If the cyst remains small and no infection occurs, you may not notice it. If it grows, you might feel the presence of a lump or mass near your vaginal opening. Although a cyst is usually painless, it can be tender.

If the cyst becomes infected — a full-blown infection can occur in a matter of days — you may experience these signs and symptoms:

  • A tender or painful lump near the vaginal opening
  • Discomfort while walking or sitting
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Fever

A cyst or abscess typically occurs on only one side of the vaginal opening.

When to see a doctor

Call your doctor if you have a painful lump near the opening of your vagina that doesn't improve after two or three days of self-care treatment — for instance, soaking the area in warm water (sitz bath). If the pain is severe, make an appointment with your doctor right away.

If you find a new lump near your vaginal opening and you're older than 40, call your doctor promptly. Although rare, such a lump may be a sign of a more serious problem, such as cancer.

Apr. 24, 2012