What is a Bartholin’s Cyst?
A Bartholin’s cyst is a common condition that two in 10 women may face at some point during their lives. The cysts can range from completely harmless to needing medical attention. If you notice anything different, it’s always important to make an appointment to get checked out.
A Bartholin’s cyst is a cyst that forms on the Bartholin’s glands which are located on each side of the vaginal opening. These glands have a job of keeping the fluid and moisture levels in the vagina normal. When they get blocked, a cyst can form.
What Causes Bartholin’s Cysts?
It’s not known for sure what causes the formation of Bartholin’s cysts, but they tend to occur when the Bartholin’s glands get blocked. This can be because of a sexually transmitted infection, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.
What Age do Bartholin’s Cysts Start to Form?
Bartholin’s cysts can develop in women at any age or stage of life. However, they are most commonly known to begin affecting women starting in their 20’s. Many women who have Bartholin cysts do not even know that they have them.
What are the Symptoms of a Bartholin’s Cyst?
Many women who have been diagnosed with a Bartholin’s cyst have found that they had no symptoms at all. Many women only knew the cyst was there because it grew very large or developed an infection. Symptoms of an infected Bartholin’s cyst can include the following:
- A bump, either painless or painful.
- A difference in the appearance of the labia majora (the skin outside the vagina).
- Pain with walking or other physical activity.
- Pain with sexual intercourse.
- Unusual vaginal discharge.
Bartholin’s cysts are rarely cancerous.
How is a Bartholin’s Cyst Diagnosed?
A Bartholin’s cyst can only be diagnosed by your doctor. He or she will go on the information you provide about the issue, and then do an exam to check out the area. A common practice is to take a sample of your vaginal discharge and view it underneath a microscope to see if you have any infections. If you are over 40, the doctor may choose to do a biopsy to make sure that nothing more serious is present.
What is the Treatment for a Bartholin’s Cyst?
A Bartholin’s cyst can be easily taken care of and removed. This is done using a CO2 laser to remove the cyst without damaging any of the surrounding tissue or the Bartholin’s glands themselves. This outpatient procedure involves a small incision in the area of the cyst, then using a CO2 laser to drain and remove the cyst and stitch up the opening. Since the procedure is minimally invasive, recovery time is short, and the site is easily cared for until completely healed.
For more information about Bartholin’s Cysts or to discuss treatment options for this condition, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ghozland today.