A vaginal cyst aka Bartholin’s cyst or Bartholin’s duct cyst is a closed pocket or pouch of tissue which could be filled with fluid, air, pus or other semi-solid material. Cysts are normally found just inside the opening of the vagina.
There are a few types of vagina or Bartholin cyst. Their size can range from the size of a pea to an orange.
The formation of different types of vaginal cyst:-
This is the most common type of cyst found in the vagina. This may form as a result of injury to the vaginal walls during the birth process, usually an episiotomy (a surgical cut used to enlarge the vagina during childbirth).
Vaginal inclusion cyst can also be a result of trauma sustained by the vagina walls following a gynecological surgery, when the lining of the vagina does not heal to its normal smoothness.
This cyst develops in the space occupied by the Gartner’s duct, usually on the side walls of the vagina. The duct is active during the development of the baby which ordinarily disappears after the birth. However, in some cases, vestiges of the duct remains and it collects fluid and develop into a vaginal wall cyst later in life.
The Bartholin’s glands are located on each side of the vaginal opening and secrete fluid to lubricate the vagina. When the opening of either one of these glands is blocked, it causes a buildup of fluid resulting in the formation of a relatively painless lump.
When the fluid within a cyst gets infected, pus may form causing the tissues around it to be inflamed. At this stage, it may become very painful.
A small cyst may not be noticeable, but if it grows, most women might feel a soft painless lump near the labia (the 2 pairs of lips that surround the entrance to the vagina). However, if a serious infection occurs it can become a tender or painful lump which makes it uncomfortable when you walk, sit, have sex or inserting a tampon.
It depends on the size of the cyst, the pain and whether it is infected. You may choose to ignore a vaginal cyst if it is not causing any discomfort. But it is important to go for your yearly pelvic examination so that your physician can monitor the cyst for growth and changes.
If it is interfering with your sex life, causing painful intercourse, cysts in the vagina can be removed surgically. If it is small enough, your physician can perform a simple surgery in his office with local anesthesia.
While surgery is the only option to treat vagina cyst, you can prevent infection of the cyst by exercising good vaginal hygiene. This can be done by washing the genitalia with a mild feminine wash and sitting in a sitz bath (soaking the hips and buttock in a saline solution).
Or switch to a pad instead of tampons during menstruation to reduce friction of the cyst and the accompanying pain that comes with it.
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