An illustrated guide to identifying a Bartholin cyst

The Bartholin glands are located on each side of the vaginal opening and are responsible for producing fluid that helps lubricate the vagina. Sometimes, however, these glands can become blocked and lead to the formation of a Bartholin cyst. While Bartholin cysts are generally harmless, they can cause discomfort and pain. In this article, we will provide an illustrated guide to help you identify a Bartholin cyst.

1. Location: Bartholin cysts typically appear near the vaginal opening, on either side. They may present as a small, round lump that is usually painless. In some cases, the cyst may become infected, causing it to become red, swollen, and painful.

2. Size: Bartholin cysts can vary in size from as small as a pea to as large as a marble. The size of the cyst may change over time, depending on factors such as hormonal fluctuations and infection.

3. Texture: A Bartholin cyst is typically smooth and soft to the touch. It may feel like a fluid-filled sac under the skin.

4. Symptoms: In addition to the physical appearance of the cyst, there are several symptoms that may accompany a Bartholin cyst, including pain during intercourse, pain while walking or sitting, and difficulty with urination. If the cyst becomes infected, you may also experience fever, chills, and pus draining from the cyst.

5. Diagnosis: If you suspect you have a Bartholin cyst, it is important to see a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis. Your provider may perform a physical examination to assess the size and location of the cyst. In some cases, they may order additional tests, such as a biopsy or ultrasound, to rule out other conditions.

6. Treatment: Treatment for a Bartholin cyst depends on the size and severity of the cyst. In some cases, the cyst may resolve on its own without treatment. If the cyst is causing discomfort or becomes infected, your healthcare provider may recommend warm sitz baths, antibiotics, or drainage of the cyst. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the cyst.

In conclusion, Bartholin cysts are common and generally harmless, but they can cause discomfort and pain. By familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of a Bartholin cyst, you can seek timely medical attention if necessary. Remember, it is always best to consult with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
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