5:10 pm - 08/31/2007

Bartholin's Gland Cyst

A few weeks ago, I noticed that a spot below my left labia would absolutely throb when I became aroused. During orgasm, it hurt even worse. The pain would go away a little bit when I wasn't in either of those states, but I still felt a dull ache. Finally, I decided to poke around down there and in my spelunking, I discovered a pea-sized lump where I'd been experiencing the pain.

I made an appointment at my local health department (YAY for sliding scale fees! This broke college student REALLY appreciates it!) and was seen the next day. The nurse feared that it might be herpes and told me as much before even doing an exam! I told her that I was familiar with STD's and that even though I did at that time have a cold sore, the symptoms I was experiencing did not seem consistent with genital herpes. She didn't seem too happy that I contradicted her, but during her exam she did agree with me. Nope, not herpes. More likely a bartholin's gland issue. She told me that the doctor may want to lance it and made me an appointment for the next day.

The doctor examined me and was able to locate the lump without much trouble. He squeezed on it with quite a bit of force (which was NOT pleasant) and said that the gland did not seem to be entirely blocked. Rather than lance it, he reccomended that I take two hot baths (as hot as I can stand) twice a day and squeeze on the lump for about 15 minutes. He said that if I don't work on it daily, the blockage could get worse.

I don't know about you, loyal VPers, but I work/ attend class 70 hours a week. I can't find TIME to take a hot bath twice a day. I'm afraid that if I don't do SOMETHING, I'll wind up with a bigger (and much more painful!) problem on my hands. Have any of you ever had this sort of cyst? What sort of treatment did you recieve? Did any home remedies seem to work? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
flyingdogs WTF??31st-Aug-2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Squeezing it seems like you're risking rupturing it! OMG that must have hurt so much! Second opinion!!!!!

I had one and it was awful - I couldn't sit down. It was the size of a pea at first, and then the size of a grape.

They gave me antibiotics. I sat carefully and used warm compresses. I did not squeeze. With this treatment it went away over two weeks - it didn't need to be lanced.

Um, yeah - I really think you should get a second opinion. That advice doesn't sit right with me.
pippa026 31st-Aug-2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
If you have a bad zit or anything that needs heat and warmth to soften it you can get a cotton ball wet with really hot water and squeeze some of the water out and press it to the area. If you can do that for a few minutes you would get the same effect as a bath with less time. Also, you probably could take it being hotter in a small area than over most of your body.

I would worry about the squeezing it part. I would probably squeeze at it some because I like to squeeze at things - it might be that it forms a bit of a head and you can work some of the stuff out. You might also find that squeezing it makes it hurt more and that isn't any good! I think you probably can't go wrong by hot packing it but I would get another opinion on the squeezing bit. Or maybe just squeeze a little and see how it goes. Good luck!
darlingmiette 31st-Aug-2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
Warm, wet compresses whenever you're sitting down (studying, computer, tv, breakfast, dinner, etc). Of course most alternatives to just lancing it and being on antibiotics will be more labor intensive, but can be more natural and less painful.

Ointments to reduce inflammation, soothe the skin and increase blood flow, arnica montana and calendula come to mind - just make sure you're not applying on inner part of vulva and that you GENTLY rub it in until it is absorbed (so you don't chafe and lint doesn't stick to it).

Patience and dedication are key, but of course we must all face the reality of our lifestyles at some point. If it's not going away, maybe a second opinion is warranted.
alwaysamommy 31st-Aug-2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
My SO had something like a bartholin's gland cyst on his inner thigh and it had to be lanced and cleaned out by a doctor. It swelled up so bad and got so infected that he could barely walk, even with vicodin.
pinkdramon 31st-Aug-2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
if there's any chance that the goop inside can still come out on its own, you really should consider the warm sitz baths. It doesn't have to be a full-immersion bath, you can just get a sitz bath. They're just plastic bowls that sit inside your toilet and fill up with warm tap water, suspended above the bowl. That way you don't have to fill up a whole bathtub, and you can just sit & read & unwind while your snatch drains. You can find a sitz bath @ pharmacy and maybe medical supply shops, and they only cost like $10 or $20. I actaully used one once, although not for a cyst, and I used it 4x a day, for 20min at a time.

I know it's really hard working & studying and all but sometimes we just have to make time for our snatch. We only get one :(

Otherwise what I've read says, if you're going to get it lanced it works better long-term if you get a marsupialization (minor surgery) or a catheder inserted to let it drain slowly. Lancing sometimes makes it come back later.
advaya 31st-Aug-2007 11:44 pm (UTC)
I get those a lot, and have had them drained several times. The first one I had got to the be the size of a golf ball, I could not move or sit or lay down. It was miserable. I have decided to take matters into my own hands, and as a herbalism student I do have home remedies which work for me I can recommend.

First thing, hot baths are recommended but I understand that not always being feasible, so instead you can try hot water bottle with a wet rag over it for moist heat, or a heating pad with wet heat. That will help bring it to a head.

Second, I would recommend putting tea tree oil and lavender essential oils on it. You can get them at any co op and sometimes new age gift stores, even walmart has tea tree oil.

And third, go outside and find some plantain. It grows EVERYWHERE. Here are two pictures of it:
http://www.dgsgardening.btinternet.co.uk/plantain2.JPG
http://weeds.cropsci.uiuc.edu/images/Broadleafplantain/images/broadleaf%20plantain.jpg
It tends to grow in driveways, sidewalks.. and in yards. It's seriously the most common weed.

Anyways, pick some leaves, grind them up with water or even the Tea Tree oil and Lavender, rub the paste on the cyst and try to keep it there as long as possible. Sometimes muslin cloth will hold it in place.

Good luck.
onehundredmoons 1st-Sep-2007 01:39 am (UTC)
I just wanted to lend a comment of commiseration... I get these ALL the time. They come and go with my cycle, all too regularly. I usually end up popping them when I can stand it (ugh, it hurts) but if you don't, they just stay longer. The OB who cover for my midwife told me it *wasn't* a Bartholin gland cyst, but it's some kind of nasty piece of work, and it oozes pus and blood. I feel your pain.

The baths REALLY help. It sounds like you're a very busy person, but really – try to find the time for yourself. If nothing else, they hurt a lot less after a hot bath. *hugs*
eva_prawn 1st-Sep-2007 01:55 am (UTC)
Hot baths and hot compresses really helped me.
nephron 1st-Sep-2007 04:02 am (UTC)
You could use a hot, wet flannel as a substitute for a hot bath.
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