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. In fact, some sufferers claim it is a home remedy for Bartholin Cysts that actually works and is a great way to burst a Bartholin Cyst at home. If you want to try it for yourself, it is is simply this:-

You’ll need:

6oz calamine lotion
1 teaspoon Tea Tree oil
1 teaspoon Witch Hazel
Roll of gauze

Note:  if your cyst is very large and painful you might want to try 2 teaspoons of Tea Tree and 2 teaspoons of Witch Hazel.

What to do:

Start off with a sitz bath with Epsom Salts and immerse your cyst for about 20 minutes.

Next, soak a gauze pad in the Phoebe’s Cure solution and press against the cyst for about 30 minutes. If you need to move about you could try keeping it in place by keeping your underwear on.

Don’t forget, if you are in pain it is OK to take a painkiller but do not take more than the recommended dosage on the back of the packet.

If the cyst has not burst, swap the pad for a hot compress for about 10 minutes – for example a hot water bottle carefully wrapped in a towel.

Prepare another gauze pad and reapply.

Repeat the cycle of gauze pad / hot compress until the cyst bursts.  There may be a lot of pus and you might need to gently squeeze the cyst to get it out.

Now whilst this may well burst a cyst or abscess (sufferers seem to use the two terms interchangeably), you may still be left with a lump and if your cyst has abscessed and you feel in any way unwell, you should still see a doctor.

I would suggest Phoebe’s Cure is best used for immediate relief when you cannot stand the pain from your Bartholin’s Cyst any more but that will not mean that all infection has gone or that there will be no lump or scarring.

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.

Please see my post on Bartholin Cyst Home Remedies for more ideas.

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.

RELATED:  

Try These Natural Home Remedies For Bartholin’s Cyst Relief

Bartholin’s Cysts Affect Your Mental Health

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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193 Comments

  1. Priya
    22 July, 2021 / 2:37 am

    Hi everyone! Wondering what sex is like after marsupialization? How soon after the procedure were you able to have sex without any pain…

  2. Princess Of Ireland
    6 July, 2021 / 11:55 am

    Hi,just sharing my Bc experience im 31 years old now and i got this bc when i was 20.Pregnant at that time with my first baby.idk why i got bc😔 But,its not painful just like others..i consulted already about this and my ob advised to get surgery if i want to .but,she told me also if its not painful to me better to leave it alone..Im afraid of surgery though😅 until now,im still searching for effective medicines hope someone help me.☺️

  3. Linda
    3 July, 2021 / 8:16 pm

    Hi ladies, phew! Didn’t know what I had/have but this confirms it. Going to A&E on Monday. Done a lot of googling over the last week, thought it was my period and probably was but I kept bleeding until I took a look and sure enough “golf ball size lump”. Did notice it before but wasn’t sure what it was and was afraid to go see GP. But mine must be infected and has burst and only bleeds when I stand up for too long. When i go sit for a while it stops again. Goin to take a sitz baths and see how I get on til Monday. Thanks 😊

  4. 1 June, 2021 / 7:49 pm

    I think I have this cyst. I just noticed it 2 weeks ago and started the Epsom salts sitz baths the same day after reading this.article. The cyst has reduced in size and has caused no problems, pain, etc… I have no idea how long it’s been there. I found it by accident trying to see and put suave on a cut on my bottom cheek. I am 69 years old and had a hysterectomy 23 years ago. I do not get a regular pap smear because my old Gynecologist and my GP said there is no medical reason now to get one. I have not had sex since 1993 because my husband is impotent. I know…a little personal, huh? We are all women so I trust this info to you. I recently have had symptoms of IBS , pain constipation etc… Can the constant hard straining from that, block the gland and cause the Bartholin Cyst? I am taking care of that problem also. The sitz baths are the only thing I have tried , but mine is not abscessed, or red, just getting smaller, but slowly. I really do not want to go the the doctor. For the past year and a half, I’ve been dealing with getting my husband better from 3 Bladder cancer surgeries and 6 treatments. So far so good. It’s been a rough and stressful. I just need someone to tell me if anyone has had these cysts go away on their own. Also, is Phoebe’s cure just for abscessed cysts?

    • Annie
      7 June, 2021 / 6:43 pm

      Thank you SO much for all your sharing. I am laid flat out on my bed – trying to find a comfortable position but failing. I am sure I have a BC – abscessed. I am a lot older than many of you at 58. A complication of mine is that a fistula has developed which means my cyst drains into my rectum. You could not make it up! Ovarian Cysts removed in my 30s and a mass (size of a 7 month pregnancy)meant I had total abdominal hysterectomy rin 2016. Thought that would be the last trouble from my reproductive system…but no. GP fantastic (though surpised). Immediate referral to Gyny where diagnosis was an “old vagina” (I’d agree with him there!) He gave me estrogen cream for that. Guess what? No change. He held my lump but said discharge was from vagina. Found he later told GP that there was “No lump detected”. NO LUMP!? It feels like the size of Madagascar! So upset – I rang the hospital office to ask for a copy of the letter as a starting point for a complaint. This is not my style- but, really, that chap is a major risk – nevermind totally incompetent. Strangely, the hospital asked me to come in this week. Speculum put pressure on – and the mess was incredible. At least they could see from where it was emanating! Trouble is – it fills again. New consultant was great. However – as discharge is from my rear and not my vagina she has referred me to surgeons in Proctology… Ho hum. Reassured not going mad – but need to get timely with pain killers. I let it go too long and they take an age to kick in. This is why I am lying here. Thanks so mu h for being so open and for your great senses of humour. I needed it and am so grateful.

  5. Nameless
    23 May, 2021 / 3:17 am

    Okay ladies, I’m writing to you from my sitiz bath on day four of my Bartholin Cyst that transitioned to an abscess over a day. If it helps I’m going to explain a day by day process for others that are also searching for answers on how to resolve this painful and debilitating issue.
    Day 1 – went on a hike and it felt like I had a tampon in or something, when home and notice a circular lump, que panic, but no pain I just squeezed it a bit and went to bed.
    Day 2- some discomfort, do internet searches for symptoms and self diagnosed bartholin cyst. Took one epsom salt bath and dug around for some spare antibiotics I had received for a trip abroad.
    Day 3- swelling and discomfort increased to the point it hurt to walk, cough or even find a comfortable position to sleep. Went to an urgent care and doctor confirmed the bartholin cyst and gave me antibiotics. She said I would have to let the infection go down more before they can drain. Ultimately, I was told “take the antibiotics and wait and see” and sent home. This was not satisfying at all, in so much discomfort I found my way to the book “bartholin miracle cure” on Amazon. After picking up my antibiotics from the drug store I went to the local natural apothecary. I picked up:
    Lavender oil
    Witch Hazel
    Comfrey
    Chamomile loose tea
    Benetonite clay
    Tea tree oil

    I make myself a sitiz bath with lavender oil, tea tree, baking soda and three cups of epsom salt.
    I soaked for about 45 – 60 min.
    Before bed I did a paste with the clay and witch hazel (I don’t think this had an impact)
    Day 4 – started day with a 45 min soak. Followed up with a warm compress. Then another 45 min soak. Followed up with a hot compress adding in witch hazel & lavender & comfrey. I warm compresses for about 2 hours and things sort of started to feel better. I walked to the kitchen to reheat the compress and walking was way better. I had gotten a white Cotten pad and soaked it witch hazel and lavender and placed on my cyst area for about 10 mins. I notice a little blood and discoloration.
    Today is day four, I’m in my second bath for the day and plan on doing a warm compress through the night and I will continue taking antibiotics.
    The book “miracle cure” recommends continue with sitizs baths and warm compress for about two weeks (just at less frequency). I plan on taking baths once in the morning and another at night and doing hot compress during the day.

    I hope this help someone out there searching for answers like I was. I don’t think there is a universal cure for this but I would say I’m general hot baths and warm compress seem to be helping most women. As far as the tea tree and lavender and comfrey and witch hazel… I don’t know if it helped but I’m going to continue to use them. Best of luck to you. And I’m sorry there isn’t more research and information on bartholkn cyst women’s health seems to not be well researched or studied so it’s up to us to try and help heal each other.

  6. Clare
    5 May, 2021 / 6:39 pm

    I’m so happy I found this blog, it has given me great comfort in that I don’t feel so alone now suffering with my third cyst since February. But equally angry and sad for us all that we have to go through this and how it just doesn’t feel like a priority to doctors. Im 41 and had never heard of them before. My first one blew up very quickly, antibiotics didn’t touch the surface, I called the doctor (a male one) he said as I had only been taking the antibiotics for 3 days at this point, I should wait until atleast day 7. I was crying down the phone and he still wouldn’t budge! After 1 mor3 day of hell, crying whilst attempting to make the kids tea, not being able to get in the car without immense pain, I could take the pain no longer and rang 111. The.emergwncy doctor booked me into gynae and told me it shouldn’t have been left this long if I was in such pain! I had it marsupilialised and everything was healing nicely. A week after the op I started to experience discomfort on the other side…second one appeared and was again given antibiotics. 5 days in it burst, the relief was immense but the mess was gross! Thank god was WFH!!! Gynaes response was ‘oh good it’s fixed itself’…hardly. I got a month’s grace and I now have my third where the other one had burst before. Devastated. It’s so debilitating and I’m self employed so my takings since Feb have been rubbish as I just can’t work to my best! I asked the doctor why I was getting these she said it was just ‘bad luck…I mean come.on?!! They swear it’s not hormonal but then please tell me why mine have appeared at exactly the same point (give or take a few days) before my period is due? Plus my cycle has been a bit unpredictable and I have a white sugar addiction which I am currently trying to kick but that has an impact on hormone regulation so I think that claim is bull if I am honest! Currently lying in the bath and hoping the third one doesn’t burst so I can get it operated on and hopefully say goodbye to these loving nightmares 🙁

  7. Cora
    5 April, 2021 / 6:44 am

    Thanks for this post, and all the women sharing their stories! I recently had my first bartholin’s abscess. It was during pregnancy and was misdiagnosed as vulvar varicosis – I thought I was going insane as the pain was so bad I couldn’t sit/walk/lie down in some positions, but the medical advice was just to use ice packs and wait till the birth when it would go away (!). I only realised it was an abscess when it burst on its own and I did my own research.
    Currently at about ~2 months with no recurrence of symptoms, and crossing my fingers that my luck holds out. At least if it comes back I’ll know what it is this time around!

  8. Bec
    21 March, 2021 / 1:13 pm

    I had one 14 years ago (I’m 42 now) and was given antibiotics but it did nothing. It grew to golf ball size and I had surgery. Now, at 43, I feel the twinge so I’m googling like crazy to try and stop it happening again.
    I wasn’t aware women in their 40s get them.
    I’m under stress now and my diet has changed (weight loss/calorie counting) so I think that’s the culprit.

  9. jennifer
    19 March, 2021 / 1:09 am

    I’m 44. I had my first cyst almost 12 years ago when my first born was almost 1. I woke up with a fever and pain and swelling. When I looked in the mirror, it was almost the size of a golf ball. I went to urgent care where they lanced and put a catheter in with the balloon to allow the drainage. Horrible experience, but it was gone for a few years. 2nd one came and same procedure was done. A couple of years after that, I felt one coming on and called my doctor’s office on a Friday evening. She prescribed some antibiotics to tide me over until Monday and said to fo to the urgent care again if it got too bad. That’s when I started to self drain. I used crazy hot baths- as hot as I could take, for as long as I could stand it- with epson salts, tea tree oil, and lavender. I would then get out and immediately squeeze on to the cyst. After a couple of days of the process I was able to get it to open. I continued the baths to keep it cleaned out for a couple of weeks. A couple of years later? You guessed it. Same process. Went away a couple of months, and then another, and then another- good god- this one has been here pretty much for 2 years. It won’t go away completely and has become encapsulated apparently. Finally going to have it removed next week. They want me to not drain it at all at least a week before hand so that it gets as large as possible so that it is easier to make sure it is all removed. It’s killing me to feel the swelling, and uhh- the smell of the cyst? Never had anything so gross- but literally- I can smell it even wearing clothing. It’s heinous. I’m so glad that there are forums now where people are discussing this type of thing though- there certainly wasn’t much back when I first started getting them :/

  10. Cindy
    9 March, 2021 / 3:56 am

    Hello,

    Are bartholin’s cysts sometimes caused by physical trauma (ie: rough sex)?

    Please let me know, currently dealing with one and a surgery to-boot which I am in my 3rd week of recovering from now.

    Thanks so much !

  11. Julie
    6 March, 2021 / 8:03 pm

    Hi ,

    I have a BC that I got for the second time the first time when it finally popped it just went away and that was that . This time around it has bursted and although it’s draining it has just continued to drain like it has not gone away at all and it’s been two weeks . I’m not in pain or anything but it is just annoying to have and I can’t have sexual intercourse cause it doesn’t drain fully and it feels like a lump what do I do ! Any suggestions

    • KK
      9 March, 2021 / 1:07 am

      Hey. I am almost 5 weeks and mine hasnt gone too. It keeps draining but doesnt seem to go. I also seem to have a black mark on my cyst. What could that be?

    • Jen
      11 April, 2021 / 9:13 pm

      I’ve had a lot of issues with these the last 5 years. Unfortunately I’m having trouble getting rid of them but through a Facebook group I found out that there is an American doctor named Dr. David Ghozland in Los Angeles that treats the cysts with laser surgery. So hopefully when I scrounge the funds together I will pay him a visit.

  12. Sophie
    25 February, 2021 / 11:10 pm

    I am so glad I found this blog. I’m 27 and I started my BC nightmare in April last year, I had no idea what was happening to me and the horrific pain lasted around 6 days before it popped (when it became the size of a golf ball!) on it’s own in the bath tub. I had a very good gynaecologist who I spoke to over the phone (couldn’t see him due to lockdown…) he had me booked in to get it drained the next day but thankfully it happened naturally which I felt better about. Since my first one which was certainly an abcess, I don’t think I’ve fully healed properly. It reoccurs on my right side every time I’m sexually active or become aroused. It has never got to the pain it was the first time but it looks like a bubble on one side and has a blackish dot inside it?! Don’t know if anyone else has experienced this. It normally just sorts itself out in a few days and I’ll feel it in my knickers (which isn’t very convenient when you don’t expect it!) I have spoken to the gynae about it since and he said the only way to stop it coming back is to remove the entire gland. I am obviously very reluctant to do this as it’s quite major surgery but he made it out to be not a big deal! I’m just not sure. Thank you for your blog, I will try the remedies you’ve mentioned and hope that things become normal again down there.

    • Stephanie
      2 March, 2021 / 4:24 pm

      Hi Sophie! So sorry to hear you’re suffering! Read my post about two peeps down…I had an experience very similar to yours and removal of the gland ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me. Of course now I’m in another pickle but on the other side…and not anywhere near gland removal. But it’s good to know it is an option when they just keep. coming. back!!!!

      Good luck to you, dear!

  13. Hannah
    25 February, 2021 / 10:24 am

    This blog has made me feel SO much better about what I’m going through! I had my first BGC last July, it ruptured itself but the infection was still there. Was given antibiotics and sent on my way. Didn’t notice any problems until November of the same year, where the lump was back and it was ~angry~. I had an emergency appointment with my OBGYN and they lanced and drained it, with a cath put in. This was supposed to fix everything, so I was okay with the uncomfortableness of the cath if it meant I’d be done with these horrid things forever. Not even 6 hours after the procedure, the cath fell out. Cue thoughts of death, dying, screaming, and Lucifer. The clots that came out with the cath were so aggressive I thought I was bleeding out (I wasn’t). After a while it healed on its own and I thought I was done with them. Until 3 days ago when I felt the familiar pain while being intimate with my partner. I immediately reached down to feel and it was the biggest cyst yet. In the same spot as the other two, and this cyst was like a momma bear getting retribution for her Cubs. I’m currently waiting for a marsupialization surgery and am struggling to find positions for my body that doesn’t make me want to die. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’ve barely slept since it returned because of the pain, and since I’m having the surgery I can’t take most of the pain meds I’ve been prescribed.

    • Stephanie
      2 March, 2021 / 4:28 pm

      Oh honey! That is tough! Love your sense of humor though. Anyway, I have been there and it sucks. I don’t mean to keep pushing “remove the gland”, I know it seems very aggressive and is probably a last resort…but in the end, that’s what FINALLY put an end to mine. (I posted my story just under yours, so you may have read it.)

      Not sure of the best way to deal with the pain other than heating pads and warm baths. Please keep us posted on the surgery. Best of luck to you!

  14. Stephanie
    21 February, 2021 / 8:00 pm

    Hi ladies! First of all, thank you for publishing this post about these insidious little beasties! I found this article after doing some research 15 YEARS after my last Bartholins Cyst hell. Long story short, in my early 20’s I developed this type of cyst on my left side. My friends and I called him “Bart”, and Bart was my mortal enemy, ruining my long-term relationship (which ended up being a good thing) but also prohibiting me from casual dating (which who knows, MAY have been a good thing!) It took me 4-5 years and many procedures to finally “nip it in the bud.” I ended up having to seek out a special doctor, hours away from where I lived (I’m in the States), who decided enough was enough and thankfully removed my entire GLAND (telling me it had basically “turned to jelly”). It took me a bit of time to heal, and I look pretty “unusual” down there if you really inspect, but I did heal, and had been “fine” ever since.

    Fast forward through a marriage, 2 kids, a separation, and now…at the age of 43, just as I am about to start THINKING about dating again (and goodness my sex drive is HIGH these days)…Bart #2 comes along, this time on my right side! Of course! This time I am trying to treat my cyst with respect; I even gave him a fancy name, Bartholomew II. I’m trying to keep in mind that I am older, wiser, know what the hell it is this time (identifying it was half the battle the first time), and have better doctors on my side. So far, Bartholomew II has not gotten as large as my first one, and has not abscessed and popped a bunch of times like my first one. Instead, he is just kinda hanging out, about the size of a grape. He does swell and recede a bit depending on arousal and other factors.

    HOWEVER, even though he isn’t painful to the touch, he seems to be causing pain and discomfort down there nonetheless. I just have this utterly “raw” feeling all around my vaginal opening that won’t relent. The gyn doc, who has been very understanding, seems to think it is pressing on nerves and that may be leading to the raw discomfort I feel; I have no signs of infection, and even underwent a course of antibiotics followed by Diflucan for yeast, just to be sure (also to see if the antibiotics would help to shrink the cyst…which she thinks they did, a teeny tiny bit!)

    However, even though it’s not “ripe”, she wants to try draining it next week to see if this helps ease any of the pain I’m feeling. Does anyone else feel this way, even with a cyst that isn’t overly large or infected? It’s like, the whole vulvar area is just raw and irritated. I do remember going through that same feeling last time, 15 years ago, and it developing into yet another rabbit hole of doctor visits and even a urologist and a “vulvodynia” diagnosis, which is rather preposterous, as the feeling went away as soon as Bart and the gland were removed.

    Sorry this was such a long rant. Really just trying my hardest to stay positive, though my first reaction when I found out “it’s back!” was one of pure devastation and panic. The first time I went through this, there were not a lot of places to talk about it with other women. Also, if I can help anyone else in any way, please let me know! Good luck to each and every one of you, and please always remember, you’re not alone!

    • Panna
      22 February, 2021 / 1:18 am

      Hi Stephanie,
      I just wanted to let you know that I love your style of writing and even giving names to your cysts — hilarious!
      I‘m suffering as well but you made my day, really.
      Mine is quite the same as yours, not infected, not as huge as last time but quite annoying. Sometimes even painful.
      I find thoughts about „dating again“ quite eye-opening, I‘m looking inward to find the psychological causes of the new Bart of mine. So, I have no solution yet but I think my subconscious state of mind about sexual issues is/should be pretty important.
      Take care and I wish you the best of luck & freedom!

      • Stephanie
        2 March, 2021 / 3:27 pm

        Thank you, Panna! I am sorry you are suffering as well. I find it really interesting that you’re looking inward about how your state of mind might be contributing to “Bart”…I have to say, I’m a pretty pragmatic person, but I have definitely found myself questioning this as well, but as more of a larger “plan” if you will. Like, what did the original Bart (O.B.?!) teach me about myself? How did he change the course of my life, and what benefits can I take away from my experience with him (for example, I became more empathetic to people suffering chronic pain and invisible illness, I may very well have avoided getting STD’s or unwanted pregnancies because he truly kept me from casual sex, he directly led to the ending of a relationship with a toxic person, I became a stronger advocate for my health, etc.)

        And now with Bartholemew II I find myself asking similar questions. Why now, at this point in my life? What is this teaching me about myself and my relationship with my body and with others, etc.

        Anyway, all this to say, it’s cool that we can look inward and also look at the bigger picture…like somehow making lemonade from lemons:) I wish you all the luck in the world Panna! And to all you ladies!

    • KM
      22 April, 2021 / 3:09 am

      I have a recurring cyst…a complete monster. This occurs when I have intercourse. My OB can never get me in to drain so I end up in the ER and Planned Parenthood to drain, oftentimes done twice in each. I need an OB that will help me. I hope to get a new OB that can get me in to do marsupialization when the cyst is ripe. I am also considering getting the whole thing removed. My OB said they do not do removal and need for it to be swollen to do marsupialization, however the wait could be months (which is not possible when inflamed and an emergency). I am planning to get better insurance and OB that can help me. Good to hear that your removal actually worked.

  15. Kerry
    17 February, 2021 / 9:32 am

    Hi, this article has been very helpful to me as I have searched for quite some time to see if anyone else has the same issue I do after marsupialization. I got my first Batholins cyst after my first child at 18. I remember feeling pressure and throbbing which then turned into a burning pain that got so intense I couldn’t walk properly. The cyst got swollen very quickly and as I was walking or sitting it was rubbing off the opposite side. The doctor sent me straight to A&E and the surgeon knew straight away what it was and said it was the most severe he’d seen. I got it drained and recovered in a few weeks.

    Fast forward to a year and a half after my second child, I had the same swelling and burning pain. Once again or was a bartholinz cyst but this time they did a marsupialization. My only issue is that this was 16 years ago and I still get flare ups and sometimes the pocket bleeds. Does anyone else have this problem?
    Kind regards,
    Kerry 🙂

  16. Tay
    20 January, 2021 / 7:49 pm

    I had one of these after a month after I turned 19 in may of 2020. I was in so much pain, I went two days before I decided to go see a doctor and oh my goodness before going I read so many horror stories about how they treat women during this procedure but my male doctor was the most gentlest and amazing person I’ve ever met. He instantly knew what it was since I described everything and showed it, he said that’s on the bartholin gland area and I had it lance. It did hurt a little but I have a high pain tolerance and I took antibiotics on a schedule. , it’s January 20th 2021. It came back three days prior to this date but it was small. So I decided to do three sitz baths a day and use a heating pad for two days. It burst beautifully on day three and I was relieved, I felt like I took control back in a way, I am almost 20 and I have boyfriend who has been very supportive and understanding, he did more research than I did about certain diets and stuff that could help. I’m just glad that so far I have someone who actually cares enough about this condition. And to that male doctor, I was blessed that someone knew what it was and handled it. I still have my pamphlets for how to treat it and that’s what I use. I keep it handy just in case, I forgot I took ibuprofen for those three days 800mg cause I did have discomfort when I would sit down or walk.

    • Amy
      9 February, 2021 / 6:33 am

      At 37 years old, I’m pretty sure what I’m currently experiencing is a Bartholin’s cyst. I became aware of it yesterday. The pain isn’t unbearable yet, but it is present. I’m in a sitz bath as we speak. I’ve found a couple home remedies that I’ll have to go buy supplies for in the morning as it’s 12:30 now. If anything works, I’ll post on this page. I’ve never had any sort of medical procedure done, let alone one down below in that region. Honestly, the idea terrifies me. So glad I found this page and know I’m not alone.

      • Megan
        13 June, 2021 / 11:37 am

        Hi Amy – did you find anything that worked in the end?

  17. Elizabeth Smith
    8 January, 2021 / 9:48 pm

    So pleased to have found this blog. Feel like I’m going mad as nobody seems to have heard of this and they definitely have no idea how painful this is. I had my first one 2 years ago. I went to the gp as it was sore down there but I was told it looked like thrush and given some ointment and sent on my way. 2 days later I was in excruciating pain and told to go to A&E. I was seen in gynaecology by a junior gyne who although female wasn’t very sympathetic and very patronising. I was sent home as apparently it wasn’t ripe enough to lance. I never made it back as it got so big and painful I couldn’t have made it down my own stairs. It ruptured and I went back to have it drained. I was told that as it had naturally ruptured I stood a higher chance of it not returning. On Sunday I felt the fateful pain down there and my worst fears have come true that its returned. I immediately phoned the gp who gave me antibiotics and some co-codamol. 5 days later and its progressing slowly but its getting more painful and that horrible dry feeling. I had a phone appointment today with gp but they never called! Now its the weekend I’m thinking of phoning the gynecology at my local hospital. I don’t want to go to be gorped at and then sent home again like last time. Can I insist its lanced, can I have a marsupialization? I’m desperate not to have to go through this again and I’m only 33 but they don’t seem to ever want to do anything. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

    • linda
      Author
      30 January, 2021 / 10:56 am

      Sorry you are going through this. In my experience they won’t lance or marsupialise unless your cyst has abscessed and filled with pus. My marsup was carried out under general anaesthetic and done as day surgery. At the moment a hospital is probably the last place you want to be. Have you tried any of the home remedies in my other post to see if you can shrink it a bit? Some ladies find that their cysts pop of their own accord but it isn’t a quick process. What length course of antibiotics were you given? Current thinking seems to be that a 5 day course is sufficient but I believe medical opinion varies (not a doc though). You may need a repeat course. Lots of sitz baths should help ease the pain or even sitting on a heating pad (wrap it carefully in a towel to stop burning yourself). Let us know how it goes.

  18. Ellie
    6 January, 2021 / 10:54 am

    I’m so happy I found this blog.. Two years ago, about the same time I had my first Bartholin’s Abscess. That time it was all so new, thought it will go away, but then 4 days later went to A&E because of the rapid growing and pain.. the doctor prescribed antibiotics and said it will go away. I was quite unsure about his decision because the cyst was already bigger then golf ball size. However, I went back home and unfortunately 2 days later could not handle the pain, nothing worked, it was a proper agony and the cyst got to the PEAR size. That time it was not a ball anymore and it got spread to the whole left labia. Had to go back to a&E and when the doctor saw me, was absolutely surprised why the previous time it wasn’t fixed. Anyways, they put me in to the room to wait for the surgery. I spent there the night, crying from pain, cuz they couldn’t do a surgery or anything straight away since of life-threatening situations they were dealing. So the next morning, around 12 i felt a big drop of liquid with mixture of puss and blood. It was such a relief and then doctors took me straight to the theatre. Well, I thought they will do a surgery then, but since it burst itself, the doctor only squeezed whatever was left with his BARE HANDS. I will never forget how much of the pain it was, no one give me any pain killers or anything. It was awful. After, they gave me antibiotics and send me home, with a warning that I might have sepsis.(Like I did not gave enough stress) I Now 2021 5 days ago, I realised I have similar symptoms as a first BC. And of course! Right where we started. This time I acted quickly and got telephone appointment. Again, got antibiotics. Two days later, I just wanted to be checked by anyone since the cyst again is growing rapidly. The doctor who checked me said well we can’t do here any drainage or bursting.( they were in cabins since the hospital was extended of covid patients) anyways, I was hoping she could refer me to a place, where they can drain it! But she said, give antibiotics time. Well, now it’s been 3 days later and my labia is swollen as a pear again, pain is horrible. Yesterday it was some liquid out, but then it just never drained. I don’t know what else should I do. Seems like 3 doctors I consulted don’t give a damn about me and my reoccurring cyst!! I’m heartbroken and upset..

    • Troi
      11 February, 2021 / 8:44 am

      I have literally had mine abscess over 20 times, inducing drainage in various ways. I’ve had some Home remedies work, I’ve had it drained and lanced, I’ve had the word catheter, I’ve even had the marzisupialization,. For some reason it just keeps continuing to come back. I am currently 26 weeks pregnant so the surgery to have the gland removed isn’t an option for me. I’m sorry to hear that you get treated this way at the hospital. I can relate totally! I’ve had a couple of doctors who understand the need for being sedated while such a painful procedure goes on, but I’ve also had other doctors treat me as though my pain is minuscule. I’ve had a doctor in the emergency department tell me that he would never give anything more than a local anesthetic before doing something such as this procedure. I wanted to tell him to let me cut open one of his testicles without giving him general anesthesia first. LOL.

  19. Michelle
    22 December, 2020 / 10:54 am

    I’ve had Bartholins cysts on and off for years now. I’ve only ever needed antibiotics once for them. The other times they haven’t caused me any painful issues. On 10th December I felt that ‘twinge’ took a look and there it was, a big bulging lump the size of a golf ball! It wasn’t too painful but I knew I wasn’t good! I called the doctors the following morning and waited for a call back. By this point I was in so much pain and it was doubled in size! When the doctor called I told him the problem, how much pain I was in and the size of the lump which was now about the size of a small apple! He told me to go to the hospital and called ahead to tell them I was coming. I was admitted that night. The doctor saw me and explained that it had turned into a abscess and that it needed to be drained and that they would fit a small catheter in to help drain it. I had the procedure in the afternoon and the pain and pressure eased immediately. The abscess was about 7cm and 20-30ml of fluid – it was big! I was all set to go hone until I developed a fever and had to stay in another night. My fever managed to stay down with paracetamol and I was allowed home Sunday afternoon. Before I left I noticed that the catheter was no longer ther as I could not feel it. I the the Ward Sister and she seemed to think this was ok. I was not on a Gynae ward, it was a surgical Assessment unit so not many nurses were specifically Gynae trained. It was not fine, 24 hours after being home the pain and swelling returned and It was back!! I called the Emergency Gynae clinic who told me to come in. The catheter shouldn’t of come out, it should be in for about 2 weeks! I was booked in for a marsipulisation the following day.
    I’m now 5 days post procedure and I’m still sore and in discomfort. It still hurts to sit down but not a painful as it was. I get the ‘twinge’ still and tingling I still have the occasional spike in temp in the evening. I’m back for a check up today and hoping all is good down there.

    • linda
      Author
      22 December, 2020 / 2:56 pm

      Poor you. I don’t know what it is about gynae matters but they seem to be categorized as ‘specialist’ when they should really be classed as ‘general’ and part of everyone’s training. I’m amazed the sister didn’t know about the catheter. It’s normal to be a bit uncomfortable after your marsup as they will have created scar tissue which takes a long time to heal (far longer than the 2 weeks they are so fond of quoting). Let us know how it goes.

    • mel
      5 March, 2021 / 8:49 am

      I have just gotten my first cyst it is the size of a large grape. It is not infected that I know of and it is not painful. I am on antibiotics anyways. How long did your non infected cysts take to go away? I can’t find anything about mom infected cysts just going away on their own and I could use some peace of mind!

      • Mel
        5 March, 2021 / 8:52 am

        It just feels like a bruise if I touch it but no discomfort other than that. Please let me know if anyone else has solutions to get rid of a non infected cyst!

        • Yuni
          14 April, 2021 / 8:42 pm

          You can try taking the following to get rid of it internally, this is what I took for my latest BC to drain:
          Serrapeptase (morning and night)
          Silica (started with 3x per day with the homeopathic silica and alternated it with the silica supplements)
          Ginger
          CoQ10
          L-arginine

          I also started to take a higher dose of probiotics – 30 billion

          Also took Vitamin C and Zinc

          I also take Apple Cider Vinegar every morning.

          It did drain and soften but it’s still there and I’ll continue with these supplements until it’s gone. But definitely no more tenderness. I think it had to reach a point first that it would swell a bit before subsiding. I intend to maintain some of these supplements to ensure that it won’t come back next time. Good luck to you!

  20. Rebecca
    14 December, 2020 / 3:44 pm

    Hey! (First off, sorry for my english. It isn’t my first language)
    I’m 22 and I have this cyst since April. Worst thing that happened to me. When I first noticed it, it was a really small bumb, that hurt just a bit. After a few days it didn’t go away so i made an appointment. The first doctor told me she doesn’t know what it is and I should wait and see what happens. So after a few weeks it grew slowly bigger and i decided to go to another doctor. She wasn’t sure either, made some tests and an ultrasonic and saw liquid in there. She thought maybe i had water retention and gave me a ointment. It didn’t go away with that, so she send me to the hospital to get a tissue sample because it could have been a tumor or something. So in the hospital they cut it open to get some tissue and noticed that clear slime was in there. It was actually a bit of a relief, bc the bumb was smaller.
    But after it was safe that there was no tumor, it grew waaaay larger. So I went back to the hospital and the doctor cut it completly open (with local anesthesia), and stitched it together again. And that was the most painful healing phase I ever had.
    It grew big again after a few weeks and i felt like crying. So back again to my gynecologist, she cut it open 2 more times to let the slime out. I was there every week. So in the 3rd week she was like this can’t continue, you need to go to the hospital to get an operation again. So I went there and a week later I had my appointment, this time for an operation with general anesthetic. The operation was set for 30min maximum, so after I woke up it was a surprise that it was 2h later. They told me the cyst was as big as an egg and way deeper than they thought and it took them longer.
    After that I had no problems for 2 months and I was really happy and hoped it actually worked this time. The healing phase was also really easy, I was in mild pain for 3 days and after that it was mostly good.
    Now the sad thing, after 2 and a half months I noticed that it started hurting again. I looked and saw a small swelling, slightly different place this time. I went back to the hospital and she said it souldn’t be back and that she removed the gland acutally. I didn’t know this. And i’m still not sure if she actually removed the gland or if she meant she removed the cyst completly and just said it wrong accidentally. She advised me to wait with an operation, because the tissue is really thin there already and corona of course.
    So since then it opened 2 times on it’s own already and while i’m glad that it opens on it’s own now, it still hurts a lot of the time and is frustrating. Next year, when corona hopefully will be a bit better I will go to my doctor again and ask for her opinion and also confirm if the gland is removed now or not.
    My heart goes out to every women who has this problem. It’s horrible and it’s hard to find others who have the same thing. It’s a painful condition and you can’t talk to everyone about it. For me it ruined my sexuality. I’m a young women, I love sex and masturbaiting and now I can’t do it without feeling bad. The only positive I have with this thing, it never was an abscess. I can’t imagine how much worse this must be.

    • linda
      Author
      14 December, 2020 / 5:48 pm

      Thank you for sharing your story and I’m sorry for what you have gone through. Nobody seems to know exactly why we get these evil things.

      • MF
        12 January, 2021 / 3:57 am

        I had a BC 5 years ago it was so painful and the night before my doctors appointment after a week of uncontrollable pain it popped while I slept. The doctor told me that it popped would heal, didn’t do anything and sent me home. This was 5 years ago. Well it never healed. I went to the doctor three times before he referred me to a gynaecologist. This was about 7months after it had popped. The gynaecologist booked me an appointment to do something so that it would close and heal. I went to the appointment and it was a different doctor. He cut soft tissue from my labia and didn’t tell me anything. Again it never healed. Now 5 years later at wits end I’m again trying to find if this has happened to anyone? I have to wear panty liners everyday as it constantly drains. I saw another gynaecologist who uses a chemical to ‘burn’ off some of the tissue to stop some of the bleeding and she told me it was better for me to constantly drain as otherwise would keep blocking and getting bigger and be painful also she told me the surgery is not recommended as I’m young was 24 when she told me.

    • Tonia
      29 December, 2020 / 4:22 pm

      My own case is exactly the same with your story.. I have spent hell of money… but still no result… I’m sick and tired of this

  21. LR
    11 December, 2020 / 2:18 am

    I had a bartholin cyst during pregnancy. Worst golf ball nightmare ever. Had to have it marsupialized. (If that’s the correct term). Worst pain ever. I always contributed it to pregnancy and hormones. That was over 13 years ago. However, I recently attempted to take prenatal vitamins again because of my hair and and nails. One dose, and one of my glands became swollen. Looking back, seems like the vitamins were the contributing factor.

    • linda
      Author
      11 December, 2020 / 9:30 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience. What were the vitamins you were taking? Was it a multivitamin?

  22. Mel Spence
    9 December, 2020 / 11:42 am

    Hi Linda,

    Thank you so much for writing this article; it’s so nice to read about it from an actual persons perspective.

    This week has been hell. It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced this and I think it is now an abscess. The pain started instantly and within a day or two I was on antibiotics. So I know it’s not even been 48 hours on them but I’m just in absolute agony, I can’t concentrate on work and don’t know what to do with myself (I’m doing Masters at the moment and struggle to not keep busy and I have deadlines, so it’s a pain).

    I genuinely feel like someone is lighting a match and stabbing me at the same time. Do you have any recommendations at all to relieve the pain or maybe even drain the abscess without surgery? I know I’m probably going way ahead of myself with thinking about surgery but it’s all scaring me a bit.

    I’d love to hear some of your advice; thank you so much!

    • linda
      Author
      9 December, 2020 / 12:34 pm

      Hi Mel – sorry you are suffering. You might find some ideas in this post https://www.motherdistracted.co.uk/2020/08/home-remedies-for-bartholins-cysts-or-abscesses.html. Are you doing sitz baths with epsom salts or similar to relieve the pain? You can do this about 4 times a day to ease the discomfort and hopefully shrink the cyst. If the pain continues you need to go back to the doctor even though you are on antibiotics because the cyst may need draining. For me, the antibiotic amoxicillin (penicillin) seems to be the one that reduces it slightly. I’m assuming you are taking a pain killer too. You could also try sitting on a hot water bottle (but wrap it carefully in a tea towel or similar to avoid burning).

    • Mary Conopa
      12 December, 2020 / 11:25 pm

      GIRL, you and me both. First time it has happened and it bursted on its own last night. One of the worst experiences I have ever gone through. And I didnt know these glands existed until I searched the internet looking for answers. Its so comforting to know I’m not alone in this, but im sorry you’re going through it. I just dont know what im supposed to do about the after care now since I dont have any symptoms that are making me feel ill and no fever. Ive just been soaking in epsom salts to help drain and sterile pads. And its been continuously draining, although its mostly blood now, but its still hard and swollen. Im not sure how long that takes to go away, but its a LOT smaller than it was and is only causing me minimal pain when I am switching bandages and twinges of pain if I move a certain way. Praying for you, Honey!

  23. Kevala Shishmanian
    4 December, 2020 / 2:01 am

    Hello, I have just been looking through all the messages and it gives me mixed emotions with some people suffering for so long and worrying about my own issues. I’m in Aus and it looks like we do things a little different as I have never heard of the Word Catheter. I got my first BC March 2020 and eventually after being sent around the ringer, 3 trips to the ER due to pain I had a marsuplization surgery in early May which took me around 6 weeks to recover from not the 2 they advised.
    I had a check up at the 4 week mark and the Dr advised it was healing nicely and to start stretching the scar (i.e I could have sex again) which I really eased myself into. Sadly around 6 weeks ago another BC lump started forming and antibiotics did not help so they sent me in for a second marsuplization surgery. 2 weeks later and I am still in a decent amount of pain so I cant go for big walks, exercise or anything but at back working (from home) however there is now a decent sized lump again. I had a follow up phone call with a Dr at the hospital who basically said there should not be a lump and I should not be in this much pain still. So now I am sending myself into a hole searching the internet for other ladies experiences and tying to not get to depressed that 2 weeks post op it is likely to be back again. I have a f2f check up next week.
    I am worried I will need a 3rd surgery. Do I push to get the gland removed or try antibiotics or a naturopath or something else but then I don’t want to just live with pain as it really does mess with my mind when it is so constant. I am also super scared as to how this will affect my relationship, my partner is SO understanding about not being able to have sex or even get me aroused as it hurts but even just mentally its draining.
    Anywho, I really appreciate this blog post and reading everyone’s comments so thanks.

    • linda
      Author
      4 December, 2020 / 11:34 am

      Is it a lump or is it scar tissue from your surgery? There will be some scar tissue. Can your doctor see you again? As you have discovered, the two weeks recovery time quoted for marsupialisation is rubbish and to be honest I would have waited longer before having sex in case you reintroduce bacteria. It’s frustrating that is usually male medics who come out with this stuff. I am not a doctor, just to be clear but I do think you need a second opinion from someone who knows what they are talking about. Gland removal would be an absolute last ditch option.

      • Karen
        2 January, 2021 / 10:58 pm

        Hi Linda,

        Firstly thank you for this site it’s the first I have found that’s helpful and comforting.

        My story is very similar to the above, with the mars. done 5 weeks ago (on the area which was botched in Italy, done again here with a word catheter and never healed so had to do the surgery in the end). I looked at the scar tonight and I can see there is still white liquid coming out but this doesn’t have an odour so I believe this is healthy fluid cleaning out the wound? I was wanting to resume sexual activity in a week but not sure when to know it’s all good… is it only when there is no fluid coming out? Do you know when I should be concerned and go to the doctors again( obviously trying to avoid going to the hospital currently). Should I be doing sitz baths now or is it pointless or aggravating so late?

        Sorry know I’m bombarding you but I’ve received conflicting responses and this is the first time I’ve read constipation could impact this and i suffer from it so going to try focus on that as a priority to prevent

        Thanks
        K

        • linda
          Author
          3 January, 2021 / 11:44 am

          Hi Karen. It’s possible that your cyst is still draining but, personally, I would not resume full sexual activities for a good few weeks. I am assuming your surgery was marsupialisation? Did you have any stiches? Can you have a telephone appointment with a doctor or your consultant to ask what the fluid is? Have you got any pads / gauze around the surgery site to avoid rubbing or irritation? I would keep the area clean so a sitz bath is probably OK but I would stick to plain warm water with a little epsom salts in. I think many ladies think that getting rid of these is like popping a zit but that’s really not the case. I am not a doctor though so you do need qualified medical advice on this. Keeping your bowels moving and also finding a good women’s health physio will help.

        • Cecile
          11 February, 2021 / 5:32 pm

          Hi Karen, hi Linda,

          First of all Linda, thanks for writing about this on your blog, as many others have commented it’s been great to read other women experiences on this.

          I’m 34, never had an issue with my bartholin glands until I woke up 10 days ago with a very swollen labia, which wasn’t painful to start with. I went to my GP feeling a bit panicked and she said that if the antibiotics didn’t solve the problem and the abcess didn’t burst itself, I could either be referred privately (given the long waiting NHS times), go to A&E.

          Thankfully I managed to go private a couple days later and to cut a long story short, I ended up having a marsupialization 6 days after the beginning of the abcess. I understand most GPs and gynecologists advise waiting longer but the abcess got to the size of a pear, I couldn’t sit, walk or sleep. With two young children at home needing constant attention and homeschooling it was HELL.
          I truly sympathise with any woman out there suffering right now as I know the pain is unbearable.

          I ended up having a marsupilisation a week later and the relief has been tremendous. Hardly any pain afterwards, a few pulls from the stitches but that’s it. However, similarly to you Karen, a week on I’m still having some discharges and the hole on my labia looks big and scary. I’m trying to not look at it too much and obcess over it but I do worry a little. How long did you take to heal Karen? All in order now? Did the hole stay open? My gynecologist seemed to think it was best if it did. But it freaks me out a little.

          I’ve got my follow up appointment in 8 days and keen to find out how it’s all looking as I’m pretty desperate for to go back to exercise and having the option of resuming sex.

          What we women have to go through is a bit mad. Giving birth is hard enough and now this 🙁

          Thank you
          Cecile

  24. Broken Moon
    3 December, 2020 / 3:52 pm

    I’ve had this cyst reoccurring on the WEEKLY now for about 5 years. I’ve had it treated so many times. I’m essentially just living in pain now and can not even stand to get aroused because of the pain that comes with it. What a way to live your 20s.
    I honestly wish I could cut it off and be smooth like a barbie if I could at this point.

    But real talk, does ANYONE know it the actual gland (not cyst) can just be straight up removed from the body? I can’t seem to get answers and I am sick of this controlling my life with a heavy hand.

    • linda
      Author
      3 December, 2020 / 5:55 pm

      Hi – it can but it’s a pretty big operation and I suspect that your medics would want to exhaust every other avenue first. Do they have no idea what is triggering it? Have you had a marsupialisation?

  25. Deb
    26 November, 2020 / 9:24 pm

    Oh jeez am I glad to find this. I’d never heard of bartholin or his issues until Sunday where I had a lump which felt like the size of a tennis ball (but was probably smaller) started growing on my labia. I went to out of hours and ended up getting admitted. I had a temperature which meant getting stuck in the a and e covid side Monday night whilst waiting for a bed and a negative test, it burst. Prior to the bursting, I had gone from someone who never even takes paracetamol to on morphine every hour in a and e. Just horrendous.
    Bp ridiculously low, and keeps going up and down, infection markers in bloods showing risk of sepsis etc. I will defo be taking your advice to make sure my poor bits and pieces never end up in a and e again. All women should know these exist, I had been having trouble with tampons for months, Mild discomfort having sex and had used vaginosis and thrush treatments. I also had two courses of anti biotics for cellulitis. I know believe all are related. Women need to know about this widely and not just when something happens.

  26. Inet Diran
    21 November, 2020 / 7:47 am

    Hi, Linda….at the.moment I have my non-infected cyst. This is my first and I’m 49years old. My ob-gyn said I have to take the marsupial operation cos antibiotic didnt make it go away. But my GP (I went to him for my insurance) said my cyst is not harmful as it is not infected and it would be a waste to do the operation. Now, I’m confused. What do you do with you “current” non infected cyst? Will it ever go away?

  27. Inet Diran
    21 November, 2020 / 2:28 am

    DeaR Linda,
    at the moment I have my first non infected cyst for about 2 weeks….you said in your artyicle that at the moment you’re “nursing” your small cyst. What I want to ask is…how long can the non infected cyst go away….or can it stay for months…or gasp, years? Thank you for this blog…..

  28. Jennifer
    20 November, 2020 / 10:18 pm

    I had one of these last year, i felt a sudden twinge which alerted me to the fact it was there (never had anything like this before & I’m 37) and then it just got bad really fast, it swelled and became very painful I could barely sit down but had to go to work and pretend I was fine, after lots of online research (thank god for the internet) I realised what was happening and I tried sitz baths, after 3-4 days of pain it burst in the early hours of the morning and the relief was instant although the draining was very unpleasant, it seemed to heal well, I avoided sex for about 3 months, I was scared it would come back and I carried on the baths with epsom salts, the thing is I’m over a year and 6 months on now and I still get bleeding from it, randomly, I can go for a week or two with nothing and then all of a sudden its like it opens up and bleeds for a bit then stops, there is no pain and the blood is bright red so to me its a clean wound, i dont think there is any infection like before when it was an abscess, I just don’t understand why it won’t fully heal, I use phoebes cure if it twinges which happens now and again and I am going to try some of the ideas on this thread, particularly the silica but if anyone out there has this bleeding thing going on I’d be so grateful to know. I really don’t want to go through the GP and gynae for this its literally my worst nightmare.

  29. Noah
    15 November, 2020 / 4:02 pm

    Hello, I am happy to have found an active page where I can have answers or tips to my problem.
    But to sum it up:
    I am 19 years old, I have vaginismus since middle school. I’ve had a boyfriend for a few months now, so my sex life has changed dramatically. The fact is that we have tried penetration several times but due to my vaginismus, intercourse is impossible.
    But that’s not the point, since besides that, I do bartholinitis repeatedly as soon as we do the foreplay, and recently it also happens to me right after masturbation, without really deflating afterwards. (My doctor advised me to take a certain flurbiprofen drug but the thing gives me awful side effects and does not make it deflate that much)
    I went to see my doctor twice after two swellings of my gland. I don’t have an infection, and she thinks it’s just caused by the vaginismus.
    I’m very scared to see a gynecologist and tell me to do an ablation, knowing that many had complications post-surgery, and that I haven’t even really had sex yet.
    I think about it everyday and it puts me in an atrocious mood every time. Besides, I blame myself for imposing that on my boyfriend who has also never had sex until now.

    Thank you, I wish you a great day.

  30. Shannon
    31 October, 2020 / 5:01 pm

    Hi,
    Thank you sooo much for sharing your story! It’s made me feel like I’m not alone anymore.
    I got my first BC in June, another in September and again this week. They seem to come up around the same time of the month so I am thinking it maybe related to my hormones?!
    I’m 27 and I honestly have never experienced pain like my first BC it was unbearable!! I actually went to A N E as I had no idea what it was I was so scared. After I had taken the antibiotics and had sitz baths for a few days it finally burst and the pain relief was instant!
    My 3rd BC is now healing but I think I now have thrush! I was wondering if anyone has had a BC and then thrush as well! Is it okay to use the canistan cream even though the BC is still healing. The BC is now very small and drained in Wednesday it’s now Saturday. I feel like my vagina is always getting these things when I’m ovulating! I’ve got a doctors appointment next week to discuss with them as I’m really considering having the gland removed as I can’t take this pain and stress every month. It’s effecting my sex life to, my partner is very understanding but it makes me feel upset I can’t be a normal 27 year old! I’d love some advice mainly if it’s okay to use the thrush cream why the cyst is healing?
    Thank you so much in advance xx

    • linda
      Author
      1 November, 2020 / 10:05 am

      Hi Shannon – I can’t see why you couldn’t use thrush cream. The Bartholin’s glands are at the back of the vagina so I would just make sure you avoid the cyst area. It might be easier to take a thrush tablet (diflucan) which you can buy over the counter in the UK and usually clears thrush up in 48 hours depending on how bad the thrush is. I do think there’s a link with our cycles but also stress is a major factor (at least for me). You can also take a probiotic – I take Optibac Woman which helps keep the balance down there when you do have to take antibiotics. It’s a bit pricey but it seems to work.

    • Catherine Cox
      9 November, 2020 / 7:24 pm

      This is my first BC and oh my the pain. This weekend has just been awful. Finally managed to get hold of the doctors and have been prescribed antibiotics for 7 days. I am afraid as I’ve never had a lump so big. I don’t think it is the size of some of you’re but the pain and discomfort. I am praying the antibiotics work and Epsom salts.
      Thank you for posting. This has eased the anxiety a little!

  31. Deby
    31 October, 2020 / 12:41 pm

    I have been suffering from Bartholin cyst since 2016. I got the incision done 5 times on right side as Marsupulization scared me a lot. Unfortunately, my 4th incision was right before my wedding and luckily I survived. I have tried endless home remedies like sitz baths, neem leaves paste, castor-turmeric-coconutoil-witch hazel, ayurvedic treatment (kancharguggul) and changed my shaving routine. Stopped waxing as my doctors advised me it was triggering my cyst to form in less than 2-3 days to size of a grape. Stopped alcohol, lessened spicy food, wearing loose clothes and changing pads 7-8 times a day as tampons were causing irritation.
    I am still trying to make my mind as i am being told marsupulization has very high success rate. However, I completely agree incision is quick fix as it kept recurring multiple times. It isnt an easy decision as marsupulization leaves a permanent scar and no doctor is able to give me success rate with confidence. I realize staying strong is our only option and keep trying. I cam definitely vouch paste of fresh neem leaves did have pleasant effect and i am continuing as it is my day 4. I will keep you posted if it brings any good shrinking results. We all are in this together. Keep fighting:)

    • linda
      Author
      1 November, 2020 / 10:10 am

      Hi Deby. I had my marsupialisation about 15 years ago and although I have had issues with scar tissue (now a lot better) and swollen glands I have not had another abscess. The success rate varies from woman to woman but had I been suffering with these as long as you have I would consider it. I am not a doctor though. I would research the surgeons / gynaes doing the operation and then see if you can speak to one direct.

      • Deby
        1 November, 2020 / 11:31 am

        Linda,

        Your blog is amazing. I feel light hearted as i am not the only one and a healthy discussion board is encouraging all of us to speak so openly.

        In my case, consulted 3 senior gynaecologists during last 2 weeks and all of them suggested for marsupulization. A cystectomy would be perform during this surgery to remove cyst completely. It is just a matter of time i make up my mind as going under the knife is a scary ride. Biopsy was performed locally and every test came negative. Thats a relief. Meanwhile, I did try putting raw garlic (thin slices) on the cyst. The pain is close to 100 needles pricking in one second but the burning sensation went away in 5 mins & cyst redness reduced. I also started “kapalabharathi” – 5 mins yoga exercise by Baba Ramdev who assures it takes 3 months for cyst to shrink naturally. I will keep you informed on what worked out for me as i am still in middle of this unfortunate battle.

        Thank you for your blog.

        • Deby
          4 December, 2020 / 2:00 am

          I finally got the bartholin gland excision performed. It was a 40 mins surgery where they removed the entire gland under general anaesthesia. Its been close to 2 weeks and i am able to walk with mild pain now. I was prescribed antibiotic, pain killers and metrogyl ointment which draws out the yellowish puss from the affected area. Ladies, please consult a doctor rightaway to get the best course of action. I personally visited 7 doctors before i actually made up my mind for surgery. Just, make right decision under no pressure. I can peacefully say goodbye to bartholin cyst forever. Its such a relief. Your not alone. Stay strong!!

          • Shere
            28 December, 2020 / 8:27 pm

            Wow a bartholian gland excision. How was that? I have been suffering with this since the birth of my first child in 2016. I find it recurr couple days before my period. I deal with this almost every month. I have been to so many specialists. I tried the word catheter approximately 4 times and no success. I did a surgery in the OR in Sept and still it came back Dec 24/2020. I am trying to stay optimistic, but not sure of my next plan. I am wondering if you ladies have any suggestions for me. I am located in Canada.

          • Deby
            26 February, 2021 / 2:56 pm

            Shere,
            I completely understand your pain. This bartholin is like a dark nightmare that never leaves you alone. Having bartholin cyst constantly in back of mind was very exhausting. I did so much of online research for natural remedies that I personally wish to award myself a Ph.D in internet hunting for natural remedies. I went through 5 bartholin cyst draining process as I was Terrified with the idea of marsupulization or bartholin gland excision. If i look back, i visited approximately 10 doctors where an oncologist decided gland removal was the best option. He also mentioned that lubrication of vagina wouldn’t be an issue as there are internally other secretive glands that lubricates so he told me to not worry. Surgery was approximately 2 hours as the general anaesthesia had to kick in. Ofcourse, it took 5 years time for me to come to terms with gland excision (complete removal of bartholin gland- right side). It was the size of a walnut. I was surprised how this little cyst was inside my body(either shrinks or swells excessively during menstrual cycle). The PERMANENT SOLUTION WAS BARTHOLIN GLAND EXCISION (REMOVAL OF GLAND). I am 95% recovered almost after 3 months. Luckily my partner was cooperative and he was present emotionally which made me strong like a rock to recover. I want to tell all the ladies that waxing, shaving or getting intimate with partner are 3 main trigger points for cyst to swell up. Do not use vaginal wash as they are irritating your skin super bad. Just cleaning with warm water(add pinch of turmeric if needed once in a week) works on a daily basis. Please understand gland incision, marsupulizations are temporary solutions. Gland removal is Permanent but only an experienced doctor can perform this surgery. If a slightly inexperienced doctor comes, there is a chance u mighy go through marsupulization and not bartholin gland excision as these glands are very tricky to catch hold off. Please read reviews, ask doctors how many times they actually performed an excision, only then make a decision. This is purely from my personal experience and the ultimate decision is in your own hands. Please do research, discuss with your partner, doctors before taking any step.

          • Andi
            16 March, 2021 / 3:00 am

            My doctor has recommended I get the excision surgery as well to totally remove the gland. How has your recovery been? If you don’t mind me asking, are you still having pain or any recurrences or has the other gland started to do the same? Is sex painful and did you have any issues from the surgery? Do things look okay down there? I’m really scared and worried.

  32. Lucie
    23 October, 2020 / 2:40 am

    I am 45 and have had many occurences over the past 5 yrs…which ended in up in E.R. after one very aggressive infection and a severe drop in blood pressure. Never gone through E.R. so quick…lol
    After all the medical stuff, catheter and antibiotic, which helped immediately but not in the long run…
    An homeopathe suggested, 2 yrs ago, that I take 3 pellets of Hepar Sulfuris 9Ch and Sepia 9Ch everyday precociously and up to 3 times a day when I feel an infection coming on. It has significantly decreased the severity and frequency of these infections.
    My body naturally and instinctively “made” it’s own marsupialization which sometimes will heal over but never for long…(sigh). It remains sensitive like a wound.
    I also take Silicea 9Ch occasionally but will up the frequency to see if it can help.
    I’ve used green clay cataplasm on the cyst with good success but will definitely try Phobe’s cure next time.
    I also have lichen sclerosis(diagnosed at 18)but has not been active for a very long time thank God…I can only handle so much down there!!
    It’s great to finally read about someone else’s story…
    Hope all is well in your part of the world! Cheers from Canada!

    • linda
      Author
      23 October, 2020 / 7:32 am

      Hi Lucie – thanks for sharing your story and for including some new home treatments. I hope you are OK and hello from Wales.

  33. Nicole
    14 October, 2020 / 8:14 pm

    Hello!
    Thank you for the most helpful article on this topic!
    I am 6 weeks pregnant and just had an infected cyst. It was extremely painful, almost fainted due to the pain when I decided to see a doctor. She did a small surgery to clean the abscess, even the local anesthesia did not work, so it was the most extreme pain I’ve have ever experienced. Two days passed and I felt much better, pain is gone but now I feel the area is getting inflammation again.
    The doctor did not recommend to take antibiotics during pregnancy and I am afraid the abscess will come again.
    Also, as it’s my first pregnancy, how s this pain for you comparing to the labour one? I was planning to have a natural birth but the doctor said that I will not stand it if I cannot stand the pain of the surgery she has done…
    Thank you!

    • linda
      Author
      15 October, 2020 / 5:53 pm

      Hi Nicole. I had my children by C-section and had an epidural so I can’t compare Bartholin Cyst pain to labour. I would think, though, that child birth and cyst draining are different kinds of pain and I would assume that you would be given pain control during your labour. Do you have a midwife you could ask? Is your doctor going to be there when you give birth? She sounds very unsupportive. I would talk to the medics who will be delivering your baby and see if you can have a chat about different kinds of pain relief and come up with a birth plan as a guide to what you would like to happen. Bear in mind, also that a C-section is major surgery – far greater than your cyst draining procedure so if you want a natural birth I would suggest you stick to your guns but seek help from more supportive medical professionals. In the meantime, keep on with sitz baths and keep the area clean.

    • Amy Tucker
      25 October, 2020 / 10:33 am

      I’ve had 2 children, second one only 3 years ago. It’s a completely different pain to the Bartholin abscess. When you’re having a baby it’s pain with purpose and you battle your way through it! You’ll be absolutely fine, regardless of how unbearable you found the treatment for the abscess.
      I had my second Bartholins abscess drained a week ago and had a word catheter inserted. It was agony. I suffered with the abscess for a week – my doc wouldn’t see me as they were too paranoid about coronavirus. Eventually I managed to get them to refer me by telephone to the hospital by which time the abscess had grown to the size of a small apple! I found the treatment extremely painful, and it’s unfair of your doc to compare it to how you might cope with labour- it’s completely different.

    • Jennifer
      20 November, 2020 / 10:35 pm

      I read this post and I had to comment, how unhelpful and irresponsible of your doctor to say something so utterly stupid, I wholeheartedly agree with the other comments its a different kind of pain, I work in a hospital and I can honesty say although I have a great respect for drs and what they do, they aren’t always right and sometimes their attitudes leave a lot to be desired, i hope you find some help on here. I’d like to thank Linda for starting this wonderful forum I agree that more research needs to be done its terrible that women are made to feel like they aren’t taken seriously and or healthcare is a last resort in these matters.

  34. Esther
    14 October, 2020 / 3:35 pm

    Please I weeks ago I found out I had bartholin
    I started taking antibiotics
    The swelling reduced and I feel no pain’s anymore
    But the wound is still there
    Any idea what I could do?

    • linda
      Author
      15 October, 2020 / 5:56 pm

      When you say wound, do you mean the cyst (a lump)? In my experience it may take a while for the lump to go and it may hang around for a bit. If it isn’t giving you any problems I would leave it alone but keep an eye on it and then see your doctor for a check up in a week or so. If you start to feel unwell or the cyst swells and it is painful to sit, walk or have sex then see a GP as soon as possible.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

    • Abbie
      23 December, 2020 / 2:30 am

      Has anyone experienced air/gas escaping from their insision area? I had a word catheter placed, and immediately noticed that air would escape through the hole in my labia caused by the catheter. The procedure didn’t work, and I had the entire gland removed about 5 weeks later. I’m now about 5-6 weeks post surgery, and the hole left by the catheter still has not closed, and gas escapes it daily. My Dr has used silver nitrate, but nothing will close that hole.

  38. 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.

      • T'Na
        11 November, 2020 / 12:08 pm

        Thank you for sharing. When you experience something like this, unfortunately you feel like you are the only one having these issues. It’s nice to know sadly but graciously that other women are in the same situation. I hate it for all the women that suffer with these issues. This is my first forum ever speaking out in this subject. It has been embarrassing and if you habe people that never went through it they will NEVER know the pain and discomfort we deal with. I have been dealing with these off and on for about two years. Came out of left field I tell you. Recently, I noticed during my cycle a small lump and knew exactly what that meant. I always soak in a hot tub so that’s always my first place to go. I used hot compressions and heating pad. When my cycle ended it seemws like Over night it had become very big and very painful. I almost fainted. I knew then there was an abscess and I couldn’t hold out for another month. I was rushed to E.R. where they made an incision and drained. They also put in the word catheter. I return in a few days to have it removed. I was prescribed pain meds and antibiotics. My doctor’s appointment with my Gyno is on Dec 10 u can rest assure we will be discussing permanent removal both Bartholin Glands. I hate not knowing what is truly causing the ducts to be blocked. I am. OCD with my hygiene and these makes me fe so unclean. I hate that feeling. I hate the pain it produces. I just hate we have to go through this as women. Like we do not have enough going on. Has anyone had there Bartholin Glands removed and if so how are you doing now???

        • Daj
          16 December, 2020 / 1:25 pm

          How was your incision and drainage experience

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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!|

  43. 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.

  44. 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

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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).

  51. 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.

  52. 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

      • Kate World
        17 November, 2020 / 2:18 pm

        Hello. I’ve had a few BC’s in my time and one some years ago that did require antibiotics and eventually popped, the sheer relief! For some YEARS I’ve had a lump and got it checked out by gynaecology consultation and was confirmed as a BC. I haven’t had any pain or discomfort at all. The doctor gave the option of removal or not. As it wasn’t causing me any issues I’ve opted to leave it. My question is, do you know of anything perhaps herbal that may help to dispel it without having medical intervention. I don’t know whether in the future if it should be removed once the whole covid thing is behind us. My preference of course would be to be able to take something that will gradually get rid of it. Thoughts?

        • linda
          Author
          17 November, 2020 / 3:16 pm

          The one supplement I do hear ladies use is Serrapeptase. I have taken it myself but am unsure how effective it is. Others swear by it. Please note that I am not a qualified doctor so proceed with caution if you do decide to take it. It comes from silk worms (I think) and, anecdotally, is supposed to shrink tumours and cysts. You take it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning so I would try a half dose (mine was 2 tablets) and see how you get on. The other thing I’ve come across in my research is dairy – I believe there are studies which implicate it in cyst production. I’d check out official medical sites and studies though rather than rely on health ‘magazine’ type sites. Lastly, the BGs produce lubrication for sex so it makes sense to me that having sex may keep them drained and clear. It might be the last thing you feel like doing but it may be something to think about. I think you’re right to leave the cyst for the time being unless it becomes an abscess. If the doc removes it you may be left with scar tissue which can add to your problems.

  53. 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!

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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?

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.

  61. 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 !!

  62. 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 !!

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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?

  66. 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.

  67. 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)

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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!!!

  72. 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?

  73. 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.

  74. 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?

  75. 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.

  76. 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.

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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!

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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?

  88. 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.

  89. 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?!

  90. 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.

  91. 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!

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