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Bartholin Cyst (cont.)

Bartholin's Cyst Symptoms

  • A Bartholin's cyst causes swelling of the labia on one side, near the entrance to the vagina. A cyst is usually not very painful, and significant pain suggests that an abscess has developed. However, large cysts may be painful simply by virtue of their size.
  • A Bartholin's abscess causes significant pain in addition to the swelling. The swollen area is extremely tender and the skin reddened. Walking and sitting may be quite painful. Women with Bartholin's abscesses do not usually have fever. Vaginal discharge may be present, especially if the infection is caused by a sexually transmitted organism.

When to Seek Medical Care

  • See a doctor if any genital lump or mass continues to enlarge or does not improve within a few days of home treatment.
  • If a lump or mass is painful, this suggests that an abscess has developed. It needs to be drained.
  • If other symptoms develop, including vaginal discharge, fever, or vomiting, call the doctor.
  • With Bartholin's cysts and abscesses, the primary reason to seek emergency care is acute pain. Women who are experiencing severe pain or who cannot sit or walk comfortably should see a doctor as soon as possible. Although symptoms such as high fever and abdominal pain usually are not caused by Bartholin's abscesses, seek emergency care if these symptoms do develop.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/1/2014
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