Signs Your Bartholin Cyst May Be Infected
A Bartholin cyst is typically a harmless issue that most women may not even be aware of. In fact, your doctor may discover that you have Bartholin’s cysts and inform you, without you never having known previously! However, for some women, you may run into the issue of a Bartholin cyst causing discomfort or pain, or even getting infected. When this happens, it is important to seek out medical care as soon as possible. But how would you know if your Bartholin cyst may be infected, and what can you do about it?
What is a Bartholin Cyst?
A Bartholin cyst is a small cyst that you will find forming in the Bartholin’s glands, which are located on the inside of the labia. These glands are responsible for helping to lubricate the vagina, and oftentimes they get plugged up, which causes fluid buildup and infection. It is estimated that at least 2% of women will have Bartholin’s cysts at some point in their lifetimes. These cysts are often not painful or problematic at all, but there are times when they get infected and can cause issues that require a medical diagnosis.
Signs of a Bartholin Cyst
While medical professionals aren’t quite sure what causes Bartholin’s cysts to form, they often crop up in women in the reproductive age, with the chance of them decreasing as a woman ages and hits menopause. There are several signs to watch out for when you think you may have a Bartholin’s cyst. If you start feeling any of these symptoms, inform your doctor as soon as possible in order to prevent the infection from worsening. Some symptoms of an infected Bartholin’s include:
- Pain and discomfort in the vulva and vaginal areas, especially when walking or running, having sexual intercourse, or even while putting in or taking out a tampon. Pain can also be felt when doing something as simple as wiping after using the bathroom.
- Swelling or large lumps in the area inside the vulva. This can indicate that the cyst has gotten infected.
- Tenderness and pain to the touch
- Redness around the area
- Unusual discharge, which is typically the cyst draining
- The cyst changes in size; usually, it gets bigger if it is infected
- Fever and/or chills
Bartholin’s cysts typically are harmless, benign cysts that don’t cause any problems. However, if you notice any of the above signs, whether or not you know you have a Bartholin’s cyst, it is important to seek medical care and get proper treatment.
How to Treat Infected Bartholin’s Cysts
If your Bartholin’s cyst is infected and you made an appointment to see a doctor, there are a number of things that can be done to help the issue. First, your doctor will likely take a biopsy of the cyst, especially if you are under 40 years old. While these cysts are very rarely cancerous, it is important to have them checked to make sure you are not facing valvular cancer.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for the infection, as well as a sitz bath, which can help to ensure that the infected cyst can heal properly (and help you feel a whole lot better in the meantime, too!). Bartholin’s cysts don’t often require surgery, but if the case is severe enough, this may be recommended.
CO2 Laser Treatment for Bartholin’s Cysts
Another wonderful procedure that has been successful for the treatment of Bartholin’s cysts is the CO2 laser treatment. This effective treatment can help by draining the cyst with the use of a laser, and then vaporizing the abscess. This is typically done as an outpatient procedure and usually takes less than ten minutes to perform with the use of local anesthesia. Most women who have had this treatment have reported very little if any, pain or discomfort.
Would you like to learn more about Bartholin’s cysts, CO2 laser treatments for Bartholin’s cysts, or make an appointment? If so, call the office of Dr. Ghozland today at 310-393-9359!