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How should I treat a small, painless Bartholin's cyst?

I believe I have a Bartholin's cyst. Yesterday, I noticed a small, spherical lump near my vaginal opening, just slightly larger than a pea. It is not red or painful. When researching the Bartholin's gland, I came across horror stories about the gland becoming infected and abcessed, requiring marsupialization or catheterization. Naturally, I hope to prevent my cyst from developing into an abcess.

Given that my cyst is small and is not causing me pain, what is the best course of action? Some sources say to take sitz baths and/or apply various solutions to the area to cause the cyst to come to a head and burst. I worry that bursting the cyst will increase the likelihood of infection (since that's what happens with pimples!). Should I be trying to get the cyst to pop at this point?

It may be worth mentioning that I noticed some greyish-white vaginal discharge a few days ago that I am fairly sure was bacterial vaginosis. I used a product called RepHresh vaginal gel to try rebalance my vaginal pH.

What is the best way to prevent the cyst from turning into an abcess? Is it safe to engage in sexual activity at this point?

Thanks so much.

3 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi, sorry you have this to deal with.  First, here's the 411 on Bacterial Vaginosis.  The discharge for that is usually grey as you know and it's usually very thin and watery.  The hallmark sign is the smell though.  It stinks.  Things like intercourse make it worse.  But in general, BV has a tell tale sign of bad smell, foul smell.  Notice anything like that?  Don't put anything in your vagina.  You can clean the outside but things like replenish can actually make it worse and doctors don't recommend it.  The vagina is self cleaning and BV gets better on its own OR you need antibiotics to treat it.  And again, if you aren't stinking, then it's probably just odd discharge.  

Now, on to the cyst.  Ya, the internet sure does try to scare you.  I'm glad this is small!  AND painless!  It could be a batholin's cyst or just a cyst.  Bartholin cysts are fluid filled.  They can get infected as you know.  But you'd typically have pain if it does.  You can try to sit in a sitz bath a couple of times a day (if you have the time)--  this is a bath that is filled a few inches with warm water and it soaks the area.  A doctor can insert a small needle catheter into it and drain it.  If it becomes infected, you would need antibiotics.  But it 'should' be okay.  See your doctor if it doesn't go away or if it begins to give you issues!  good luck
973741 tn?1342342773
How's it going?  Were you able to see a doctor yet?
Thanks for checking in! It actually went away on its own after I took several sitz baths over the course of 48 hours.
973741 tn?1342342773
I'm so glad the sitz baths helped!!!  
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