Bartholin’s Cysts – The Rarely Discussed Nightmare

Now, ladies, this may well put you off your cornflakes but I think it needs talking about. If you have ever experienced the misery of Bartholin’s Cysts which then become Bartholin’s abscesses, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

bartholin's cysts can be extremely painful - young woman looking vexed.
Yes – this is one of those delightful gynaecological problems that can appear out of the blue and cause recurrent misery for years.

The Bartholin Glands are two pea-sized glands located slightly posterior and to the left and right of the opening of the vagina. Their function is to secrete mucus to lubricate the vagina. This lubrication may help make sex a little more comfortable for women.

Sometimes, however, these glands can become blocked which results in the formation of a Bartholin’s Cyst.  These cysts can grow in size so that it is actually painful to sit or walk.

Believe it or not, many women don’t even know that these glands exist.  And many cysts are not diagnosed until an examination such as a smear is carried out by a medical professional.  You can have a Bartholin’s cyst for years without it causing you too many problems.

If, however, infection occurs, the result is an incredibly painful Bartholin’s abscess which may require drainage or surgery to get rid of it.

Nobody seems to be entirely sure what causes these cysts – the usual suspects are all there, stress, poor hygiene, bad diet, STIs and, rarely vulval cancer.  For this reason, if you think you may have one you MUST go to your GP to get it checked out.

The peak age for getting these delightful swines is between 20-30 and in theory, once you reach menopause the Bartholin’s Glands are supposed to shrink so that you no longer suffer this problem. Great in theory but since I’m 51, rubbish in practice.

I had an abscess about 10 years ago and have a small Bartholin’s cyst at present so believe me I am speaking from experience here.

Treating a Bartholin’s Cyst

Usually, the first course of action to treat a possibly infected cyst is a course of antibiotics. In my experience this is a rather hit and miss method of treatment and, if the antibiotics cure the problem, there is no guarantee that it will not reappear.

Sitz Baths

At this stage, the home treatment advice tends to be to take over-the-counter painkillers and to take a sitz bath 3-4 times a day.

A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that cleanses the vulval area and can be used for everyday personal hygiene. It can also provide relief from pain or itching in the genital area.

You can give yourself a sitz bath in your bathtub or with a plastic kit that fits over your toilet.

Surgical Options

If an abscess does develop, the methods of treatment are usually drainage by the insertion of a Word catheter or, as I had done, marsupialization.

Marsupialization is the surgical technique of cutting a slit into an abscess or cyst and suturing the edges of the slit to form a continuous surface from the exterior surface to the interior surface of the cyst or abscess – in other words, creating a pouch which allows drainage.

My marsupialization was done as a day surgery appointment and the recovery time was quoted as being 2 weeks.  At least 6 weeks was closer to the mark and, what I was not told at the time, some sensitivity remains due to the scar tissue left behind.

Fear of surgery, particularly ‘down below’ leads many women to seek home cures and there are many sites which discuss the methods which have worked for them.

‘Home Cures’

These are some suggestions but please note that their success is anecdotal and reported on various forum boards.

The Homoeopathic Remedy Silicea 30C

Dose – 5 pellets under the tongue 2 or 3 times a day.

A homeopathic cure for a Bartholin's Cyst - Silicea 30C

Information on the Wisegeek.org website tells us that:-

“Silicea is derived from flint or quartz and is an abundant mineral naturally found in the Earth’s crust. Part of the structural makeup of bone and cartilage, the remedy is present in humans as a trace element. It can be found in connective tissues as well as hair, skin, and nails.

People who use this mineral believe that its cleansing effects make it particularly useful in treating dry skin, nails, or hair. This mineral is sometimes used to improve acne, blemishes, ulcers, boils, inflammation, or generally sickly skin. Infections from abscesses, skin eruptions, glass shards, and splinters may also be treated with it. Some people also use it in hopes of preventing hair loss and dandruff, and to reduce scar tissue visibility.” 

I am currently trying this cure at the moment which I found here.

Silica Complex

Now there is a great deal of confusion on the boards about whether the best cure is Silicea 30c (the homoeopathic remedy) or Silica Complex.  An example of what I mean is HERE and, confusingly, HERE.

Silica Complex is a dietary supplement which usually takes its Silica from Horsetail Extract and is combined with other vitamins and minerals.

These are the kind of tablets referred to.

Silica Complex Tablets - another possible remedy for a Bartholin's Cyst?

These are usually taken to help improve the quality of skin, hair and nails.  This particular tablet contains calcium, magnesium and zinc as well as the Horsetail extract.

Sitz Baths With Epsom Salts

As described above but with the addition of Epsom salts, also recommended for post-partum pain and haemorrhoids.  You can find a recipe HERE

You can also buy a sitz bath which is simply placed over the bowl of the toilet and filled so that you don’t have to undress to have a full bath each time.

Phoebe’s Cure

Hands up, I don’t know who Phoebe is but her ‘cure’ for Bartholin’s cysts is much talked about on the health boards.  It is simply this:-

6oz calamine lotion
1 teaspoon Tea Tree oil
1 teaspoon Witch Hazel

Soak a gauze pad in the solution and press against the cyst for about 30 minutes.

Serrapeptase

Dose: 2 a day on an empty tummy. I found mine on Amazon.

Serrapeptase is derived from the Silk Worm and is claimed to help eliminate inflammatory oedema and swelling by breaking down abnormal fluids and protein and by promoting the absorption of these decomposed products through blood and lymphatic vessels. It could also break down and liquefy mucus secretions and fibrin clots and help antibiotics to focus on infection.

There seems, however, to be insufficient clinical evidence to prove its efficacy in reducing Bartholin’s cysts.

Finally, you might be interested in a book you can download for Kindle entitled Bartholin Cyst Miracle Method.


The book promises to help us learn how many women have cured their Bartholin’s cysts and exactly what they did to treat them in the privacy of their own homes with no doctors or painful surgery. It promises to “reveal the exact method now used by countless women to get rid of their Bartholin’s cysts for good”.

Obviously, I am not a doctor and the first course of action, if you suspect that you have a Bartholin’s cyst, is to see your GP.

It would be remiss of me to suggest that you go off gung-ho and try these without prior discussion with your healthcare provider.

But let’s live in the real world, shall we?

If the provision of gynaecological services were better in the UK and if doctors were a little more sympathetic to problems like this, then the health boards of various forums would be a lot less busy.

The number one response of GPs to any gynae problem seems to be a combination of antibiotics and Canesten.

Women know their own bodies better than any GP but this knowledge does not help them to make themselves heard when it matters most.

I will continue with my antibiotics and Silicea 30c.  I will try sitz baths and add a silica complex supplement to my diet.

Since I had my marsupialization I have had no further problem on that side (right), other than frequent irritation from the scar tissue.  I hope that I don’t have to go through the whole process again on the left!

Bartholin’s cysts and abscesses are incredibly frustrating because there is a reluctance to treat them until the level of discomfort and/or infection is intolerable to the sufferer.

Is it any wonder that many of us, at least those of us who are brave enough to talk about it, are desperately seeking our own cure and would prefer to trust the anecdotal evidence of other women than our overstretched NHS.

Please see your GP before trying any of the supplements listed above.

Update 2018

Since this post was first published in 2016 I have had no further reoccurrences of Bartholin’s Cysts.  If I have a ‘twinge’, I rely on the homoeopathic remedy Silicea 30c and Serrapeptase tablets and if that hasn’t settled matters, go back to my GP for a course of antibiotics.  The marsupialization of my abscess did, for all intents and purposes, work.

Update 2019

I am now under the care of a women’s health physio and I cannot recommend her highly enough.  Prior to reading Me & My Menopausal Vagina by the marvellous Jane Lewis, I did not even know this type of physio existed.

Basically, a women’s health physio treats all disorders affecting the pelvis and pelvic floor. So this would include things such as incontinence, prolapse, pelvic pain and constipation.  There is growing evidence that physiotherapy can alleviate and in many cases cure the symptoms of these.

Why is this important you may wonder?

Because I receive a thorough internal examination by someone who is far more experienced in recognising things like Bartholin’s Cysts and abscesses – and more interested in helping resolve them.

I pay to see her privately and of course, I appreciate that not everyone has the funds to do this, but for years I have had a Simply Health Cash Plan which allows you to claim for the first couple of sessions on your policy.  This is enough to gauge whether you think a women’s health physio will be helpful to you.

Note that you will be examined internally (but discretely and with utmost care) but all the vaginal symptoms you have been wondering about can be diagnosed – for example, vaginal atrophy and lichen sclerosis.

Thanks to my physio (Gilliam McCabe in Cardiff), I have now been re-referred to the gynae department of our local hospital to have my vaginal atrophy examined.  However, were a Bartholin’s Cyst to be diagnosed, I am sure that your chances of seeing a specialist would be dramatically increased by a letter from your women’s health physio.

Earlier this year the gland on the right side appeared to be swollen slightly and it looks as if I was about to get another Bartholin’s cyst.  I was advised to see the GP and received a course of antibiotics which appeared to calm the gland down again.

Thankfully the ‘twinge’ seems to have gone but I have learned that related health conditions seem to affect what goes on down below in general.

One of these is constipation so I have upped my water intake by buying one of those water bottles with a built-in straw which gives you set amounts to drink every two hours. I have also just invested in psyllium husk capsules to soften the stool and also a squatty potty so that evacuation is done in the correct posture.

Stress also seems to play a part in blocking the glands so I would recommend a book on mindful thinking or meditation.

Sleep is vital for coping with these evil little buggers so my recent investments have included new earplugs and a sleep mask which blocks out early morning sunshine.  I am trying to get myself to go to bed earlier but I’m still working on it!

I also use lubricants by Yes.org on a regular basis, their water-based and oil-based lubricants and also their vaginal moisturiser.  I have now been prescribed Ovestin estrogen cream to use twice a week (or as and when as the amount of ‘HRT’ contained in the cream is minuscule.

All of this is important because for years, many of us ignore our vaginas and don’t consider that we need a routine to care for them as we do for any other part of the body.

If you suffer from Bartholin’s cysts, you need to get to know your body to manage the condition. You may find that you start to recognise when the glands are getting blocked (for example it may hurt when you become aroused).  If you know what you are dealing with, it takes a little of the fear away and you are better able to tell your doctor (not ask!) what you need.

The reassurance I get from visiting a women’s health physio is worth her fee a hundred times over.

Self-treatment can and does sometimes work but at any sign of an infection which makes you feel ill, then you must see a doctor.

What has become clear, since writing this post, is that many women are suffering from a Bartholin’s Cyst and yet there doesn’t seem to be any treatment other than antibiotics, catheters or marsupialisation.

Time for a lot more research to be done – don’t you think?

As ever I am happy to answer any questions you may have and if I can’t answer them then I’ll try to find someone who can.

And remember, you are not alone – and I do understand how utterly miserable Bartholin’s Cysts can make you feel and how painful a Bartholin’s Abscess can be.

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113 Comments

  1. Elena
    10 May, 2020 / 8:54 am

    Hi I was reading all over internet trying to inform myself a bit further about this whole thing, It’s my seventh day of having this hard big lump on my left side and it’s not painful it’s just there.
    I don’t know what to do – should I go to the doctor or just wait till it goes away? Also are they always recurring even when they don’t form an abcess? I’ve been reading all of your answers here and I feel so bad about all of you ladies having to face this thing up to ten times in a lifetime and I’m just very stressed out right now because if that’s the case and this goes away, it’s only a matter of time till I get the next one and an abcess and just the thought of it makes me want to faint 🙁 I can’t sleep It’s constantly on my mind

    • linda
      Author
      11 May, 2020 / 12:23 pm

      I think you should see a doctor to check that the lump is a cyst and it definitely is sited around your Bartholin Glands. I am not a doctor as I always remind everyone but there are other things it could be – some sort of prolapse, an ulcer, lots of things. You need a proper medical opinion. I had my cyst for a good year or so before it became an abscess. Cysts can come and go. Try not to stress too much but a bit of positive action and facing ‘the beastie’ will hopefully allay your fears and if it is a cyst then you’ll be on your way to dealing with it.

  2. Taylor
    27 April, 2020 / 11:15 pm

    Hi!

    Unfortunately I had my first Bartholin abscess a little over a month ago. My gyno drained it, put a word catheter in (for a week), and I took antibiotics for a week. I feel much better however I still have a painless bump in the area. Could this be scar tissue? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  3. 24 April, 2020 / 10:54 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, I am please to see you have been free of this for some time now.

    I am currently on my second course of the same antibiotic for a painful abscess I’ve had for a few weeks now. I am really struggling, luckily I am working from home currently and able to take many hot baths for some relief.

    I had a total hysterectomy in 2018 due to recurring cervical cell changes potentially caused by high risk HPV, because of the reason behind my hysterectomy I still have to have smears to test the cells of my vaginal wall and test HPV. My last smear came back with high risk HPV which can be the cause of cell changes internal and external of the vagina. I am incredibly worried that these abscesses and constant itching I experienced are all linked with HPV which can cause VAIN and VIN. My GP doesnt seem worried, hasn’t examined me and prescribed more antibiotics.

    What a mess!

  4. Laura
    17 April, 2020 / 4:10 pm

    Hi Linda! i have found some comfort in your posts about the bartholin cysts! i am currently suffering with one post word catheter only being removed last tuesday! the catheter was initially placed due to the cyst becoming infected beginning of march and an abscess forming (the most awful pain!!!) the cyst had been there for many months before this procedure but the surgeon told me they couldn’t do the catheter until the cyst became bigger… which it did as a result of the abscess. it wasn’t painful before the abscess just a relatively painless bump. i have been to see the gyne dr today who has agreed the reoccurrence of the cyst and said to go back in 2 weeks as it still isn’t big enough for them to repeat the word catheter. i have read a lot about the marsuplization method and can’t help but wonder if it disfigures you down there?! a permanent pouch and stitches etc! i’m 27 worry about how i will look post op. i’m so worried about this cyst becoming a future continual problem. i have done the sitz baths with no luck and have started serrpeptase and silica complex. my question is.. why can’t the duct just be unblocked? finally scar tissue.. i have some harder tissue now where the catheter was which is slightly protruding. does this flatten? become softer over time? i would appreciate any advice please. i don’t want to live with this forever and am getting very anxious about it 🙁

    • linda
      Author
      17 April, 2020 / 5:48 pm

      Hi Laura, speaking from my experience, I did not notice the pouch at all (it’s small) and I had dissolvable stitches. I did have some residual discomfort from the scar tissue for quite some time, however, over the years it has become less noticeable. Mine, like yours, started as a hard lump which then abscessed but it had to get to a certain size before they would operate. I remember coming round to hear the surgeon say that “that was worth doing” as it was apparently the size of a golf ball! Despite the odd rumble and occasional swelling of the glands themselves I have not had another abscess in over 15 years. If you are blighted with a reoccurrence of these nightmares I would seriously consider the marsup. I am sure that what was a relatively new op when I had it has now been refined and perfected. As I always say, I’m not a doctor but you must be firm and ask all the questions you need to – and persist if you don’t get those answers.

  5. Georgette
    14 April, 2020 / 10:10 pm

    I understand what you ladies are going through I am going through the same thing this very moment. I am miserable, I cry feeling like this isn’t going to go away.

  6. Caroline
    14 April, 2020 / 8:42 pm

    Hi Linda,
    I just got marsurplisation three weeks ago and all was going well. But these two days, I’ve been having this thick clear liquid coming out from the new hole that Doc cut for me and it aches so much before the liquid comes out. My stitches are also coming out but the main knot is still holding so causing me itches. I cannot see my doc cos we are on holiday plus lockdown.Can you please share with me how was your post surgery recovery like as I cannot find it anywhere online? Thank you so much.

    • linda
      Author
      14 April, 2020 / 9:06 pm

      Hi Caroline.

      Sorry to hear you’re suffering. Since the liquid is clear, could it be that it is just the abscess continuing to drain? Are you wearing a pad to catch it? I would check to see that it does not become off colour or start to smell which would imply an infection for which you may need antibiotics. When you say your stitches are coming out, were they the dissolvable ones? In which case this could be normal? I had my op a long time ago now and do remember having to wear a pad for a couple of days and feeling discomfort / tenderness for at least 6 weeks. The itching may also be normal as you may now have some scar tissue there. Did they tell you it was OK to bathe to keep the area clean? As I always tell my readers I am not medically qualified so could you telephone your doc’s office and see if they will advise you over the phone? Lockdown or not, if they need to see you I am sure they will.

  7. linda
    Author
    1 April, 2020 / 1:38 pm

    Hi there. My platform is WordPress.org but my blog theme is from a designer called Kotryna Bass. Email me if you’d like specifics.

  8. 31 March, 2020 / 7:15 am

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all. But think about if you added some great images or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this blog could definitely be one of the greatest in its field. Good blog!|

  9. Cali
    2 March, 2020 / 2:19 pm

    I’m crying as I read this because honestly knowing I’m not alone helps me so much. I had a bartholin cyst grow to the size of a softball and burst after a week, then come back and has been for two years. I had a catheter put in and by the end of that week another cyst had formed inside the cyst. My dr. Then cut it in a few places and cauterized it (not sure if that’s marsupialization?) but I’m currently healing from that. Doing my sitz baths and all that good stuff. It’s hard because it’s such a private area and I keep having to skip class and call out of work because of it. I have fears of it coming back and I worry about it which I know makes it worse. I’m just really glad you shared your story and that I’m not alone. Thank you.

    • linda
      Author
      2 March, 2020 / 2:40 pm

      Cali, I’m so sorry to hear you are suffering. I think marsupialisation is different – it’s basically creating a pouch / flap from the skin. Don’t be scared to ask for a second opinion or see someone else if you think what your doctor is doing isn’t working. Be gentle with yourself and, from my experience, whatever time they tell you it will take to heal, double that at the very least.

  10. Sonya
    29 February, 2020 / 4:18 pm

    Thanks for taking time to answer! I talked to my GP again..I wasn’t having any pain or much discomfort from the cyst any more just a little pain while I sit. I let her know and she says if it is not growing or causing pain it’s better to monitor. And after a day I told her, I started having some slight throbbing pain or better to say discomfort and a slight fullness of the vulva. I don’t know if it is psychological or it is because my periods are coming closer. I am so anxious all the time these days: I can not eat and feeling nauseous. I think as soon as my period is over I am going to have a second opinion. I can not sleep at all. All the cases I am reading seems to turn to an abscess and burst relatively quick. I have this swelling for a month now, and sitz bath or other remedies does help only a little. It probably reduced in size ( or so I thought) I can’t see the cyst from outside, only the right side of labia is bigger and the lump is very low, almost at the perineum. It is not superficial, like on the skin either. Feels deep. Is this how it normally is? The images on internet are of really big abscesses and I cannot figure if mine is actually a Bartholins cyst. Worried to death.

    • linda
      Author
      29 February, 2020 / 10:57 pm

      If you are having pain when you sit then I think you need a second opinion, however, it is quite likely that a doctor would want to monitor it. Mine was the size of a pearl and was quite deep until it abscessed. It might be worth seeing a Womens’ Health Physio. It might sound weird but they see more vaginas with problems I think and in some case are actually better equipped to say whether it’s a problem or not. Either way, pain on sitting is not something you should have to put up with. Try not to worry because this IS solvable. You may just need to push harder to get your voice heard x

  11. Bethany
    28 February, 2020 / 6:01 pm

    Wow thank you for sharing, I felt so alone! I was 20 when I went into surgery I can’t remember if he drained it or took it out he did mention I will only have the one. I was so young and just didn’t want to be in pain. Many years later I suffer from extreme vaginal dryness. I can get wet from oral but it doesn’t last long once intercourse begins. I feel like I’m in a night mare like the other one just doesn’t work. My vagina used to be so wet. Any suggestions to naturally cure or should anything to help that I can get from my Dr.

    • linda
      Author
      29 February, 2020 / 10:09 am

      Hi Bethany. You don’t mention your age but vaginal dryness can be linked to menopause as the levels of oestrogen in our bodies drops. I use products by YesYesYes.org (their oil-based lube for sex and their vaginal moisturiser to keep things comfy down there). I also see a Womens’ Health Physio. A really good book is Me & My Menopausal Vagina by Jane Lewis. You can find a review on the blog, along with several posts about menopause symptoms. Perimenopause symptoms can start around age 35 so it’s worth checking out.

  12. D
    24 February, 2020 / 6:28 am

    Thanks for putting all this in one place! Im 34 years old and I suffer from 1 cysts that’s never fully gone away. I’ve had the same one for about 10 years, it’s become absessed a few times but they just give me antibiotics and send me on my miserable way. It’s negatively affected so much of my life, from work to intimacy to general quality of life. I’m wondering if anyone’s had co2 ablation? I’ve been reading studies from Italy for years now and finally found an MD that does it. My only concern is I’ve been reading an MD’s account of how the surgery went, but nothing from the patients perspective. Anyone know about this, I’m looking for a less invasive approach with low recurrence. Thank you so much for giving this devastating issue a platform!!

    • linda
      Author
      24 February, 2020 / 1:37 pm

      Hi there. Have you not considered marsupialization (which I had)? I have not heard of co2 ablation – off to Google it! I will say though that anything invasive may create more problems – e.g sensitive scar tissue. As I always say, not a doctor but always happy to share my experience. I am surprised that they have let you put up with your cyst for 10 years though.

  13. Sonya
    23 February, 2020 / 4:13 pm

    Hi..I have been suffering from a soft lump down there. The symptoms match with BC and my GP said it feels like a small cyst, fluid-filled. I’ve never had one before and to me it neither feels small nor fluid-filled. Before it first appeared I had pain during sex and then I had a lot of pain for 3 days or so. And then the pain subsided and I felt this lump. It wasn’t there before. I also had my pap and pelvic exam after this and it came clear. My GP prescribed only hot compress. That relieved the symptoms a lot, but the cyst/ lump is there, its quite deep so I can not see it, and only a little pain if I press it hard. I feel that it subsided in size, but really slow. It has been a week I am doing hot compress seriously. I am very scared because of “Dr. Google” which says it can be cancer? Can you tell me if a Bartholin cyst can stay there for 3 weeks or more? I don’t have an abscess. We can’t have otc antibiotics in USA and GP said I don’t need one.

    • linda
      Author
      23 February, 2020 / 5:34 pm

      Hi Sonya – yes you certainly can have a cyst for more than 3 weeks. Mine was there for months before it became an abscess and I had surgery. I’m not a doctor but it seems to me that the doctor you saw was unsympathetic and it’s worth seeking a second opinion. I think the chances of it being anything worse (like cancer) are remote but this is why you must see someone qualified in gynaecology and don’t put up with being brush aside. My GP would always prescribe antibiotics as a first line of action, however, I know that the medical establishment takes a different view of antibiotics these days because they are worried about us developing a resistance to them. Your lump isn’t causing you pain so that’s a good thing. I would keep up with the hot compresses but try to see someone else if you can. Try not to worry – and try not to keep pressing / testing it which might make it worse.

  14. Naomi
    17 February, 2020 / 9:25 am

    I’m sat here in tears as I think I’ve got the start of one of these again. I first had one about 3 years ago and I can honestly say it was the most painful thing I’ve experienced. It turned in to an abscess and eventually burst and that’s when I finally got relief.
    I now recognise this feeling of fullness and swelling is the start of one again. I have managed to get a GP appointment this afternoon but this feels me with fear. I’m feel so uncomfortable and embarrassed being examined. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

    • linda
      Author
      17 February, 2020 / 5:42 pm

      How did your doctor’s appointment go? Hopefully they prescribed some antibiotics – very often these are enough to halt the progress of the little swines.

  15. v.
    17 February, 2020 / 8:10 am

    Hey ladies,

    I’ve had mine for the past two years..actually two on the right side now. One is fairly large. I am taking herbal medicine at the moment but am considering having a surgery. I’ve had the cyst drained two or three times. I’ve healed inflammation with sitting in oak tree bark decoction, taking over the counter anti inflammatory medicine and applying anti inflammatory cream. Nonetheless the cysts are still there. It seems they have moved, they don’t seem to be on the Bartholini gland anymore but further up. Has any one of you had the cysts removed? Sometimes they take out the gland, i think it is referred to as extirpation.

    v.

  16. Bobbie
    4 February, 2020 / 6:02 am

    I looked for information for this for years and couldn’t find anything. I am only here to explore women not to let this go. I suffered for years 51 now. In my 30’s a Dr told me it was a small prolapse in my urethra and it was too small to do surgery. So i thought i had to just live with the pain till it got worse. After years of hating myself and being miserable I found a specialist who diagnosed me correctly. Gave me antibiotics and went to excise it a week later and it drained. However the access i had all those years just remained as scar tissue. So it will never go away. and still causes me intermittent pain and i dont like that it is there looks wise either. I am so mad all those years I was told it was something different and it could have been dealt with had I known.

    • linda
      Author
      6 February, 2020 / 12:09 pm

      Hi Bobbie. I’m sorry that you are still suffering. One of the things I wish I had been told when I had my marsupialization is that scar tissue takes time to heal (certainly not the 2 weeks I was told). In fact it heals so slowly that we are talking years rather than weeks. That said, I don’t regret having the surgery despite the occasional niggle. One thing I would mention though is that it may be worth seeing a women’s health physio to check that the irritation is coming from the scar tissue. Sometimes pelvic floor issues can cause similar symptoms I’m told. (Please note, as I always say, I am not medically qualified. I just write from my own experience).

  17. Melissa
    25 January, 2020 / 3:39 am

    Hearing people’s stories and never having this problem before was very informative for me my sister on the other hand told me not to look it up and not to read anything she made me a doctor’s appointment for next Wednesday but I could not wait I needed remedies I needed the feel better I was in so much pain it started on Monday afternoon I just didn’t feel like myself for the past week or two I noticed there was a bump hard like a golf ball so I tried apple cider vinegar already tried taking lots of vitamin C and D vitamin I also took a lot of ibuprofen three or four but on Thursday I just cried my eyes out I was tried of hot compress. So on Friday I have my mom to buy hazel witch and caladry.so remdies call phone method but don’t have herbal tea drop I just have green tea instead of herbal tea I mix it together but cotton ball or gauze pad all day it went drown it white get ready to pop by it self. Went I go see Dr next Wednesday they might tell me not bartholin cyst but I didn’t not try this remedies it hurt be in lot pain at I could take myself but I going still Dr check out so crossed fingers at dosent go on the other side.

    • linda
      Author
      25 January, 2020 / 11:20 am

      I hope the doctor helps you Melissa. My advice would be to see a doctor as soon as you notice a lump like this because sometimes antibiotics will get the cyst to shrink back and stop getting infected so that it proceeds to an abscess. I am not a doctor and this is from my personal experience only. If you start to feel really unwell and run a high temperature then don’t hesitate to visit your emergency room. Also if your doctor doesn’t help on Wednesday ask to see someone else or to be referred to a specialist / gynaecologist. In these situations we women often have to shout to make our voices heard. It is a time to stand up for ourselves and ‘make a fuss’ – even if it’s the last thing we feel like doing.

  18. Emma
    23 January, 2020 / 6:51 pm

    I’m 40 and have my second right now. The first was a few years ago and popped on its own. But this one seems so much deeper and longer, not round and pimple-like. My doctor confirmed it is a BC today and I’m having it drained with a catheter at the hospital tomorrow. It’s hard to find information on recovery of just the drainage procedure. I have small kids and am wondering if I’m going to be in bed all weekend..? Any procedure experiences with local anesthetic would be helpful. Thanks

    • linda
      Author
      25 January, 2020 / 11:21 am

      Emma, I hope things went well with your procedure. I’m sorry I don’t have any experience of a catheter. I am hoping you were given sensible advice by the hospital and that you have friends or family about how can help with the kids while you rest up. Let us know how you are doing x

  19. Em
    15 January, 2020 / 8:43 pm

    I’ve had these cysts my entire adult life. Had them lanced, marsupirlized, treated with antibiotics, and they always came back! I declined surgery. M

    I just had one, golf ball size, hard, red, and sooo painful. It started 2 days ago. Thankfully it just burst because I couldn’t even walk. No fever just pain.

    heres what works for me –

    -Silica spray every 3-4 hours (Silica Spray-30 ml Brand: Schuessler Tissue Salts from Amazon.)
    -Witch Hazel on soft cotton rounds to clean clean area. Can also put one up inside V just a little bit with comfrey herb (See next) in nylon on top of witch hazel and then heating pad on top folded between legs.
    -Dried comfrey herb from Whole Foods. I put a small handful in nylon leg and tie end in knot. I run that under hottest water I can stand, them place it on cyst and get part of it into vagi a. Yeah it feels weird. Then a big maxi pad on my underwear so it doesn’t make a mess. I also open up V a little by pulling back labia and squeeze the nylon and have it drip into vagina a bit before placing. Have to be on your back to do this.
    -Then put a heating pad between my legs, up against the cyst.
    -Lots of hot baths with 1 cup pink salt and then do regimen above again.
    -I do all the above every 2-4 hours.
    -I’ve also used Borion silica, sepia, & cina in the past. I did not have any this time.

    Most recent one that burst today had blood clots in it, which I’ve never witnessed before. I know because it burst and then I went to take a bath with pink salt. It felt smaller so I gently squeezed it because I wanted to make sure it was totally cleared. It did not hurt while I did this!

    After it bursts be sure to clean the area gently with witch Hazel. I even did all the steps above after my bath, just because I want to help it heal and stay open.

    I feel so much better. OMG these things are brutal!

  20. Emily
    7 January, 2020 / 3:34 am

    Hi there, first off thank you for sharing your thoughts and encouraging words as well as advice. I’m currently battling my first Bartholin cyst and have been for the past three and a half weeks. It came on so sudden and it became so swollen, large, and extremely painful. I have never been so miserable. Of course when it was at its worst I was on my period which was a mess. I saw a doctor as soon as I could get in and he confirmed it has become infected he prescribed be with 900mg of clindamicyn daily for 10 days. After a few days of taken it it finally popped. I felt much relief after that! It was starting to clear up but buy the time I finished the course it hadn’t cleared up completely. I thought it would still continue to go away. It didn’t, it came back and became swollen again. It has been leaking as well. I went back to the doctor who thought my dose of antibiotics wasn’t long enough. I got more clindamicyn but taking 1200mg a day for seven days. I have theee days left and I’m seeing my doctor again tomorrow. It has shrunk a lot but it’s still there and it feels kind of like a hard lump. I take two baths a day, apply many warm compresses, and cotton pads soaked in witch hazel. I’ve changed my underwear and panty liners frequently and kept it very clean. I clean out the tub after every bath even. I’m worried that this won’t go away and will continue to come back. Any thoughts or advice are welcome. Anything else I should be doing?

    • linda
      Author
      8 January, 2020 / 4:06 pm

      It sounds like it has burst and is going down but if you start to feel unwell (dizzy, hot, feverish) you must seek medical aid. Don’t forget you can refer yourself to A&E if you need to. I would ask your doc for an emergency referral to your local hospital gynae department if this continues as it sounds as if a specialist needs to see it. Unfortunately, these things appears without any particular reason. It sounds as if you are doing everything you can and I would be wary of doing much more in case you irritate your vulva further. Hope things resolve quickly for you.

  21. Emerald Olmeda
    31 December, 2019 / 11:24 pm

    I’m so scared to try these remedied, what if they don’t work?? I’m 20 years old & as of today I’m experiencing my second cyst. When I saw my first one barley forming I started freaking out thinking I had cancer or a disease or something (I didn’t know what it was until I looked it up.) After going to a gyno, I then found out what it was. They gave me antibiotics which didn’t help AT ALL, I took multiple cyst baths & it still felt like it was getting worse till one day a little boil arose from the cyst which cause excruciating pain where I could only lay on my back with my legs open because of how much it stung. My mother took me to the er that night, I got it drained & it was so painful but I was just glad that I was able to walk normal again w out wanting to basically die. That was in August, it is now December on New Years freaking Eve & I’m here in bed crying cause of the pain from my second cyst. It is the most painful, most uncomfortable thing ever and I hate it!!! I don’t want to go to the er again but that’s looking like the only option at the moment. I’m in so much pain I just wish it could all go away!! ):

    • linda
      Author
      2 January, 2020 / 8:46 pm

      How are you today Emerald? Has the pain subsided? I would see your doctor again as it sounds as if you have an abscess brewing which could make you very poorly. We’re all thinking of you.

  22. Vanessa
    26 October, 2019 / 6:09 pm

    I’ve had 4 Bartholin cysts and 2 of them absceesed. The first one I didn’t know anything about what I was dealing with and it got really bad. I had to get it lanced and was hospitalized for several days. With the other access, I put a Bentonite clay pack on the cyst and surrounding area, about an inch thick and covered it with a cloth. I did that for a few hours and then did a new one overnight. And then several packs the next day for a few hours each. It formed a head and drained painlessly and quickly.

  23. Cherry Cooper
    8 October, 2019 / 9:38 pm

    I have had BC three times and have had each drained and word catheter inserted. I am now schedule for Marsupialization. The Bartholin glands help produce mucus which enables you to enjoy sex, correct? Does Marsupialization cause you not to be able to produce wetness anymore?

  24. Kenz
    19 September, 2019 / 2:56 pm

    I’m 16 and I’m on my 4th day of a Bartholin cyst . It’s maybe just a tad bigger than a marble and causing me such horrible pain to where I’m crying. I can hardly walk or sit and it keeps me awake at night as well .I’ve tried warm sitz baths, tea tree oil, hot compress, Tylenol and have even been prescribed antibiotics but nothing has been working. Since I’ve started the antibiotics it in a way feels worse. I want to avoid any surgeries the best I can but it’s so hard to find good information about this
    problem on the internet.Is there any more options even just to relieve the pain?

    • linda
      Author
      20 September, 2019 / 7:07 pm

      Hi there. The antibiotics will need at least 48 hours to kick in and you may well need a longer course. The one that worked for me was metronizadole. Are you taking the antibiotics exactly as instructed and not missing any? If heat isn’t working you could try a cold compress. Get a pack of frozen peas and wrap it well in a towel so that you don’t burn yourself and see if that works. Also you may need to do the sitz bath 3 times a day. I’m sorry you are suffering. I think you need to go back to your doc asap just to check nothing else is going on. These things do hurt but perhaps if it’s aching more it’s working its way out. If you feel cold and shivery and are running a temperature you must see your doctor ASAP.

  25. Anne Ferrari
    15 September, 2019 / 1:47 am

    Last October in 2018 I had a Bartholin’s cyst that went away with anabiotic’s. Eight days ago another one came on and was the size of a walnut on day two. I took sitz baths, used witch hazel on a cotton ball and a heating pad. Through reading and reading on the Internet I found a girl that used PRID. Ladies for me this was the holy Grail. I put the salve on gauze and placed a good amount directly over the Bartholin’s cyst. Within one hour it opened and drained. I am on antibiotics 3 days now and I still do feel a small lump but I don’t know if that’s just the inflammation that needs to go down? I literally just put the PRID on again to see if anything else will drain. To all the ladies out there that suffer, you’re not alone.

  26. Kelly
    12 September, 2019 / 1:40 am

    Thank you so much for this article. I had NO idea these could happen and was caught completely unaware on my wedding anniversary with a severe pain and lump on my right side. I dealt with the pain for about 5 days, trying sitz baths and then finally laid flat on my back with a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar. I all of sudden felt relief and when I looked at the cotton ball only a small bit of blood was visible. No pus, no blood, nothing but the lump was reduced and no more pain. I was so confused. About 6 days later and I feel that darn twinge and as I was using the restroom noticed blood on the T.P. My cyst is bleeding intermittently. Do others have the cyst drain externally and if so what comes out? Of course a look on the internet is a downward spiral into vulvar cancer. Ugh.

  27. Kerri Berkowitz
    5 September, 2019 / 7:59 am

    Hi everyone, thank you all for sharing — I can relate to everything that’s been shared, as I too have had multiple recurring abscesses.
    Please consider stop eating /drinking dairy.
    Almost two years ago I once again experienced a series of them… 3 of them over the course of 3 months. Up till then I was experiencing almost one per year so I got fed up and decided to try a different approach to medicine. I went to see a Chinese medicine acupuncturist and he suggested I stop eating dairy since it creates a lot of mucus in the body. I’m so very grateful for this advice as I have yet to experience another abscess.
    I strongly encourage anyone experiencing this awful issue to cut out dairy from your diet asap.
    Take good care !!

  28. Kerri Berkowitz
    5 September, 2019 / 7:56 am

    Hi everyone, thank you all for sharing — I can relate to everything that’s been shared, as I too have had multiple recurring abscesses.
    Please consider stop eating /drinking dairy.
    Almost two years ago I once again experienced a series of them… 3 of them over the course of 3 months. Up till then I was experiencing almost one per year so I got fed up and decided to try a different approach to medicine. I went to see a Chinese medicine acupuncturist and he suggested I stop eating dairy since it creates a lot of mucus in the body. I’m so very grateful for this advice as I have yet to experience another abscess.
    Thanks strongly encourage anyone experiencing this awful issue to cut out dairy from your diet asap.
    Take good care !!

  29. Allison Hall
    12 August, 2019 / 2:52 am

    I’m in the US and NOBODY talks about this. I first got my BC at age 17; I’m now 37. 20 F***ing years!!! I had the marsupial surging when I was 18. When I get flare ups I can drain the BC o my own. I’m sitting in a sitz bath as I type this. I agree this has messed with my self confidence and wanting to be intimate with someone. It took me awhile to get comfortable. My husband has been through it with me. Very understanding. To all the woman that feel or felt alone you are not.

    • linda
      Author
      12 August, 2019 / 4:01 pm

      So true. The first time I found out about them was when I had one. They are no joke.

  30. Cat
    31 July, 2019 / 4:38 pm

    Thank you for this post! I’m currently on my 3 cyst. The. 1st one happened in January, it swelled up so bad but it went away on its own. The 2nd one happened in May and it was so large and uncomfortable that i went to my gyn to make sure it was nothing cancerous or serious. My doctor told me it was normal and she offered to drain it but it could also go away on its own it I could bare the pain. The thought of getting it drained terrified me so I resisted the pain until it got super small and I forgot about it. It was all good until that same small cyst I forgot about blew up to the size of a gulf ball in the matter of 24 hrs and I was screaming from the pain! I had never experienced a pain so strong in my life, I’m 26 and i don’t have any children, so childbirth is still not in the picture. But anyways I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t pee. I was so swollen. My boyfriend took me to an urgent care and they said they could drain it but that i should go the the ER instead because a specialist could come down to see me. So that seemed fairly honest of him so we went to the ER. I was examined by 7 doctors and they were all surprised at how enormous the cyst was. Two of them were gyn drs two females, they hurt me so bad while examining me and after 5 hours of waiting they decided to not drain it and to send me home with antibiotics. I was so upset. Only antibiotics and Motrin?! I went home and started the meds right away but the next day I woke up. Even worse! This time my boyfriend took me to another hospital and the gyn drs at the ER were so gentle and reassured me that I would feel better after they drained the cyst with the catheter. The procedure was traumatizing though, I was on very strong pain killers but the local anesthesia in the area was horrific. They sent me home with more antibiotics and pain killers and I followed up with my gyn dr in 10 days. The catheter was uncomfortable, the incision stung like hell when I had to pee, I work in an office so I had to go back to work after 3 days and I opted for using a small cup to bring with me to the bathroom. I filled it with warm water and rinsed myself every time I had to go to relieve the sting a little. I was feeling so much better in a week. My dr took out the catheter and everything seemed better. I waited another week to have intercourse because it still felt tender and just 3 weeks later here I am with yet another cyst this time on my left side. I feel like intercourse made me clogged again. I’m so depressed. I had a panic attack on my way to work between the despair of getting another cyst from hell and the excruciating pain. I turned around and came back home. I took some ibuprofen and Tylenol left over from my previous cyst and I must say this time around I’ve been able to handle the pain a little better. I had a very bad fever all day but that went away, I’m taking some antibiotics and I have a drs appt tomorrow as a follow up from my previous cyst, so my dr will have a wonderful surprise when she sees the gulf ball I have on my left side. Ugh. I honestly am trying to have it go away on its own, I’m doing the warm compresses and tea tree oil and well as some sitz baths since the pain is a little more tolerable, I don’t want to go through the draining with a catheter process again. I have a question though, when it drains….where does it come out of? I’ve been a little scared to check myself down there because of all the swelling but is
    There a specific area where I’m supposed to put the tea tree oil or I’m also willing to try the phoebes treatment, I’m just puzzled to what area specifically it goes on to…can someone please help ? Thank you!!!

    • linda
      Author
      31 July, 2019 / 5:08 pm

      Hi Cat – I’m so sorry to hear your experience. I am unsure why nobody has suggested marsupialisation instead of draining with a catheter which sounds a bit old fashioned these days. I think you should have waited much longer than 3 weeks before having sex though just in case you introduced any kind of infection to the area. Nobody seems to know why we get these things but I wonder if there is another specialist you could be referred to? In the meantime I would try regular sitz baths (you can buy one cheaply on Amazon) with some epsom salts or just warm water but I don’t think I would blast the cyst with tea tree or anything really astringent since you are recovering from the catheter. Your boyfriend is going to have to wait as it is more important that you heal properly.

  31. Miranda
    27 July, 2019 / 7:34 am

    Thanks for your update! I think you are right about the factors like getting enough sleep and stress and intestinal flora. Because thats exactly where i was coping with at the time when i got the cysts. These things in total affect the immunesystem. Also I read that scientifically a connection with the intestinal flora to something else I’m coping with: rosacea. Now I’ taking probiotics to support the flora and immunesystem, skip milkproducts and lower the sugar intake. I already see change with the rosacea and now i hope i can prevent this cyst too! Are there more readers who are trying this too?

  32. Bryanna
    25 July, 2019 / 12:46 am

    I’m so distrought by how little info there is on what to do.
    I’m so uncomfortable talking about this but I feel so comfortable talking about my experience on here.
    I’m 26 years old, 27 in November, no kids& not married- I got my first one back in Janurary of 2019, I discovered it on my left side after cleaning myself in the shower. I didn’t notice any tenderness until actually touching it. Naturally I freaked out and instantly started to try and pop it any way possible because it was the size of a marble, and randomly after a few minutes of messing with it it ruptured internally, no pus came out, There was no absess or boil or (pimple type) head to it at all, it just went from a marble to compeletly gone within 10 minutes ago finding it. I have had the same partner for 5 years and hadn’t had sex for a month already due to realrionship issues, & finding the cyst occured the day after masturbation.. I did research and discovered what it was.. it was the only thing that linked and made sense.
    It went away and I hadn’t had an issue since, until the first week of June 2019 it came back.. this time since the first one I have been single since the end of January, and still have not had any new partners.. also again after masturbation from the previous night. ( I’m extremely hygenic btw I take showers daily, And the shower is typically when I have my alone timee, so also extremely clean) At this point I’m convinced I should never masturbate ever again. And did the same thing I originally did the first time where I tried to pop it to get it to rupture. It went away again for a day but came back a few days later. I decided to make an appointment for Planned Parenthood since I don’t have insurance nor the money for it, but couldn’t get in until the following week. Randomly it went away for a day and came back another day or two after. At this point I’ve had three back to back within 1 week and half. They start as a pea when I notice them and quicy become a marble size after an hour of catching it. I discovered the witch hazel and tea tree oil methods where I kept that on a cotton pad for a full day which probably wasn’t smart. The cyst went away the day of my appointment (of course) but I was extremely raw and had three little tears from being raw. They were so nice but almost clueless about what I was experiencing. She was very understanding tho, and told me to actually not do the tea tree or witch hazel since it’s an estringent (I don’t think I’ll listen, I’ll just not leave it on as long). she said I looked really good and was extremely healthy, I did a PAP and testing just in case of anything from my ex but Im not worried about STIs, Rather I’m more worried about it being cancerous, but she reassured me I looked perfectly healthy other than being irritated from the rememdy, she didn’t see anything abnormal. After my appointment I was compeletly fine & I continued also with sit baths and I thought I was in the clear I felt great. I took extra precaution I changed my underwear material, I eat extremely healthy and only drink water. I have lost 50 lbs total since my break up (healthy- I was 189 lbs now 139) I do yoga and take time for myself. I do stress due to my ex screwing up my life but am the most healthiest than I have ever been, and don’t have high blood pressure. I haven’t had sex in over 7 months. Yet seeing the doctor at planned Parenthood in the middle of June, my period came last week and it’s July 24th, the end of my period it came back about 2.5 days ago. I don’t wear tampons because they extremely uncomfortable and cause my cramps to highten so I wear pads. At this point I think that’s why I came back because I have obtained from everything out of fear. I have been planning a trip to connect with my guy best friend (benefits) and this is weekend for the trip. & At this point now scared to even getting aroused which could cause more blockage. I don’t understand why now, this last month has been horrible with this cyst just playing with my emotions and progress of progression of coming out of depression. I’ve been doing everything right as a woman trying to take care of my body and mental health trying to pull myself out of the abyss of depression and this has to happen to me shoving me deeper in. I would say I am fortunate it has never once became and absess or boil or a golf ball or had sepsis. I constantly deal with extreme nausea on a daily basis for the last 5 years, the last few days have been a little intense vs the last few weeks, I have woken up in a sweat but usually due to my nausea that wakes me up any way in the early morning (5am-7am). So it’s hard for me to figure out if this has made my nausea worse. I donate plasma as well regularly and they do blood tests as well which also informs me if anything changes with my blood which nothing has.
    I’m crying as I write this. I’m just mortified and want to move on and be happy and if it’s not one thing it’s another.

    • linda
      Author
      25 July, 2019 / 2:28 pm

      Hi Bryanna

      You have been through the mill, haven’t you! Firstly I’m a little concerned about your mentioning nausea. Have you had this checked out – do you think that it is caused by your anxiety? In terms of masturbation, I honestly don’t think that’s the cause and, to me (again with the usual caveat that I am NOT medically qualified), keeping sexually active may well unblock, not block the gland. Whilst of course I understand that all (well, most) of us need regular sex, I get the sense that you feel there is something wrong if you don’t have a sexual partner. There absolutely is not and rather than get yourself in a state about the guy with benefits, I would take some time out to heal both in terms of your body but also from your last relationship. Also, I think you need a second opinion about your gynae situation. It’s common in my experience for us Bartholin’s sufferers to know that one is brewing without there being anything for a doctor to see. You just know. When that happens to me, my doc gives me a short course of antibiotics to see it off which generally works. Not ideal, I know. I would cut back on the witch hazel and tea tree oil if they are giving you tears and in fact I wouldn’t ‘overwash’ the area to make everything even more sensitive. But I do think you need to take time out and to give yourself a break. It’s easy to be terrified by these darn things but remind yourself that very often your body will heal without surgical intervention. I struggle with that belief myself but you know it is true. Why not keep a diary of your symptoms too and anything you’re doing to treat it. Add in how you are feeling, what you’re eating, even what soap powder you are using for your laundry and see if there is any sort of pattern or trigger for you. Stress is definitely my number one trigger and, I suspect, it may be yours too.

  33. Miranda
    3 July, 2019 / 11:28 am

    Hi there! Thanks very much for all this info. I’m gonna try the Silicea and Serrapeptase too. I have my secknd cyste. First one I hadnt got a clue and thought it was my fault, thinking about different reasons I got it: wearing a thong, getting a wax or didnt pee right after sex etc. This week I got a second one, very heavy, very painful experience at the hospital and got a balloon drain. Now I’m reading about it more and it quite upsets me that it can come back and that its still not clear whst the exact reasons can be and what are the do’s and don’ts. This article is very helpful, thnx. I also found a video from dr Robert Morse. He’s talking about the lymph system and kidney. This also made me thinking. This is the link (forward to 50:00 min)

  34. Vivi
    13 April, 2019 / 3:20 am

    Hello. What made my cyst burst in only a few hours was to put a thin slice of fresh garlic over it. It stings for about 15mins. Be brave. It makes it burst like a wonder. Mine was getting big real fast. I’m doing vinegar and salt sitz.

  35. Tanya
    15 March, 2019 / 3:17 pm

    I was having a feeling of pressure on my lady parts, so I went to the GYN. they found a 1 centimeter lump. 3 months later I felt like my “lips down there” we’re rubbing together more noticeably. went back to Dr. And it had grown to 2-1/2 almost 3 centimeters. I have no pain from it, but I felt like it was becoming more firm. I’ve tried Phobies method and now it just burns like crazy down there. It did soften a little though. Oh, and I did sits bath with Epsom salt. I’m just afraid it’s going to become painful if I don’t do something now. But what if all I’m doing makes it worse. Does it need to get to the point of pain from abscess to pop and drain? Should I keep treating it, or should I just leave it alone. I mean I’ve had a lump for 3 months. I’d think if I’ve had it that long it must be draining a little somehow or it would be huge. Please someone give me advise.

    • linda
      Author
      16 March, 2019 / 10:51 am

      It does sound like a cyst but I suspect that it won’t be treated unless it turns into an abscess. At this stage there is probably nothing to drain. Have you been back to the GYN? I would leave it alone unless it is painful because you may be irritating your vulval skin. Have you been checked for other skin conditions such as Lichen Sclerosis where you get raised patches of white skin? I would definitely return the GYN and ask for another check – you might need to be quite firm with them. Have you had antibiotics to take in case on infection also? If you are in the UK you can visit a sexual health or GUM clinic without a referral and may get a more sensible answer. If you leave it alone you may find it goes away of its own accord. I am not a doctor, however, I do think you need another check.

      • Tanya
        17 March, 2019 / 2:44 am

        I’m in the USA. I’ve been Gyn twice now checking on it. I plan another visit to see what other treatment options there are. My Gyn is quite old and I trust he knows what it is for sure. I just find it odd that most of what I’ve read from women is it seems to happen quickly within days. I’ve had this for months. The Epsom salt has really softened it and I have far less rubbing down there.
        I’m kind of nervous to have sex because if that’s the gland that lubricates the vagina, won’t it fill up with the mucus even more during sex because it is blocked. I don’t want it to grow larger. Am I correct in thinking this?
        Thanks for your advise.

        • linda
          Author
          19 March, 2019 / 2:33 pm

          I am not medically qualified but, from my recent experience with a Women’s Health Physio, I think that keeping circulation going to the area would be beneficial and more likely to unblock the gland rather than block it. When you say it happens quickly for some women, I suspect they are referring to the move from cyst to abscess, where the cyst becomes infected and there is pus. I would continue having sex unless it is causing you pain and the cyst becomes irritated. Again, you really need a gynae’s opinion on that.

  36. Jen
    6 February, 2019 / 9:34 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if it is possible to have a Bartholin Cyst that causes discomfort and yet not be able to actually see a cyst in that area. Maybe my (left) Bartholin gland is infected or obstructed, but no cyst has grown or the cyst is small. If I wear undies or clothes that are fitting in any way (ie: leggings), it really hurts. I have had a LOT of tenderness on the left side and first I tried wearing looser underwear, then looser pants, and for a while now, I have finally stopped wearing underwear because I can’t stand the discomfort. I wear a nightgown to sleep in and that helps a lot but when I wear pants again during the day (even loose pants), the pressure on that area when I sit or if the pants touch the area makes it painful and it worsens over the course of the day. I should add that there is no sign of anything on my skin and I don’t feel any lump. When I touch the area, it just feels very tender. This has been going on for over a year. Also, I had my normal pelvic exam at my GP’s office last year with Pap smear and that was normal. When I was there, I told my doctor about it and asked her if it could be a lymph node but she said the lymph nodes seem fine. I would love to hear back! I really need advice. Thanks so much!

    • linda
      Author
      6 February, 2019 / 9:47 pm

      Hi Jen – I’m no doctor but that sounds like vulvodynia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulvodynia. Have you asked also about vaginal atrophy? You don’t mention your age but if you are perimenopausal or menopausal that may be a factor. I recommend you read Jane Lewis’ “Me & My Menopausal Vagina” which has some great advice even if you aren’t menopausal. Ask your GP about these conditions and see what they say. It may be a cyst brewing but it’s been going on for quite a while.

  37. Max
    14 January, 2019 / 3:10 am

    I suffered with a Bartholin Cyst for 2 years . First time I had it , I went to the hospital and they drain it and used a catheter . However, it did not drain fully and continued reoccurring . Every time it popped up I would suffer in pain and tried all the Natural remedies which would eventually work after a few days of suffering,but nothing permanent – the cyst continued to reoccurr every few months . Mine would be extremely painful , large , and debilitating, but I was afraid of getting a Marsupiliazation due to the stories I read on internet message boards. Finally , I had one that was just too painful and I could not move and was in tears , my boyfriend took me to the hospital and the doctor performed a marsupialization- Thank goodness ! I wish I would have gotten it sooner! It has been two years since I had one and I am so grateful . I would not wish an infected batholin cyst on my worse enemy. This story is just to share that Marsupilations are successful and so worth it… I am a huge natural remedy advocate, and tried everything for 2 years , but in this case I recommend getting the procedure done if youre experience a reoccurring and painful cyst. Hope this message helps someone who is unsure on what to do and needs advice!!!

  38. Trice P
    8 January, 2019 / 8:04 pm

    This is my very first one in my life and I’m 47 I have my appt in a few hours with my OBGYN. but when I woke up this am it had began to leak so I put witch hazel on a gauze and keep switching it out until I get to the Dr and it actually is beginning to feel and look better, I’m still going to the Dr but I feel like wth didn’t I use witch hazel in the 1st freaking place , but I also know I need to change my diet because it’s poor . Any recommendations on what kind of foods I should eat more of to prevent this from happening again ?

    • linda
      Author
      8 January, 2019 / 9:06 pm

      I’m glad your cyst is on the way out but I’ve not yet come across anything that refers to a link with diet. I have read that disease cannot flourish in an alkaline body but whether that is true I don’t know. Diets high in acid forming foods are said to cause inflammation. Could you consult a qualified nutritionist?

  39. Kayleigh
    5 January, 2019 / 8:05 pm

    **LADIES PLEASE READ**
    Hi, I’ve just started to develop my fourth bartholin cyst in about 10 years.
    I’m not sure if you’re aware but there’s a really quick and painless way to get rid of them (well it works for me).
    Get magnesium sulphate paste and apply to the cyst. Cover with something like a cotton pad or gauze and leave over night. It helps to bring the pus to the surface.
    I also have multiple hot baths (as hot as I can stand) through the day.
    Keep repeating the paste and hot baths.
    This method has worked for me EVERY time so far and the cyst bursts on its own WITHIN 24 HOURS!!!
    I really hope this helps someone as much as it has helped me.
    As for the cause, I’m pretty sure mine happen when I’m really stressed, and also if my knickers have pinched that area in the night when I’ve been asleep…Sorry tmi.

    • linda
      Author
      6 January, 2019 / 10:35 am

      Hi Kayleigh – thanks for sharing. I think what you’ve discovered may be ‘Phoebe’s cure’ referred to in my post and it’s great to hear that something works! I’d suggest leaving your underwear off at night though to ‘air’ the area. Sometimes I suspect that wearing knicker liners or pads constantly might be responsible for blocking the glands too.

  40. Vee
    30 November, 2018 / 7:04 am

    I’m 29 and have had 6 bartholin cyst in the last 10 years. It’s awful and traumatizing. I had marsupialization twice in two different countries. What makes it more frustrating is that I am a nurse but I couldnt help myself. Now, I’m having another one at the moment and still trying to do sitz bath as I am hoping it will help. *fingers crossed* I dont know how will antibiotic help if the cyst is not infected. I’m pretty sure it’s not infected but it’s getting painful. Last time I had a word catheter put on it was the most traumatizing day of my life bec the GP has put me on local anesthetics plus nitro inhaler but she didnt even wait for it to take in effect and incised me straight away. I’ve asked one gyne about the reason why I keep on having this and she just said that the only reason is that we’re “unlucky”. 🙁 I know this thoughts is not helping me now but thank you for this article.

    • linda
      Author
      30 November, 2018 / 7:49 am

      I’m so sorry to hear what you have gone through. I think the truth is that the medical professional really does not know what causes these nightmares.

      • Zie
        20 December, 2018 / 8:49 pm

        HI LADIES THANK YOU FOR THIS I’M HAVING MY SECOND 1 THIS YEAR THESE ARE A NIGHTMARE I’M ABOUT TO GO ON VACATION WITH MY BOYFRIEND AND IT HERE AND PAINFUL I FEEL LIKE CRYING.

        • linda
          Author
          20 December, 2018 / 9:33 pm

          Have you seen your doctor? Catch it quick with some antibiotics?

  41. Shen
    20 November, 2018 / 11:02 pm

    Thanks a lot for this article, it is so helpful! I am 22 and been dealing with these for 3 years now.
    Last year in December I got mine drained surgically at the ER, and a word catheter was inserted. Never got one for 8 months, I thought that was the end of it. Then I got one again in August, one in September, and I’m currently suffering from a new one, which is why I ended up here. It is still crazy how there seems to be no research done on the subject, but I have witnessed the growth in information available online from 2015 to now, so at least we have some other sources of information haha.
    I’m seeing my gynec in January and I am hoping to get a marsupialization done. Since you had one done too, I wanted to ask: did you have to be cyst-free when the procedure was done?
    Also, how effective was the silica complex compared to silica 30c? Sitz baths have been useless to me, and hot compresses with tea tree and witch hazel have not helped much either, so I am looking for some other home remedies lol.
    Thanks again!

    • linda
      Author
      21 November, 2018 / 10:58 am

      Silica Complex will help hair, skin and nails so it’s a good general supplement to take. I take the Silica 30c (the homeopathic remedy) – 6 pillules under the tongue is the starting dose. If I feel any ‘rumblings’, this is what I take, together with Serrapeptase in the morning before eating. Now I have no idea if either of these actually work but they feel as if they do. You don’t have to be cyst free for the marsupialization as far as I’m aware.

  42. Christi
    1 November, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    Is it safe to have sex as long as its not painful and small? Mine is about the size of a marble.

    • linda
      Author
      1 November, 2018 / 8:24 pm

      I did to be honest. I think it’s not a problem if the cyst isn’t infected and has become an abscess. If it doesn’t cause you any pain I wouldn’t worry too much.

  43. Melissa
    30 October, 2018 / 7:38 pm

    Hi, It’s so hard to talk about this subject, I’m 24 years old and I’m currently going through my third bartholyn cyst, I went to the gynaecologist for the 3 of them because I was in so much pain I couldn’t even walk, in the first two I got it drained and they put a tube for 2 weeks, but on this one since it’s smaller the doctor gave me antibiotics which I feel is a longer process of pain, because with the surgery the pain goes as soon as they open the cyst. I’ve been with antibiotics for a week now and I still have it, it doesn’t hurt so much (it might be because of all the pain killers) but it’s still there, I’m frustrated, Depressed, I don’t wish this to anyone. I recently purchased silica pills, I’m taking 3 per day, today is my second day plus antibiotics and warm baths. Let’s see if it goes away.

    • linda
      Author
      30 October, 2018 / 7:42 pm

      Hi Melissa I am so sorry you are going through this. It’s probably of little consolation but you are not alone in dealing with these horrible little suckers. The antibiotic I was given was metronidazole – quite a strong one (and you mustn’t drink any alcohol when you take it). If you’ve been given just a broad spectrum one it might not be enough. Be careful not to take too many painkillers or mix the types. I have read about good results from serrapeptase (you can find them on Amazon). As usual this is all anecdotal and not medically researched but it might be worth a try. A sitz bath may help you to give the area a good soak too.

  44. Dinah
    22 October, 2018 / 4:51 pm

    I had the first Bartholin Cyst on my right and had marsupialiazation done 3 months ago. I had the second on the left side and had marsupialization done last Monday. I just hope and pray this would be the last and hopefully it will not recur. By the way, is there any prevention or supplement to take from preventing recurrence. Thanks

    • linda
      Author
      22 October, 2018 / 5:11 pm

      Serrapeptase supplement is the one I have read some ladies have had success with but there is no clinically researched medication other than antibiotics I believe. As you know I’m not a Dr and lots of the reports I read are anecdotal and what works for one may not work for another. I have everything crossed for you that your cysts won’t reoccur.

  45. DeeDee
    22 October, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    I had one cut and drained 10 + years ago but the scar has been a constant issue. It’s become more like a deep scared fissure. Constantly irritated for any issue. I have to bath several times a day to keep it from being itchy and even then it not a guarantee that it will ever heal.
    It feels stretched if sex is not lubricated and will bleed from the irritation of sex, wiping, and itching.
    At this point it has split open and rehealed a hundred times and now the area and looks like a side vagina. I’m thinking of asking the doctor to sew it together again.
    It’s been checked and I’ve been told over and over again that it’s not infected but it’s such a daily problem for me when the issue starts.

    • linda
      Author
      22 October, 2018 / 2:31 pm

      You poor thing. It definitely sounds as if it needs restitching and you need a second opinion from someone who knows what they’re doing. You should not be going through this. My scar site is still occasionally irritable too.

  46. Catie
    5 October, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    I have had abscesses on and off for the past 7 years – first one at 35 years old. I’ve had it drained twice and had the word catheter, but theyve still come back. Finally saw a doctor yesterday who actually discussed long term solutions, rather than just antibiotics and off you go, come back if it gets worse. So thin it that maybe it will be marsupilization for me. I need something doing, can’t keep on like this.

    • linda
      Author
      6 October, 2018 / 9:31 am

      I had my worse one at around that age too. Mine hasn’t come back after the marsupialisation although I have had a few ‘rumblings’ which have been stopped in their tracks by antibiotics – usually Metronidazole – which is the really strong one that you mustn’t have any alcohol with or it will make you sick. I do think you have to push your doctors to get them to take action.

  47. Marcie
    4 October, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    I’m 23 and think I’m currently dealing with my first one, or at least my first bad one. About a year ago I noticed one side of vulva was slightly hard and swollen, but within a few days it went away painlessly. Now, not only is one side (the same side) hard and a bit swollen, but it hurts when I sit certain ways and when I walk. I have a very uneasy stomach so reading up on them has made the whole thing way more uncomfortable then it already is and I’m just ready for it to go away. My emotions have been through the roof, too! I’m uncomfortable and crying and honestly a little terrified of it popping on its own because I don’t know how to handle that but I’m also terrified of going to the doctor over it because the procedure I’ve seen explained seems pretty intimidating. I’m probably going to go to the store and try out Sophie’s cure when I get off work today. I’ve bathed the past two nights with Epsom salts and that hasn’t seemed to help at all either. I just want someone to tell me it’ll all be alright at this point

    • linda
      Author
      4 October, 2018 / 8:44 pm

      I would go and see your doctor. It is likely that, if surgery or a catheter is needed that would be done in hospital. It is important that you get it checked to ensure that it is not infected which can make you feel very poorly. If you have an upset stomach, are running a temperature or are feeling shivery then that might be the case. It’s possible that it isn’t a bartholin’s cyst so you really need to know what you are dealing with rather than just relying on home remedies at this stage. These things are very common – they are just not talked about enough – so please try to relax a little but seek proper medical care to put your mind at rest.

  48. Alexis
    2 October, 2018 / 1:06 am

    I’m 24 and have had a reoccurring cyst since for 5 years now. The cyst become an abscess 4 times. I had it lanced with a word catheter, but it returned. On the 3rd cyst my doctor recommended marsupialisation, which I agreed to. I could not exercise or have intercourse for 5 weeks, which I followed. I changed my diet to eating really healthy and drinking plenty of water. I had my surgery in August 2018 & felt great, but couldn’t walk for long periods of time until after 5 weeks. It’s now October 2018 and I saw the cyst returned & has now became an abscess. Very upsetting & the home remedies don’t seem to help me. Hopefully you will have more luck with the marsupialisation.

    • linda
      Author
      2 October, 2018 / 10:11 am

      I am so sorry to hear this. Unless you’ve had one of these things you have no idea how much they wear you down and sap your confidence. I might be wrong but I thought that reoccurrence on the marsupialised site was unusual. Is yours in exactly the same place on your surgery site? I would say (again I’m NOT a doctor) that 5 weeks recovery time seems very short if that’s what you were told. I was told at least 6 and in reality it took months. I’m not sure I could have stood intercourse after just 6 weeks. I hope you have gone back to your doctor and told them that you are really unhappy and that the surgery hasn’t worked.

  49. Justine
    21 September, 2018 / 4:22 am

    I think I’m on about my 7th or 8th abscess. I was lucky enough to get a break from them for about 2 years and thought I was out of the woods. Now it’s back with a vengeance I’m sure. I wish there was more information about what causes these painful things! The first one I had, I went to urgent Care and they incise and drained and put a catheter in it for a week. I got another one about a month later that popped on its own the day before my appt with the gynecologist. Still went to the appt and discusses surgery but Dr didn’t recommend it. I’ve had several since and just let them pop on their own. Hope we get some answers soon ladies!

  50. Marj
    16 September, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    Hi, so I want to try this but just wanted to know if I can take serrapeptase and silicea together? Or
    Do I have to wait a couple hours between them?

    • linda
      Author
      16 September, 2018 / 9:27 pm

      Hi Marj – I’m not a doctor so I can’t give you professional advice. My serrapeptase says to take it on an early stomach first thing in the morning so I’d do that and then take the silicea later. I’d still make sure to go to the doctors though in case you need antibiotics.

  51. Lulu
    28 July, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    I have my 3rd. Both had to be marsupialized. And I don’t know what to do to keep it from happening. I will be adding these supplements just in case. I’m 31. These started last year.

  52. Lauren
    9 July, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I am 22 and have been dealing with this for 4 years now. They come and go about every 3 months. Usually they are big and painful to the point where I have to take off work. Eventually they pop and drain on their own but a little bump is always left there. I am debating marsupialization but I am scared… they said my cyst is deep down and scaring may occur. Advice?

    • linda
      Author
      9 July, 2018 / 5:34 pm

      I think you need them to be specific about how much scarring. Scar tissue does heal at a slow rate and to this day I have very occasional sensitivity there but you learn to live with it and it is far better than the pain of the Bartholin’s. Could you have a word with your gynae and ask them outright for a clearer picture of what they are seeing?

      • Lauren
        10 July, 2018 / 10:50 pm

        Thank you Linda. I will have to ask those questions. Can you tell me about your experience… You said your recovery was about 6 weeks. How was that process? I understand if this is too personal of a question but do you experience any discomfort during periods or sexual activity now?

        • linda
          Author
          11 July, 2018 / 8:11 am

          Healing took around 6 weeks but I still had mild sensitivity for a few years afterwards. I didn’t have any discomfort during periods and not particularly during sexual activity either. I don’t remember too much about the healing process, only that I was relieved to get rid of my abscess which was the size of a golf ball! A brilliant product to use for vaginal discomfort is the water-based lubricant made by the Yes company. I’d say something like that would definitely help you weather any discomfort.

  53. AmyJ
    7 July, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. Helps to not feel so alone when I get these horrible Bartholins cysts. I got my first one at 45 and 9 months later my second. What worked for me both times and too less than 24 hours was getting preparation H wipes that have 50% witch hazel and inserting them right on the cysts and changing them every few hours. Sitting on a heating pad off and on. And then that liberating feeling when the cyst bursts and the fever subsides.

    • LeeB
      15 August, 2018 / 8:49 pm

      The wipes are safe to insert for extended time periods?

  54. Daria
    23 May, 2018 / 3:10 am

    My first bartholin abscess was in December 2017, second was in March and now in May its happening again as I am writing. Its making me feel depressed and i feel like crying because i know how horrible the pain is. I tried everything, changed diet, started taking vitamins, stopped wearing thongs and any other tight clothing, bought feminine soap, sleep with no underwear but the darn thing still comes back and i have no idea of what to do. Marzipulation sounds like the best option but i dont want to have the scar tissue left behind. I let it pop and drain on its own with multiple sitz baths and antibiotic cream seemed to help it. But what is the cause of this? I did smear test and its clean, i have no infection in my mucus and everything is clean and healthy inside too. I really wish someone could explain this to me. I am 26 years old and i really dont like the idea of it recurring every 2,5 months.

    • linda
      Author
      23 May, 2018 / 7:54 am

      Hi Daria – you don’t say whether you have seen a gynaecologist about this but it sounds as if home management isn’t sufficient in your case. I will be honest and say that my scar tissue (which is very small by the way) does occasionally give me the odd niggle but the cyst has never come back over 13 years. Could you talk to your doc or gynae about the procedure and what is involved to put your mind at rest?

      • Daria
        23 May, 2018 / 9:10 am

        Hi Linda,
        I actually have seen 3 gynaes, 1 told me not to do any procedure and the other 2 suggested drainage under anesthesia. I have told them about doing marzipulation but they say its a big operation that will require me to stay in hospital for 2-3 days. I live in North Cyprus its an unrecognized country so i cant really trust them here however i can go to europe if i want to proceed. One more question. When i first had bartholin abscess, it hurt to the point of me crying all day long and took about 4-5 days to pop, second time it hurt a lot but i had more panic in me from the previous one, however it popped in 2 days. And third which is now is the second day, it hurts but bearable. Does it get easier with each or is it just by luck?

        • linda
          Author
          23 May, 2018 / 9:54 am

          Daria, I’ve only had the one so I can’t really answer that I’m afraid. I suspect it is a question of luck or perhaps you are just getting used to the discomfort. I am really sorry you are having to go through this.

          • Daria
            23 May, 2018 / 10:32 am

            You are so lucky, i really wish there was some kind of an explanation to this. Can you tell me your marzipulation experience? How was it, what did they do and how did you feel during and after it? I am so afraid of doctors, never had any serious injuries or operations before ever, so i am dreading about it. Was it painful to get it done? How long did it take? And did doctors say it might come on the other side ?

          • linda
            Author
            23 May, 2018 / 12:02 pm

            Daria, it was a simple procedure for which I was a day surgery patient. The cyst was removed under general anaesthesia and I went home the same day. All they do is drain the cyst and then create a pocket or a flap with the skin surrounding it. This is then stitched up (You’ll need to check with your doc in case the procedure has changed). I had minor discomfort afterwards and some sensitivity of the scar tissue for a year or so – nothing major just occasional discomfort. Mine was a very large cyst though. Forgive me but have you talked to anyone about your fear of doctors? It would be a shame if you continued to suffer when a relatively simple procedure could sort out this issue for you.

          • Daria
            23 May, 2018 / 12:46 pm

            Thank you so much for this. I will rethink it. I didnt talk to anyone about my fear but i think i can do it, i mean if its going to make me feel better then why not right?
            Thanks so much for talking to me, i was really feeling alone in this. Have a good day

          • linda
            Author
            24 May, 2018 / 8:23 am

            Daria, you can always message me if you need to talk. I’m @lindahobbis on Twitter or @motherdistracted on FB. x

          • Carol
            12 August, 2018 / 8:27 pm

            It breaks my heart to hear of so many women suffering over and over again with these cysts. I was scared just like you Daria and joined an online support group. That made me even more scared.. so many women suffering, failed attempts at home remedies, failed attempts at the doctor, multiple recurrence, and so much pain. My doctor told me that marsupialization was the only treatment with the highest chance of non-recurrence. She would not even recommend lancing or word catheter because she has seen it fail over and over. In her experience, noone had ever come back complaining that the marsupialization failed or that there was recurrence. I certainly didn’t want to live in constant fear of pain and recurrence like I was witnessing so many women do. I prayed a lot and trusted the advice of my doctor. I was put under general anesthesia and the surgery itself only took like 5 minutes. I was very groggy from the medications, but was able to return home the same day. I was able to resume all activities except exercise, intercourse, and bathing (shower was ok). I had hardly any pain at all. I did not have to take any pain medication at all during recovery. I did have an antibiotic because she said there was some infection. After 2 weeks, I was healing well. There was a stitch or 2 that was not fully dissolved, so I was advised to wait another 2 weeks before resuming activities. Upon my return, stitches were all gone and I was cleared to resume activities, but the doctor suggested to refrain from intercourse for another 2 weeks because the wound is still a little raw and would get irritated by friction. She wanted to allow more time for healing. Six weeks was nothing to sacrifice compared to the years of torment living in fear and pain. I am so happy to feel normal again. If you can have the surgery done in Europe, find someone who has a good success rate and comes highly recommended. I know there are women who have had the surgery whose results were less than optimal, so you must be confident in the doctor you choose. Good luck to you!! Wishing for the very best!!

      • Lizzt
        29 November, 2018 / 4:16 am

        Hi Linda. Thank you so much for this article. I had my first cyst and abscess about 6 weeks ago and had to fly home early from holiday to have it drained and a word catheter was inserted. Since the incision and drainage I have been expericing horrible pain at the incision site. Stabbing pains, stinging, etc. Some days are better than others. I have been to my OBGYN multiple times for the pain and she just keeps telling me everything looks good. I have found very little about the recovery process:pain after, etc . I know we had different procedures but you mentioned pain from scaring and I’m wondering if that is what I’m dealing with. What type of pain did you have and how long did it last? This has been so depressing and I feel hopeless. I just got married in June and needless to say it’s impacted my love life. Thanks again for writing this article and trying to help other women!!

        • linda
          Author
          29 November, 2018 / 9:26 am

          Hi Lizzy – 6 weeks is nothing in terms of recovery time so I’m not surprised that it still hurts. In my experience doctors are often over-optimistic when they tell you how long it takes to recover. I was told 2 weeks which is complete nonsense. If you think about it, any kind of surgery will take longer than that! Nerves repair themselves at the rate of 1 inch per month and that depends on the age and health of the patient. My pain was a tingling like a nerve complaining but not a stabbing pain – I did not have a catheter as you know. Is your Obgyn certain there is no infection at the site of the incision? If not, it may just be a case of keeping the area clean and giving it time. I understand your frustration re: your love life though. You could try a lubricant from Yes.org – organic and lots of women (including me) swear by them. Research the ‘double glide’ technique which may make you comfortable enough to stand sex occasionally while you heal. Otherwise, the best pain management is probably a warm sitz bath a couple of times a day and painkillers. A great book about vaginal pain (even though it’s about vaginal atrophy) is Me and My Menopausal Vagina by Jane Lewis. The cause of her problem is different to ours but the protocol she has come up with to cope with vaginal discomfort may help. Lastly if you are not happy with what your Obgyn is telling you – please seek a second opinion (especially if you’re dealing with a man)!

        • Sneha
          3 February, 2019 / 12:46 pm

          Hi Lizzt,

          I got bartholyn cyst on 19th Oct 2019 which went on to become a full blown infection in 6 days even after taking antibiotics. I was rushed to the operation theatre and I got the abcess drained on 29th Oct. I was told it would take 4 weeks to heal. But practically I’m still healing. My cyst turned abcess was deep and on the left side. I had butt pain before the surgery when it is was infected. After the surgery there was in instant pain relief but the butt pain and the operated area continued to ache. I always had discomfort sitting or doing normal activities post operation. Sex would hurt! I consulted 2 gynecologists just to confirm if the cyst has returned. I still constantly worry about it. What I have observed is lack of vaginal lubrication causes the discomfort and pain in the operated region.

          Please share your thoughts about this and a safe lubricant which can help solve the discomfort. And thanks a lot for this article! It gives me comfort after reading it.

      • Sarah
        3 January, 2019 / 10:02 pm

        I had 1 for years and never gave me any problems then it balloon and all docs said was we’ll book you a gynea problem had to go back a day later for antibiotics luckily burst on its on. Then about 2 months later reappeared and was so painfull got reffered to hospital and was straight in for marsupialization. Then 15 months later it appeared again and it was worse experience of my life in 1 day it went from about grape since to golf ball and all surrounding area swelling rang doctors and was told to ring back next morning for emergency appointment (nothing available that day) tge swelling everywhere continued in which i ended up in a&e the gyno said it was the worse theyd ever seen but as swelling every where was so bad coukdnt operate and it had started to drain naturally, this caused me to have sepsis and was hospitalised for 7days with the cyst draining slowly and the rest of the area effected continueing to swell until the forth day in. Im so scared of this happening again and feel no doctors understand how much this affects womens lives .what if it happens in work (i work in a mans environment) and how can you do a sitz bath 4 times a day if your in work all day .

        • linda
          Author
          4 January, 2019 / 11:46 am

          You poor thing. I hope you are on the mend and that it doesn’t return. The lack of knowledge about how awful these things can be is shocking. If you can afford any form of private medical insurance I recommend it so that you can at least see a specialist quickly when you need to. I have a Simply Health Cash Plan which means I can at least have a consultation at less than the full price and can jump the NHS queue. I have done so a couple of times and the difference between NHS and private treatment is staggering.

  55. OhNo
    22 April, 2018 / 3:52 pm

    I can’t believe I am 47 and got on of these horrors. Tried Phoebe’s cure at 7 last night and swapped it out a few times and it burst at 4 am! I also get infected ingrown hairs too so I am ready for the next battle. stay well…

    • linda
      Author
      22 April, 2018 / 4:07 pm

      Wow – that was a great result. I read a medical site the other day that said women aged 20-30 are the age group most likely to get Bartholin’s. Complete nonsense in my experience! Make sure you aren’t still running an infection x

    • Lulu
      28 July, 2018 / 11:09 pm

      So it worked?!

  56. Maria
    29 October, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    I appreciate this article, I have been suffering for about 2yrs and they come unexpectedly almost every other month. Unfortunately this time on my birthday. I WILL DEFINITELY BE USING one or all of these remedies because surgery is not an option. I tried the drainage apparatus and it was horrible! Again thank you for the information.

  57. Faria
    15 August, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    I must sayxhats off to u for bringing out this topic if the bartholins cyst. I had one on the left side sice I was 12. And suffered in silence. Then wen I was about 24 it had just decided to pop up again. I consulted a very good Gynecologist who did marsupialization. And thank God I am now 65 yrs old and never ever had a problem again.

    • linda
      Author
      15 August, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      I had mine marsupialized too but I still worry about the darn things coming back. Until you have experienced them you don’t realise how painful they can be, do you? So sorry you had one at 12!