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.
What is a Bartholin Cyst?
A Bartholin cyst is a small cyst that forms within the Bartholin glands, which are small glands that are located near the opening of the vagina on each side. These glands are known for helping the vagina lubricate, and are pretty important – especially if they become blocked, which is what happens in the case of a Bartholin cyst. When the fluid begins to back up when the glands get blocked, it forms a small, hard cyst inside the gland. These cysts can become hard, painful, and uncomfortable.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bartholin Cyst?
While every individual is different, Bartholin cysts often present in the same way – a small, hard lump in the Bartholin gland near the opening of the vagina. This lump may be painful or tender; however, in many cases, there is no pain or tenderness at all, which is why these cysts may go undiagnosed for many years before finally being recognized. For others, an infection may be the reason they are discovered. If this is the case, the infection may present with fever, chills, pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, and discomfort.
How is a Bartholin Cyst Treated?
A Bartholin cyst can be treated in a few ways, and oftentimes can even be resolved at home before an infection occurs – if it becomes infected, it is important to see a medical professional for care.
Mild cases of Bartholin cysts, such as those in which the cyst is small, painless, and does not have any signs of being infected, can often be treated at home. Some things that you can do for these cysts at home include a sitz bath, in which you should sit in a tub with about three or four inches of warm water in it, several times a day. This can help heal the cyst. Another option for at-home treatment is to try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. These medications can help alleviate any pain you may be feeling, and temporarily reduce swelling if there is any.
If your Bartholin cyst is infected, one treatment is run through a course of antibiotics. These powerful medications can fight off the infection of the cyst.
Surgical Draining and Removal
If the cyst is bad enough, it can often warrant a surgical procedure known as surgical drainage. This can help to drain the cyst through the use of a small catheter inserted into the abscess, allowing the cyst to drain in order to heal. This can stay in place for long periods of time to allow it to completely drain to prevent reinfection. Alternatively, once drained, the surgeon may choose to remove the cyst entirely in order to prevent it from becoming infected again.
CO2 Laser Treatment
One treatment that is gaining in popularity is the use of a CO2 laser to remove the cyst. This treatment, unlike surgical procedures, can reduce downtime, pain, and discomfort dramatically, allowing patients to feel more relaxed and at ease during treatment. This procedure allows for the cyst to be completely vaporized, without any harm at all to the Bartholin glands or their function. Because of its ease and reliability, more and more individuals are choosing this type of treatment to aid in the removal of their Bartholin cysts.