Bartholin glands are located on each side of the vaginal opening. The role of these glands is to secrete the fluid that helps lubricate the vagina. If the opening of these glands become obstructed, it can result in what’s known as a Bartholin’s cyst. This collection of fluid is often relatively painless but if it becomes infected may become painful.

They are common in women in their reproductive years. A small Bartholin’s cyst can go unnoticed, as it grows you may start to notice a lump or mass at the entrance of the vagina. Once infected the cyst may become;

  • Tender
  • Painful during intercourse
  • Uncomfortable when sitting or walking.
  • You may get a fever.

An infection can happen in a matter of days, and you may notice puss around the area once infected. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to book in to see your regular GP.

If Bartholin’s cysts become painful a GP may recommend treatments such as;

  • Soaking cysts in warm water (like a bath)
  • Painkillers to manage any pain.
  • Drainage if necessary
  • Antibiotics if infected

Bartholin’s cyst can come back once treated. There is no way that you can prevent a Bartholin’s cyst but practicing safe sex by using condoms and practicing good hygiene habits can help prevent an infected cyst.

It’s always important to practice good hygiene for your vulva and vagina and practicing safe sex for your health. If you ever feel any discomfort or feel a lump on your vagina it’s important to seek GP advice.



Mayo clinic