Doctor's Notes on Bartholin's Cyst
A Bartholin’s cyst is a cyst (fluid-filled sac) that forms in the Bartholin’s gland near the opening of the vagina. These glands normally secrete fluid to lubricate the vagina. When one of these glands becomes blocked, fluid builds up and forms a cyst. A lump or mass near the opening f the vagina is the most common symptom. A Bartholin’s cyst is typically not a serious condition and is almost always benign (does not contain cancer). It is usually found on only one side of the vaginal opening.
In most cases, the cyst is not painful, but if it becomes infected and forms an abscess, a Bartholin’s gland cyst can be quite painful. In this case, other associated symptoms can include redness, warmth, fever, and abnormal vaginal discharge. With an abscess of a Bartholin’s gland cyst, there can also be pain with sexual intercourse and even with normal movements like walking.
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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.