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
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
- 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.