The Bartholin's (BAHR-toe-linz) glands are located on each side of the vaginal opening. These glands secrete fluid that helps lubricate the vagina. 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. At times, the fluid within the cyst may become infected, resulting in pus surrounded by inflamed tissue (abscess).
A Bartholin's cyst or abscess is common. Treatment of a Bartholin's cyst depends on the size of the cyst, the pain and whether the cyst is infected. Sometimes home treatment is all you need. In other cases, surgical drainage of the Bartholin's cyst is necessary. If an infection occurs, antibiotics may be helpful to treat the infected Bartholin's cyst.
Apr. 24, 2012
- Wechter ME, et al. Management of Bartholin duct cysts and abscesses: A systematic review. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey. 2009;64:395.
- Chen KT. Disorders of Bartholin's gland. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 6, 2012.
- Patil S, et al. Bartholin's cysts and abscesses. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2007;27:241.
- Pundir J, et al. A review of the management of diseases of the Bartholin's gland. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2008;28:161.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2012. 51st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=8880. Accessed March 6, 2012.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.