix of tea tree and castor oil as a topical ointment on the abscess may promote drainage. Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial properties, which may help clear an infection. Castor oil is thought to promote blood circulation in the affected area, which can reduce inflammation.
You can apply the tea tree and castor oil with a piece of gauze. Adding a hot compress on top of the gauze may make this remedy even more effective.
A Small Operation Is Needed In Many Cases
The main aim of the operation is to drain any fluid or pus. This relieves symptoms. In addition, another aim is to minimise the chance of the problem happening again .
A small operation called marsupialisation is the traditional treatment used to treat a Bartholin’s cyst or abscess. It may be done under general anaesthetic. It can also be done under local anaesthetic when the overlying skin is numbed with an injection of local anaesthetic. A small cut is made into the cyst or abscess just inside the entrance to the vagina. Any fluid or pus drains out. The cut is widened to about 1 cm. A few stitches are then used to stitch the inside lining of the cyst to the overlying skin. This then creates a small new permanent opening for fluid to drain out of the gland.
Initially, the opening that is left is like a pouch – hence the name of the operation. However, the opening gradually becomes smaller and soon the opening becomes tiny and not noticeable. This new opening becomes a new tube which allows any fluid that is made by the gland to drain.
A course of antibiotics may be prescribed if pus is drained from an abscess. However, antibiotics are not always needed once the pus has been drained.
As with all operations there is a small chance of problems. For example, infection of the wound occurs in a small number of cases following marsupialisation.
What Causes Bartholin’s Cyst
A Bartholin’s cyst develops when the duct exiting the Bartholin’s gland becomes blocked. The fluid produced by the gland then accumulates, causing the gland to swell and form a cyst. An abscess occurs when a cyst becomes infected.
Bartholin’s abscesses can be caused by any of a number of bacteria. These include bacterial organisms that cause sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea as well as bacteria normally found in the intestinal tract, such as Escherichia coli. It is common for these abscesses to involve more than one type of organism.
How Do I Manage The Symptoms Of A Bartholin Cyst
To manage the symptoms of a Bartholin cyst, at-home remedies like soaking in a warm bath several times a day and taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help with discomfort. Bartholin cysts have a good chance of resolving on their own without medical treatment. If the cyst becomes painful or infected, contact your healthcare provider.
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How To Treat Bartholin’s Cyst
Treatment of a Bartholin’s cyst usually includes sitz baths to promote drainage, and sometimes includes surgical drainage depending on the severity of the symptoms. Doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics.
- For a small Bartholin’s cyst that is not too painful, treatment consists of sitz baths with follow-up if the cyst enlarges or becomes painful.
- Especially with recurrent cysts treatment with antibiotics and sitz baths to cool off the infection is sometimes done. If this clears up the infection, a surgical procedure called a marsupialization can be done later.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bartholin Cysts
Small Bartholin cysts that are not infected usually go unnoticed. As the cyst grows, the cyst feels like a painless lump or mass near the vaginal opening. The swelling is usually on one side of the vaginal opening.
A Bartholin cyst can become infected and the patient may experience the following
- Painful swelling near the vaginal opening
- Difficulty/discomfort while walking or sitting
- Pain during sexual intercourse
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What Is The Best Antibiotic For Pilonidal Cysts
A course of antibiotics is sometimes useful for clearing up pilonidal cyst infections. Antibiotics can also help prevent the development of new infections.
For medications to work well, it’s essential to use the right prescription drug. By finding out what is the best antibiotic for pilonidal cysts, you’ll know how to choose an effective approach to treatment.
Disadvantages Of Removing Bartholin Gland
Removing the Bartholins gland can be risky. If it becomes infected, there are usually antibiotics that your GP will prescribe to help treat this type of wound infection-Removal may lead to bleeding and bruising in some cases but these risks mostly outweigh any benefits associated with having surgery on this area unless you have specific concerns about pain or other symptoms caused by inflammation around it
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Bartholin’s Cyst Exams And Tests
In general, the diagnosis of Bartholin’s cyst or abscess is made by physical examination. In many cases, no additional testing is needed.
Sometimes cultures are taken to determine the type of bacteria causing the infection and to check for sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. These cultures simply involve taking a swab either from the material drained from the abscess or from another area such as the cervix. Results of these tests are not available until about 48 hours later, so they do not change the immediate treatment. However, they may indicate a need for additional treatment with antibiotics.