Bartholins cyst: Hi guys! So just a brief... - Behçet's UK

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Bartholins cyst

faye-g profile image

Hi guys!

So just a brief overview. About 4 weeks ago I found a big lump under the skin on the right side next to my vagina hole, didn’t have any pain from it so I just thought it would go on its own as I did google it and a bartholins cyst came up and said they usually go on their own if you have hot baths etc which I did.

However last Sunday, I got excruciating pain from the lump and over the course of 2 days it swelled up to the size of an apple. To cut the story short, the doctors didn’t know why it happened as I was clear of STI’s (which is sometimes the cause of it) and they suspected it was due to inflammation or an ulcer in the duct blocking the gland.

I had to have a word catheter put into the abscess after it was drained during local anaesthetic which was incredibly painful.

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, do you have any tips on avoiding this from happening again as I’m so worried constantly that I’m going to be in this pain again.

Thanks :)

4 Replies

Hi - I have become aware of this website through my son's illness with Behcet's, however I saw your post and had to answer as this situation sounds familiar with my experience. I live in the US, near New York City. I had an inflammed Bartholin's cyst many years ago, around 20, when I was in my early 40's. The pain was exceedingly awful. My ob-gyn, who was practicing out of a very prestigious university hospital in NYC told me to go home and soak. I did that. I soaked for days! Then it became larger and so painful I could not walk, or move or do anything except cry. I was in pure agony. I was eventually admitted to the hospital and had to undergo surgery. The infected gland became systemic, so I started to run a fever, and was very ill. I was in the hospital for several days on IV antibiotics after the surgery. I was told that it was such an unusual situation that I was "written up" in medical journals. Not that I cared much about that.

However, let me stress that yes, it's horribly painful, unbelievably so. And don't ignore it if it happens again, find a doctor who will treat it ASAP, not like mine did after examining me a few times with the level of pain I had, just telling me to go soak. He never expected it to become that bad and usually they "burst" and it's all fine and good. Well because mine never "burst" it had to be operated upon and then I had to suffer through a horrible infection that felt like I had the worst flu for weeks on end. I was on antibiotics for over 6 weeks and was hospitalized for a week. SO - please do take care.

Keep a sitz bath in your bathroom from now on. Use it at the first sign of it (so you don't need to take an actual bath!) and if you have relations with your partner, please do make sure you shower or clean yourself very well after intercourse. If you feel even a tinge of it returning - go back to your doctor. After that episode I never had any further problems with it, but it was a bad experience. But it's awful and painful and I am so very sorry you had to suffer with this. The docs don't take it as seriously as they should. Good luck to you.

Yes, and my 'initial Bartolins Cyst' turned out not to be - mine turned into an abscess too and was always VERY painful - the other thing it COULD be and mine was, is a Recto-Vaginal Fistula, which over the last 2+ decades has made me very disabled, and actually came out of hospital yesterday after a 10 day stay for my 24th lot of surgery, so am certainly hoping it isn't that for you!

Usually the fistula are caused by Crohns Disease, traumatic births or a rather damaging sex life - none of which are applicable to myself, so no-one knows?

Happy to talk more and tell you mu story if you think it might help xx

I also had this happen 30 years ago when I was 20 years old about one year after I had my first child. I was not with my partner anymore at the time of this happening and was not having sexual relations for almost a year before it happened. Mine only got to be about a golf ball size, maybe a little bigger, but was so so painful. I had to have surgery to lance the cyst and then it started to come back and fill with fluid again after a week, so the doctor lanced it in his office ...which was a horrifying experience. Unbelievably painful. They have no idea why I got it. However, since then I have had no more trouble with anything like that. No more bartholin cysts. So hopefully that will be your experience as well. I have had behcets sores in the vaginal area, but nothing like the bartholin cyst and nothing as painful as it was. Good luck to you!

interesting as my cyst causes problems sometimes. i was told i could have it taken out but decided to leave well alone as it is not a permanent problem and such a delicate area i thought it could cause more problems having it removed. its comforting to see when others have the same problems i must say! certainly Bechets doesnt do any of us any favours. the ulcers down there are certainly not pleasant to deal with either.

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