A Bartholin’s Cyst is a small fluid-filled sac just inside the opening of the vagina. They develop when the Bartholin glands just behind, and either side, of the labia become blocked. The most effective way to identify a Bartholin’s Cyst is to attend regular gynaecological examinations and smear tests.
The Bartholin glands are responsible for secreting the lubricating fluid for sex, sending it down into the vagina. When blocked, they can fill with the fluid and expand to form a cyst. In some cases, it is linked to a sexually transmitted bacterial infection (STI e.g. Chlamydia or Gonorrhea), or other bacterial infections such as Escherichia Coli (E. Coli).
Consult a gynaecologist as soon as you notice swelling in the vaginal region, as failure to do so will result in the cyst becoming an abscess which is extremely painful.
You must arrange an appointment with your gynaecologist immediately.
When the cyst becomes infected, you may notice that the area has become red, swollen, tender and unusually hot. It can also cause a high temperature. In most cases, a Bartholin’s Cyst will change into an abscess. It may be masking an underlying medical condition such as Vulva Cancer.
If the cyst develops into an abscess, your gynaecologist may recommend the following treatments:
If you are concerned, please book an appointment with Queen’s Clinic by phoning us on 020 7935 5540.