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.
Bartholin's cyst may arise due to the accumulation of lubricating fluid within the gland itself, which may also favor the accumulation of bacteria in the region, resulting in bartolinite. Bartholin's cyst infection can occur due to the practice of unprotected intimate relationships, as there is a greater risk of transmission of bacteria such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis, which can reach the cyst and result in infection and inflammation.
In addition, cyst infection can occur due to poor intimate hygiene care, such as improper washing of the genital region, for example, in which intestinal tract bacteria can infect the gland.
In this way, the appearance of Bartholin's cyst can be prevented by the use of condoms and the maintenance of proper intimate hygiene habits.
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.
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.