The Bartholin's gland is located in the anterior part of the vagina and has the function of lubricating it, especially during intimate contact. However, this gland can become swollen and get clogged due to the accumulation of fluid inside the gland itself, giving rise to Bartholin's cyst.
Bartholin's cyst is usually painless, has no symptoms and may spontaneously heal. However, when the fluid becomes infected with pus, giving way to the infection of the gland, which is called acute Bartolinitis, the region may become reddish, swollen and very sore, and there may be pus.
In these cases, treatment is necessary and can be done with painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics prescribed by a gynecologist, home remedies like hot water baths or surgery.
How to treat it
Treatment of a swollen Bartholin gland should be guided by a gynecologist, but is usually done with anti-inflammatory and painkiller medication and, when there is infection, with antibiotics and hot water seat baths to relieve inflammation and eliminate pus.
Surgery on the Bartholin gland is only indicated when the Bartholin's cyst is formed and the fluid inside needs to be drained or the cyst needs to be removed or one of the Bartholin's glands.
Bartholin's gland can become swollen and the Bartholin's cyst may occur when the lubricating fluid accumulates inside the gland itself. When the Bartholin's cyst becomes infected with bacteria, called bartolinite, the causes can be:
- Unprotected intimate relationships: Sexually transmitted bacteria, such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea, or Chlamydia trachomatis, responsible for chlamydia can reach the cyst, infecting it;
- Bad intimate hygiene care such as carelessness or improper washing of the region, for example, wiping yourself from back to front, in this case bacteria in the intestinal tract, like Escherichia coli can infect the Bartholin gland.
So, the appearance of Bartholin's cyst can be avoided through the use of condoms and through maintaining an adequate intimate hygiene.
Bartholin's cyst usually does not cause symptoms nor is it contagious, however, women may have the sensation that they have a lump in her vagina when she palpates the area, which may be swollen and red. When the cyst becomes infected, other symptoms may be present, such as:
- Region becomes reddish, hot, very sore and swollen, similar to a boil;
- Nodule near the vaginal opening, usually in the most advanced cases;
- Pain and discomfort when walking or sitting and during intimate contact;
In the presence of these symptoms, a gynecologist should be seen so he can indicate the best treatment options.
Swollen Bartholin gland during pregnancy
Inflammation of the Bartholin's gland in pregnancy is usually not worrying, because the appearance of the cyst is painless and eventually disappears naturally and, therefore, the woman may have a normal delivery.
When Bartholin's cyst infects during pregnancy, with proper treatment, it is usually free of bacteria, and there is no risk to the women or the baby.