Try These Natural Home Remedies For Bartholin’s Cyst Relief

In my post “Bartholin’s Cysts – The Rarely Discussed Nightmare“, I talk about my experience with one of the most uncomfortable vaginal problems, along with some of the self help remedies I, and others have tried.

There seems to be a huge lack of knowledge about these cysts which, when they abscess cause great pain and require immediate surgery to deal with them – unless you are brave enough to try to burst and drain them yourself at home.

Let’s just remind ourselves of what we are dealing with here.

The Bartholin’s Glands

Here’s what the NHS says:

The Bartholin’s glands are a pair of pea-sized glands found just behind and either side of the lips that surround the entrance to the vagina. The glands are not usually noticeable because they’re rarely larger than 1cm (0.4 inches) across. The Bartholin’s glands secrete fluid that acts as a lubricant during sex. The Bartholin’s Glands.  (Source).

Bartholin’s Cysts

Sometimes the openings of these glands become obstructed, causing fluid to back up into the gland. The result is relatively painless swelling called a Bartholin’s cyst. If the fluid within the cyst becomes infected, you may develop a collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue (abscess).

When these glands become blocked – and nobody seems to know quite why this happens – fluid backs up into the gland creating a painless swelling called a Bartholin’s cyst.

In my experience you can have a cyst for years without it interfering in your life particularly (including your sex life) or any pain or discomfort.

Bartholin’s Abscess

BUT if the cyst grows and becomes painful, in all likelihood it has become an abscess (or is infected)and will need medical treatment – antibiotics in the first instance and if it continues either marsupialisation or the insertion of a word catheter to help it drain.

I had a marsupialisation of a large Bartholin’s abscess about 10 years ago.

For those suffering persistent Bartholin’s cysts / abscesses, the last step is removal of the actual Bartholin’s Glands themselves.

What do you do if you have a cyst?

The problem for sufferers is knowing how their cyst is going to behave and whether it will develop into an abscess.

My GP prescribes antibiotics at the first twinge which seem to have prevented, if not swollen glands, then certainly another abscess.

Constantly taking antibiotics is not ideal so many sufferers try home remedies such as Phoebe’s Cure and a combination of sitz baths and various supplements.

I thought it would be useful to list some of the treatments that are used in case you would like to try them for yourself.

These are, of course, no substitute for seeking qualified medical advice but if you can head one of these evil things off at the pass, so to speak, that can only be a good thing.

Note, however, that if you have a temperature, are in pain or feel in any way unwell then you must seek medical advice.   I should also point out that these home remedies are undertaken at your own risk.

Home remedies for Bartholin’s Cysts and Abscesses

Before trying these, you need to decide whether, in the case of a small cyst that is not otherwise bothering you, it is better to leave it alone.  The vulval and vaginal skin is very delicate and applying things such as Tea Tree Oil may cause you some discomfort.  Proceed with caution.

Phoebe’s Cure

You’ll need:-

  • 1 oz calamine lotion
  • 1 tsp tea tree oil
  • 1 tsp witch hazel

Put all these on a cotton pad or gauze and apply for one hour (or longer).  Other sufferers have had better results by increasing the ingredients to, for example, 6 oz of calamine and 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil and witch hazel.  You may need to play around with the ‘recipe’ to find what works best for you.

Sitz Bath

You can buy sitz baths from Amazon – a plastic bowl which fits over your toilet and allows you to ‘sit’ in it to bathe your nether regions in warm water. Otherwise just fill your bath tub with water up to your hips. Try adding Epsom Salts or some sea salt if you don’t have anything else to hand.  Soak for around 20 minutes 3-4 times a day – depending on how painful your cyst or abscess is.

Hot water bottle

You could try getting the cyst to ‘pop’ by sitting on a hot water bottle but make sure it is wrapped in a muslin cloth or tea towel to avoid burning yourself.

Hot compress

Alternatively, you could use a washcloth dipped in hot water and carefully wrung out. Apply the compress for 10 minutes and repeat 4 times each day.

Tea Tree Oil or Witch Hazel

Add a couple of drops to a cotton pad and apply.  Check first whether you need to dilute it.

Prid

This is a homoeopathic drawing salve that claims to ‘draw out’ the pus and infection. Its main ingredients are: carbolic acid, arnica, calendula, echinacea and sulphur in an ointment of beeswax, petrolatum and parabens.  Apply direct or on a gauze pad.

A much cheaper alternative would be Magnesium Sulphate Paste, a topical treatment for skin infections such as boils and carbuncles (so roughly similar). Prid is a US product which you may not be able to get hold of so easily in the UK.

Silica supplement

Silica is a trace mineral which is only required by the body in small amounts.  It is said to support joint structures, hair, skin and nail health whilst its efficacy for Bartholin’s Cysts seems to be anecdotal.

Silicea 10 homoeopathic remedy

There seems to be some confusion between silica and silicea 10, a homoeopathic remedy for cysts.  I have tried the latter on numerous occasions.  These are little sugar pills you place beneath your tongue until they dissolve.

Serrapeptase supplement

Serrapeptase is an enzyme which acts as an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic.  It is said to boost antibiotic activity and tackle bacterial resistance.  There are huge claims made for Serrapeptase but again, its reputation seems to be based on hearsay.  I have taken this supplement on many occasions but am not sure whether it made much difference.  You are advised to take these on an empty stomach so watch the dose as the stronger ones can upset your stomach a little.

Caster Oil

Caster Oil may help cysts in the same way as apple cider vinegar or tea tree. Research shows that this oil is antimicrobial making it effective at killing bacteria that live in the skin (causing, for example, cysts and acne).  Apply directly to the cyst on a gauze or cotton pad.

Calamine Lotion

The stuff we were slathered in as kids to treat chickenpox –  it helps to dry out oozing skin irritations and is one of the key ingredients in Phoebe’s Cure (see above).

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has confirmed anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and both may help with pain and irritation in cysts. It may also help reduce the appearance or get rid of certain cysts caused by bacteria or other pathogens.  You can find an aloe vera gel in your local pharmacy or online.

Those unfortunate enough to suffer these blighters repeatedly may use one or several of these remedies whilst waiting to get to their doctor.  It is a matter of trial and error.

When the abscess ‘pops’

Sufferers report that when their abscesses burst there will be quite a lot of unpleasant liquid which seeps from the cyst.  You may need to wear a sanitary pad.  The site of the cyst and the surrounding skin may be tender so you should make sure you gently wash it and then call your GP for a check up.

Have you suffered from a Bartholin’s Cyst or abscess?  What has worked for you?

RELATED: 

Bartholin’s Cysts Affect Your Mental Health

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51 Comments

  1. Daphni
    2 May, 2021 / 4:57 am

    Thank you all for sharing. I thought I was alone out here. I’ve had BC in the past – from my 30’s to now in my 50’s – but they’ve always gone away on their own. This week – OUCH! I am so uncomfortable. I’m going out tomorrow to try all the suggestions you’ve recommended. I will update once I have relief.

  2. Jules
    25 April, 2021 / 3:37 pm

    I found this entire comment section to be the most informative thing I’ve come across during all of my research. Thank you to everyone and mostly to Linda and this blog. I want to give anyone reading this hope: you can treat this on your own. The reason it’s so traumatic is because of how our society has taught us to view vaginas and women’s health. We are told that our value is dependent on our sexuality and having a cyst interfere with that can be devastating. Once I realized that my partner loves me and nothing bad will happen if we cant have sex for a few weeks, not only did the anxiety subside but in my opinion, this also helped my cyst heal. The way doctors go about women’s health is really problematic. Of course, if you have a fever go to the doctor but removal of the gland is honestly barbaric and proof that modern medicine is rooted in misogyny. Here’s my cyst story: my first Bartho cyst occurred right after I had my Mirena IUD inserted. It was weird and painful but it went away on its own. Actually it never popped but the mucus-y blockage came out one day when I was on the toilet and that was VERY strange. It was like a big snot glob (sorry so gross but also fascinating). Fast forward 6 years – two weeks ago I noticed a pea sized (painless) bump near my vagina but closer to the anus. After sex it became inflamed, but only grew to about the size of a raisin. I kept it clean and put a topical antibiotic on it that I used for pimples since my Mirena IUD hormones have caused cystic acne (confirmed by my gyno). I also shaved there which I shouldn’t have since I’m pretty sure shaving is a huge reason these occur. I just thought it was a regular pimple. It grew and one day I looked and it had come to a head. I used tissue to apply pressure and drained the cyst like a pimple. After that it shrank away. I made sure to keep clean and use triple antibiotic ointment on it (my secret weapon). I still could feel the tiny pea cyst but it wasn’t affecting my life at all except I would sometimes notice a blood spot on the tissue or in my underwear. A week later (10 days before period) I had just shaved again (bad!) and had sex. A few hours after sex I felt a tenderness in the right labia but couldn’t figure out the source. I thought it was a yeast infection? The next day it was a pea size bump, but red and inflamed and a bit painful. Day 3 it really started to grow, to the size of a big grape. Totally couldn’t walk etc. I was terrified so I made an appointment for the doctor that week. In the meantime, I took epson baths and did not wear pants or underwear. I drank EmergenC and took zinc to be sure my immune system could fight it. My neighbors weren’t home so I actually laid in the yard with my vagina out because I was so helpless. I think getting 10 minutes of sun on my cyst actually did help. I took pictures of my cyst every day to track progress. Day 4 was the worst. I could see a bit of whiteness coming to the surface, but no obvious head like the last one. In my epson bath, I massaged around the area. I kept a non-stick cotton pad between my labia. I was sitting on the couch when I felt a ticklish tingling and immediate relief in pain. The bastard had popped on its own. I coaxed the rest out (using extreme caution and clean hands, clean cotton). The contents were not smelly, it was like a regular pimple, almost grayish pink colored discharge. After that I kept antibiotic ointment on the open wound, cleaning everytime I used the toilet and reapplying antibiotic ointment. Now I am on day 7 and the thing has shrunk down to a pea. It itches like mad which is the sensation my brain is getting because the body healing. I also think it itches because the hair follicles are able to reach the surface of my skin finally. So, I am not totally free of the cyst but I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am going to refrain from sex for another week. I have hope that my period coming and going will assist in the healing. I am staying hydrated, writing in my journal and meditating. If you read this while thing just know everything will be alright. You aren’t alone. Be good and gentle to your body and definitely don’t shave your pubic area since that’s a huge trigger for my cysts.

    • linda
      Author
      26 April, 2021 / 10:34 am

      Hi Jules – thanks so much for sharing your story. I think you may be right about shaving. I had a consultation with a consultant vulval dermatologist who told me that some hair down there is necessary for protection. It’s a personal choice I know but shaving everything off leaves me sore and irritated. And let’s be honest about this. How many of us shave simply to keep our partners happy. Sometimes I think you need to stand firm and say ‘nope, the hair stays because I’m more comfortable that way’.

  3. Amy
    13 April, 2021 / 5:14 am

    Wow! I felt so alone before. I could never find a lot of info on the internet about the cysts and abscesses and I felt like I was dirty even tho I keep myself clean. A male doctor even told me it was because of my weight I was getting them!!! So great to see so many other women offering helpful advice. I’ve been getting cysts for about 2 years now and have them abscess two to three times a year. Considering one of the surgeries! I’ve had to go to doctors for draining at-least 5 times (at-least I’m in Canada so cost wise i can afford to). I’m going to try some of these home remedies next time because lancing it myself with a needle is just so dangerous. Relieves pain and pressure but so risky if infections.

  4. Gloria
    2 April, 2021 / 10:10 pm

    Hi pls were can i get d tree tea oil here in nigeria

  5. Gloria
    2 April, 2021 / 10:07 pm

    Hi am glory 4rm nigeria, glad i wasnt d only one suffering from these, my cyst was cause by stoling strain but dont know were to get d tree tea oil here in nigeria can someone help me out plss

    • Kani
      3 April, 2021 / 11:22 pm

      Hi ladies
      I had recurring cysts for 8 Years and what has worked me is Bathing with tea tree oil and carrier oil like coconut oil. Applying 8-trek drawing salve on a cotton pad, drinking turmeric tea( turmeric powder and boiling water),applying tumeric and coconut oil on a cotton pad on the cyst, sitz bath with Epsom salts or apple cider vinegar.

      • Shiela
        12 April, 2021 / 8:15 pm

        Hello ..
        Evn I m suffering from this from past 5yrs…had this during pre n post pregnancy ..recently undergone incision n drainage of cyst but my bad luck it came again within 1.5months…seriously it made my life hell…could not take the pain again n again…this time doctor suggested me antibiotics injection for 5days…awaiting the cyst to subside….hope I get rid of this nightmare soon…..

    • dee
      15 April, 2021 / 11:12 pm

      Hello Gloria, you can check Organic Shoppe website or SBM Naturales on Instagram.

  6. KP
    27 March, 2021 / 12:38 pm

    Hello! Here’s what I did to pop my infected ping pong sized bartholin cyst.
    Once things started getting uncomfortable to sit, I tried my best to stay off of it, and used my squirt bottle of warm water a little more frequently than every bathroom break. That didn’t help reduce the swelling, but it felt nice and kept the area clean so I didn’t cause more of an infection. The next day, I decided I would be a bit more aggressive. Each bathroom break I cleansed my entire area with warm water and pat dry. This day I was in excruciating pain and it hurt to walk, laugh, sit, or pee. At this point, to hear loud noises hurt. I also started having back pains. And the high dose prescribed Motrin wasn’t helping. I boiled some water on the stove and dipped a washcloth in. Once it was cool enough to tolerate, I rung out the towel, folded twice to make a little square, and sprinkled turmeric on the section that would directly touch the cyst. I wore a diaper (which I highly recommend after childbirth or during menstruation) to keep it in place. A pad will work too. I repeated this process when the compress would become too cool, when I had to relieve myself, if I had to check on my other kids, etc. I did this until it was intolerable to let anything touch the cyst.
    I even sprinkled some turmeric in my drinks throughout the day. Just enough to tolerate though, as it’s chalky and bitter. I’m not sure if it helped, but because of it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nature, I figured it couldn’t hurt. I would’ve opted for golden milk instead but I was out of milk.
    I discovered later during the day that castor oil helped. So, on two cotton pads, I poured some castor oil and sprinkled turmeric. I castor oil covered the entire cotton round. I then placed them directly on the cyst with another warm compress then laid down . Once I got up again, I replaced them with another set of the castor oil and turmeric pads, but without the warm compress because I just couldn’t take anything touching it anymore. By this time, I could barley walk, it hurt to breathe and my lower back was in so much pain. I somehow crawled into bed and got as comfortable as I could with a pillow in between my legs and took about a 30- 40 minute nap. When I woke up I felt this gush of fluids flowing into my diaper. Although the area was still tender, it was nowhere near as painful as before. My back wasn’t even hurting anymore. I relieved myself and cleansed the area with warm water, pat dry, got new castor oil and turmeric pads, and replaced put on a fresh diaper.
    I hope this helps.

  7. Samantha
    27 March, 2021 / 4:33 am

    Hello everyone,

    I am 24 years old and had my first Bartholin’s cyst. My experience with it is the following:

    First day showering I felt like a pimple size bump in my vagina. I tried popping it (MISTAKE!!!) but nothing happened.
    Was really concerned and made some research and found out it was a Bartholin’s cyst. (*phew*) it didn’t hurt so I went on with my normal life.

    Second day, showering I felt a bigger bump. It would hurt a bit at touch. Didn’t do anything.

    Third day, it grew into a bigger bump.It started to hurt but bearable. Order a sitz bath on Amazon bc it was big for me now.

    4th day morning, PAIN WAS HARD, I couldn’t walk right, it would hurt when you sit and when standing up. It was painful!!! And it grew A LOT. (3 fingertips?) and very bumpy.
    I couldn’t wait until the sitz bath came so I went with a home remedy of warming up Aloe Vera and applying it.

    I was in much pain so I went with really hot Aloe Vera… I applied it and it took me like 5 minutes until IT POPPED ITSELF!!!!!! It was gross not gonna lie but I continued to pop it as if it was a pimple… and felt such a relieve after it.

    I hope it doesn’t come back but if not, I have a brand new sitz bath and the Aloe Vera works!!!!!

  8. Kat
    20 March, 2021 / 5:25 am

    I have a lump form on my Bartholin gland and it is very small the size of the tip of my pinkie finger. Day 1 and 2 it itches like crazy and then turns to pain after. I assume this is a Bartholin cyst but have tried Tee tree oil and Prid and neither have worked to get rid of it. So far I have it 4 times in the last 2 years and it has just gone away on its own after about two weeks. The pain is uncomfortable but manageable the real issue is the unbearable itch. Any suggestions?

    • linda
      Author
      20 March, 2021 / 11:49 am

      Have you seen a doctor about it as the itch isn’t typical (at least in my experience) of a Bartholin’s Cyst. Could it be a reaction to tea tree oil (have you been putting it on neat?) You may want to try antibiotics if the doctor will prescribe them for you – e.g. co-amoxiclav which was the last thing I was prescribed (it’s for skin infections).

  9. Gca
    17 March, 2021 / 10:47 pm

    Hi! This is my second one, i had my first when i was pregnant, dr pop it out during delivery and came back after 6 months. Its not painful or anything but just makes me worried knowing i have a cyst down there. My dr advise to do marsupialization or removing the gland. What should i do?

  10. RAR
    10 March, 2021 / 10:20 am

    Before I go off into my story of triumph- I have to say thank you so much to everyone who shared their story. I truly felt that I was going insane from the pain and crying. Giving myself nightmares about what was going to happen. I wish this upon no one. I don’t think anything can compare.

    This is long, but I feel that it might be helpful to anyone going through this and not knowing what they have/not having the courage to go to a doctor right away- like myself. Feel free to skip over to my day 7.

    Ive known that I had a cyst for about 3 years….but my gyno told me no big deal, I’ll be fine. Then covid hit and we can all assume no one was really going anywhere and avoiding anything that might Rona-ish.

    Day 1- I feel what felt like a really bad ingrown hair. I couldn’t see the lump or any redness so I was so confused. My left Labia was swelling up and it was bringing me discomfort.
    Day 2- I thought maybe I cut myself while shaving? It’s been a few days though. I started googling and came across so many diagnosis: follicutus/vulvydona/vaginitis/BARTHOLIN.
    Day 3&4- I take 500mg Tylenol, a CLEAN toothbrush, diluted apple cider vinegar and gently brushed it onto the labia. (This step definitely brought it more to the surface of my skin) Took a warm bath too. Still uncomfortable tho and found any excuse to put something cold in between my legs. I thought it’d be over soon.
    Day 5: the feeling of an ingrown hair became unbearable. I was scared to even touch anywhere. I applied the heating pad and it became a burning/stinging/throbbing sensational pain. And because things weren’t bad enough- I got an early period! I thought it was over for me and my vagina forever. I went back on google and diagnosed myself with having an STD. I trusted no one. (FYI DONT GOOGLE ANYTHING UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS. YOU WILL GO TEMPORARILY INSANE) I tried making an appointment with my gyno but she wasn’t available for another 2 weeks. I told myself if I wasn’t better I’d go to the ER. I couldn’t sleep. I gently did the tooth brush again as I took a warm shower hoping it would pop.
    Day 6: heating pad, I started to get a hard feeling on the labia. When I went to urinate it was burning. I cried for about 5 minutes everytime after i used the bathroom. I just didn’t understand why. I put on a pair of my boyfriends boxers and sweats and made it to URGENT Care. I felt so dumb crying to the doctor and warned her I might have an early period or I might be bleeding to death. She was so nice and calmed me down- was very gentle. Let me know I had a Bartholins/labial Abscess and early period. But that the ball was ready to burst underneath the hood of my cervix. She gave me anti-biotics and pain killers. The pain killers did not work. She recommended me see my gyno to have the draining done. I’m truthfully a little bitch at the thought of any surgery or cutting or sewing of anything on me. I began the anti biotics right away and went straight to googling home remedies and came across this luxurious page.
    All I had to my availability was a heating pad so I filled it up with hot water and sat on it. Having to urinate was worst. I couldn’t get myself to drink water cause I was scared although you have to drink as many fluids as possible. I found that peeing while I stood was less painful then sitting.

    Day 7-
    Was given the materials needed to make “Phoebes cure” and an epson salt bath. I couldn’t stop crying. I felt like a crab. I wanted to rip everything off. I had the heating pad and it really really began to sting. I felt it getting bigger (like a ping pong ball) and everything felt raw. I sat in my bathtub for 30 minutes. I made the phoebes cure concoction and applied it to gauze. I shoved that below the hood of my cervix and an extra layer around it. Covered it with underwear- laid down and threw the heating pad back on top. After an hour I felt the burning/I felt the stinging- but I also felt the coolness of the lotion and honestly- no pain was as bad as everything I had already been feeling. After about 1.5 hrs I felt a tiny heavy sting and myself get more moist. But I thought maybe it’s just the lotion drooping around…this would be too good to be true. I finally had to go to the bathroom and when I got up I felt an instant relief. It didn’t hurt to walk. It didn’t hurt to stand. I check and it had burst! A mixture of puss and blood. I got into my shower to wash off with warm water and try to drain I got what I could out but felt I still had more. I reapplied to a new gauze and left inside of me for another hour. 20 minutes into that i felt another burst inside of me and I couldn’t help but cry from happiness and relief. Cleaned it off And feel more normal…. and put a clean gauze inside in case I’m still leaking.

    I hope I’m done with it now. But just had to instantaneously share because like it was mentioned in previous comments………there is not enough information about this and it’s so scary. And doctors def just wanna take your money cause wtf it could come back? Even after surgeries? Gtfo.
    I will continue the antibiotics and definitely follow up with my gyno, but for now I am relieved and thankful to have come across this post because it’s not easy to talk about with people. It’s so dark and lonely.

    • Lyn
      14 April, 2021 / 12:27 pm

      Hi, i just wanted to ask, did you insert the gauze inside? Or only outside where the bump is?

  11. Selina
    25 February, 2021 / 7:45 am

    15hrs post surgery!
    I’ve removed the gauze and had a very gentle douche. Whilst douching I felt that the cyst is still very hard, not as big, but still there. I have taken a look and the incision is quite big and I can see the stitches. I’ve not seen this before…has anyone else had this?
    I also wanted to ask if anyone has any treatments to prevent scar tissue?
    Thank you 🙏🏻

  12. Selina
    24 February, 2021 / 9:59 pm

    Hello fellow sufferers!
    I’ve just returned home from my third marsupilisation procedure! This was the most painful of all the episodes and I’m wondering whether it was due to scar tissue from the previous operations. Has anyone else experienced this?
    I tried the usual home treatments as well Pheobes cure to no avail and could not stand the pain any longer. It must have been a nasty infection!
    I’m so pleased to have found this page, as most women I talk to have no idea about this problem. I’ve been a sufferer since 2005 and it really got to me this time…I was a crying mess when talking to the doctor!
    The worst part of this process is dealing with the GP and their receptionists who don’t seem to act with any sense of urgency or sympathy for this condition. I feel aggrieved by this treatment especially how is delays ongoing treatment and recovery time. Has anyone had issues with GPs?
    I just hope it works this time, although I’m petrified of having sex again in case it causes a recurrence!
    This is such an awful thing to have to deal with!

  13. Heather
    20 February, 2021 / 7:02 am

    A combination of epsom salt soaks and witch hazel has worked very well for me. I am a semi-regular sufferer…if my stress levels are high around my menstruation cycle it’s almost a guarantee for a flare up, so preemptive care is a must.

    1. don’t mess with the bump more than necessary
    2. be gentle when cleaning after tinkling; pat dry
    3. don’t cleanse with scented or strong soaps
    4. let your girl air out a little every day
    5. loose clothing below the waste
    6. warm as you can stand epsom salt soaks
    7. soak that sucker in witch hazel

  14. Jaja
    6 February, 2021 / 7:16 pm

    Ladies, I’m writing this comment as I’m sitting in the bathtube with salvia and cammomiles 🙁 Crying all the time – of pain, of the future, of the sex life with my boyfriend after this nigthmare.

    I’m sending you this forum that promises the huge help: still didnt find the confidence to try it.

    Let me know if it helped you!

    Good luck to everyone, we can do this!

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/home-remedy-for-bartholin-s-abscess-that-works–399532?page=9#main-section

  15. MSK
    1 February, 2021 / 7:08 pm

    With regards to Phoebe’s Cure, am I to understand that I basically insert the pad slightly into the vaginal opening and hold it there for an hour? My cyst is rather large. If I am seated on the toilet, I can reach down and feel it sticking out. There is no discomfort during regular activity like moving around, sitting down, etc. I really only feel it when I’m on the toilet, but it seems very big. When I get up, it almost feels like I’ve inserted a tampon incorrectly and it’s halfway out, if that makes sense? I first noticed it this summer, already fairly large, went to have it checked out. Gyn said it was a skeens gland cyst and would resolve on its own. I just went back again last week, as it has not resolved and seems to have grown some. Still no pain, and it actually feels hard, not squishy like a fluid filled pocket. She now says bartholin and put me on antibiotics. I’d really like to try to draw this thing out and get it gone without surgery. Any suggestions?

  16. linda
    Author
    16 January, 2021 / 4:02 pm

    Hi Ethel. I am not a doctor but that sounds wrong to me. The Bartholin Glands help with lubrication for sex but they do not, as far as I am aware, affect your fertility and won’t stop you conceiving. You will be pregnant for 9 months – that is long enough for your bartholin cyst to resolve itself or for you to have it drained if it does become an abscess (get infected). Do you have a swollen gland or a cyst (a firm lump)? Has the lump grown (can be the size of a golf ball) and filled with blood and pus? If so then it is an abscess and will need treating but this has nothing to do with pregnancy.

  17. Fathima
    6 January, 2021 / 1:23 pm

    I have this problam since 2 years bt it’s not pain how I treat this pls help me

  18. Jamila Lee
    5 January, 2021 / 2:31 am

    I’m 27 years old, I’ve been suffering with bartholin cyst since the age of 22, I did 3 surgeries to drained it & it came back right after . I recently did mursuplization on 17 November 2020, 1 month after the cyst Reoccur, this is such a nightmare. I don’t know what else more to do. I’ve done all the natural recommendations it’s not working. . Please help me

    • Luz
      14 January, 2021 / 9:01 pm

      I feel your pain. Currently have one. The baths and all that will make it bigger but don’t panic . Is only getting bigger because it wants to pop. When you see it really big , try cutting brown beans in half and put them around the area. In the morning you will have a pop cyst. The doctors will just take your money.

      • Sofia Elemoin
        14 February, 2021 / 3:51 pm

        What’s brown bean

    • Sofia Elemoin
      14 February, 2021 / 3:55 pm

      Am lost having my second one I 4years. And was thinking to to the doctor get it drained. Or was even thinking about mursuplization.. but f its gonna come back what the sense. And the Bartholins Gland is what make a female wet during foreplay and intercourse so I dont understand why all this cyst thing in it also.

  19. Mary
    31 December, 2020 / 5:00 am

    Hey i believe i have a bartholin cyst too i have the huge painful lump on the outside lip of my vulva. It secretes the smelly discharge i seeked medical attention and was granted it many times but it keeps coming back. When the discharge is being secreted from the cyst i cant handle the pain at all. All my body becomes itchy and when it gets even larger its hard for me to walk and sit because of the severe pain i feel. What can i do so that it stops i can’t take this anymore, 😭😭😭

  20. Shreya karna
    5 December, 2020 / 6:41 am

    Hi I am Shreya and I am 24 years old girl. I would like to say that my barthulin cyst is not cured yet..I have taken so many antibiotics which is prescribed by the gynochlogist…what to do now? I am now taking sitz bath….some times cyst shrinks after taking warm bath but it doesnt fully come in normal state…should I continue this sitz bath? Is applying tea tree oil on the effected area can be cured easily
    ??? Please suggest me.
    .

  21. Oksana
    1 December, 2020 / 9:36 pm

    Hello, I don’t know where to begin with my constant re-occurrences of cysts and eventually abscesses. I am not a doctor but, fell like I should be an expert at this point on different procedures as I tried almost all. I love the picture of a woman in the bathtub in this post as this is the exact how I felt and what I was doing just a day ago. I should mention that I have had it on both sides, one Bartholin gland was fix about 6 years ago by a miracle doctor who is claiming she was fortunate that she was thought in her school how to deal with it. She performed marsupialization for me but, I would call it the right marsupialization – permanent solution in my case. The reason she’s performing it correctly because she is sewing the wall of the gland to the outer skin and therefore creating a permanent opening as a by-bass for the Bartholin duct that was constantly getting blocked for me for unknown reasons (maybe genetic). After reading a lot of information on the procedure, marsupialization, I assumed that all gynecologist know how to do it right and its obvious as it is was described what I had done 6 years ago. Boy was I wrong!!! After one side was fixed by my miracle doctor she warned me that I would have another side flare up as that is usually the case. She was right! The other side started giving me problems so I went back to her office and to my unluckiness she was on maternity leave so, another doctor who did not know how to perform the surgery just opened up and drained the gland. Years passed that side flared up again and again and at that point I moved to a different town and went to see another gynecologist. Who claimed he knew how to do the procedure correctly, I even showed him how the other side looks and that is what I expected him to do. I am so angry at that doctor even contemplating of suing him as not only he didn’t perform it correctly, he did it under general anesthesia that ended up costing me thousand of dollars vs. $500-700. He claimed an in office procedure was impossible with my pain tolerance which was so untrue as I found out yesterday. I went back to same doctor that did it correctly the fist time, she is my angel. I was in so much discomfort then pain that I tried Phoebe’s cure, caster oil, PRID, and sitz baths for 3 days. None helped and I knew they would’t as I tried so many things in the past. We are all different, I happen to be so different that my cysts won’t drain on their own unless I go through tremendous amount of pain. I mean pain to where I am irrational and talk non sense and getting ready to stab myself, the gland that is. By the way opioid and morphine didn’t help with my pain either that time so, Bartholin abscesses are truly my worse nightmare. Either way I am so happy now because yesterday the permanent solution was done to my Bartholin gland. The same doctor performed the right marsupialization under local anesthetic yes, it was painful but, I was willing to do it and thanking her so much for it as she knows what she is doing and it is a permanent fix to my long lasting problem. Years after being lied to and deceived by other doctors I am finally in the clear. I really hope it will heal up right cause she mentioned I had so much scar tissue from previous surgeries that she had to cut it off to ensure proper healing. Proper healing means having a permanent hole/opening in my gland. I clearly remember all my Bartholin gland cyst and abscess re-occurrences and this is just a high level overview of my full story. The moral of the story is to remember that not all doctors know what they are doing. There are shitty doctors that only care about meeting their schedules, there are less knowledgeable doctors and then there are wonderful doctors that will help you in time of need and give you the right kind of help. Please question every doctor and do your research as there are no un-resolvable problems.

    • Audrey
      22 February, 2021 / 8:22 pm

      I would like to know the name and location of your doctor, if you’d be willing to share.

  22. Amrutha
    29 October, 2020 / 11:08 am

    Hi Linda,

    Am 22 years old(unmarried) and I got this bartholin cyst in 2017.
    I am under ayurvedic medications right now.
    I haven’t undergone any surgery yet and I badly do not want to.
    How do I get rid of this?
    I don’t think abscess has been formed but there is a small lump as it is.
    When I give hot compress it shrinks,but it is not getting back to its normal state..

    What do you suggest?

    • linda
      Author
      29 October, 2020 / 1:20 pm

      Hi Amrutha. Bartholins Cysts have nothing to do with whether you are sexually active or not. Any woman can get them and sadly we just don’t know why. It seems like you have had your cyst for a while and if it is not bothering you and has not abscessed, at the moment during Covid-19 I would leave it alone. I am not a doctor so the best person to ask this is the medic who prescribed your medication, although it sounds as if these are not doing much to get rid of the cyst. Can you see a different doctor (ideally female) for more advice on this? There is no magic cure to get rid of these devils just things to make living with them more bearable. When my Bartholin glands swell I find the antibiotic Amoxicillin (penicillin) is the best thing to calm them down but this is a pre-cyst stage. Some women don’t even know they have a Bartholin Cyst until they are examined (for example at a smear test) so I suspect there are many, many more women living with them. Try not to stress too much as I firmly believe that stress makes them worse. You won’t need surgery unless the cyst turns into an abscess and you’ll know because it will be painful (sitting, walking) and you will feel generally unwell. If this happens seek medical advice without delay but it sounds like you are a long way off this.

      • Amrutha
        29 October, 2020 / 5:50 pm

        Yeah Linda.
        Sad thing is sometimes it bothers me and somwtimes ig doesn’t.
        I mean the swelling enlarges for few days and it shrinks for few days!

        Am yet to be married, little worried how this will end up in me.
        I really don’t want to undergo surgery!
        As there is no guarantee that it gets completely cured even after surgery!

        How did you get rid of this ridiculous thing?

        • Mimi
          21 November, 2020 / 7:27 am

          Hello, I have suffered before. I don’t know what to do other than see the doctor. They pulled it out, I paid ~ 500 dollars, but I don’t feel it went away. After a few months, it was back and big like a golf ball. I panicked. I searched and read a lot on the internet. Then I tried the bathitz for an hour, applying a thin layer of PRID to the swollen area (outside, not inside the vagina). Then I lie down and relax
          apply warm compresses. Omg 10 minutes it like flush. I rinse and soak in warm water again for 10 minutes and massage gently. soak in warm water for 20-30 minutes for several days. 2 years have not seen again
          I hope this help.

          • suruchi
            28 November, 2020 / 1:14 am

            Hi,
            Your process seems helpful. Can you please elaborate once again clearly the procedure you follow. I insist and request you. Pleaseeee

          • Mosa
            4 December, 2020 / 1:45 am

            Hello ! Here is my number please contact me 0672392385, been suffering about this since 2027 till now 2020 04 December 2020

  23. Irina Palabuykova
    26 October, 2020 / 10:17 am

    i just had mine burst by itself like two weeks ago. Doctors said it healed but i still feel discomfort. Can i put something on wound to make it heal faster?

  24. catherine
    24 October, 2020 / 2:27 pm

    im an 18 year old girl and im scared. i have a bump on my vulva and i feel like its a cyst. it’s covid right now and i cant go to the doctor, I don’t know what to do im so scared. i haven’t done any sexual intercorse or anything. im so scared

    • linda
      Author
      24 October, 2020 / 8:15 pm

      Hi Catherine. You may not be able to see a doctor face to face at the moment but you can request a telephone appointment. I’m not sure if you are in the UK? Are you in pain? Are you sure that the bump is not a normal part of your vulva or vagina? If you don’t have any pain, try not to stress and just make sure you speak to a doctor as soon as you are able. I am not a doctor so I can’t tell you what the lump is but if it is a Bartholin’s Cyst these can hang around for quite a while without causing any problems. If it is a Bartholin’s Abscess you will know because you will feel unwell and it will be painful to walk, wee or sit. Bartholin’s Cysts are not caused by sex and are not a sexually transmitted disease. Do you have a female relative you can talk to about this?

  25. Kia
    23 October, 2020 / 9:14 am

    I am 28 years old, I have just had my first Bartholin abscess. Had never in my years experienced such great scare, pain and discomfort. I did not know what was going on until after my menstrual cycle. Walking, sitting, sneezing, coughing or even laughing was hurtful. Eventually I seen a doctor and gave me 2 antibiotics, pain medication which I depended on greatly.
    Bathsitz of course and eventually it did erupt. In the stages of hopeful recovery but its very occasionally sore and burns. I now have lost total confidence in doing anything sexual. I still don’t sleep well at night in case it hasn’t drained properly and decides to unexpectedly burst again.

    This whole thing has just made me so paranoid and unhappy.
    Tea tree burns but really did help.

  26. Mukunda
    20 September, 2020 / 12:32 pm

    Mine is back 2 years later and I feel like crying. The first time it was horrible and it came back every month for 4 months. It went away a d now its back. I am using the Phoebes cure and doing sitz bath. Haven’t gone to see the doctor as the pain is there but still manageable. I have had a marsupialixation before but it still came back.

    • Erica Martin
      24 September, 2020 / 5:58 pm

      I had a marsupialization this past weekend I’m miserable and the pain is unbearable. Feels like I just want to sit on ice cubes to soothe the burning sensation. Pain meds only work for a short time and then wears off. I’m a mom of 2 boys and resting post surgery is really difficult as my boys constantly need my attention. Is there any other way I can soothe the pain besides a sitz bath?

      • linda
        Author
        25 September, 2020 / 7:25 am

        Have you tried sitting on a heating pad or wrapping a hot water bottle in a towel and applying that? Another idea is to freeze two tins of beans, wrap them in a towel and use them as an ice pack (rather than wasting frozen food). Have you talked to your doc and told them that you are still in pain? I think it should be checked in case you have an infection and need antibiotics. Could you find someone to look after the boys for a bit so you can at least go back to bed and have a good sleep? I hope you feel better soon.

  27. Gloria Renteria
    2 September, 2020 / 6:04 am

    Hi Linda! I loved your articles about the Bartholin cyst. I’m 33 years old And I’ve been dealing with it for about 8 years, I get it in both sides like 6-8 times a year. I talked about it with my doctor but I always get the same answer. I blame the stress, my job, my husband, my eating habits and everything lol. Anyways I couldn’t agree more with you, it should be more research about this topic, every year I get more information, And I read more women talking about this, but I seriously would like to know why? There’s months that I seriously do the best of myself care to avoid this cyst but still coming out so I gave up, I seriously gave up also hearing the same from my doctor so i just go through it and do my home remedies, make my husband to have better hygiene in order for me to be fine and I guess I just made it like is something that happens normally in my life. Bartholin cyst is most definitely a nightmare.

    • linda
      Author
      2 September, 2020 / 6:18 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience and I’m sorry you have experienced these. I have just had a swollen gland again which has been settled by the antibiotic amoxicillin (penicillin). It seems there is no rhyme or reason for these things appearing. If you are on Facebook there is a forum dedicated to bartholin’s cysts. If you would like the link please message me. I do think that stress plays a major role though.

  28. Shirley
    21 August, 2020 / 8:33 am

    Having my first one at 68. During lockdown I got
    Stressed about my skin on face and neck was obsessed.
    Don’t know if that was the trigger. I am not sexually active. Found a lump labia mid
    July had no idea what it was . A few weeks later it was red sore and size of golf ball. Found out about it on web and went to GP. She prescribed antibiotics and said may need surgical procedure after. I’m so stressed do not want that and always prefer natural remedies. Have tried sitz baths
    Tea tree etc . With patience can it be done .

    • Hmy
      6 January, 2021 / 4:27 pm

      This is a little unusual in menopause….it is recommended that it is biopsied. The likelihood is that it is a bartholins but anything like this should be investigated

      • Ethel
        15 January, 2021 / 4:16 pm

        Am Ethel ,IAM 37years old.ihave a painless bathilon .I went to doctor, they said I will undergo surgery because i want to conceive.that if I conceive without removing it that it will be infected but I don’t want to do any surgery.please what am I going to do

    • Karen
      5 February, 2021 / 4:44 pm

      Hi Shirley, have been looking through this thread and noticed all contributors are 20 to 35. I notice you are older! I’m 55 and have developed the same lump, its very very sore, maybe infected. What was the outcome of your experience?

      • Chris
        14 March, 2021 / 5:18 am

        Hi Karen,
        My sister is 61 and dealing with one now, they put in a surgical catheter for drainage for 3 weeks and then another 3 to 5 weeks for full recovery. Talk to your Gynocologist. 2 in 10 women will develop one in their lifetime, good luck

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