1:35 pm - 03/31/2009

Bartholin's cysts or something else?

Hellohello, VagPag.

I have what I'm thinking is a series of cysts around the entrance of my vagina.

I first discovered this after experiencing some pain during penetration with my partner and going to the doctor because it was incredibly unusual and out of the blue for me. Upon closer inspection of my vaginal opening, basically my doctor said "I have no idea what those are" and gave me a referral to see a gynocologist (I'm new-ish to the area). She ran a full STI panel and also did a blood test for HIV and Hep B. Everything came back negative, so I know it's not STI-related. Unfortunately my gyno can't see me until May 11th and I'm sitting here getting progressively more paranoid.

After searching VagPag and other internet sources, I'm of the assumption that I have a Bartholin's cyst or abcess (not sure which). The only problem is that I have several bumps on one side rather than just one large bump. Is that even possible? Are there several glands on each side or just one?

My lovely partner was kind enough to fiddle with the macro function on my camera to take some pictures (bless his heart). I was surprised to see that these bumps actually kind of look like teeth or talons (vagina dentata much?). I'm going to post a picture here in the hope of finding someone who either knows what they are or who can convince me that I'm not "the girl with the mutant vagina". I consider myself pretty well-versed in all things vagina-related and this really throwing me for a loop. I just want to comfortably have sex with my boyfriend again. Is that so much to ask?

Puppies and Vag 009
thisandthat 31st-Mar-2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what that would be, but I would encourage you to call your gyno's office, explain the situation and ask if they have any openings before May. Also, you could ask to be put on a to-call list if they have any cancelations in the next few weeks. You could also ask to speak to the office advice nurse or on-call doctor and describe the symptoms and ask if it is something you should be seen for more urgently. Generally talking to a nurse or the doctor will get you in sooner than simply explaining the situation to the receptionist.

I've found that when you are making your first appointment with a new doctor they tend to make the appointment later than if you were an already established patient. I know for my first appointment with my doctor I had to wait like a month to get in to see her, but now if anything ever arises I call her office and am in sometime that same week if not the same/next day.
yeshailey 31st-Mar-2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
i don't know what those could be but hahaha your sweet boyfriend. i bet he had fun doing that!
crashhooligan 31st-Mar-2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Honestly, this is kind of how the opening to my vagina looks. I don't have any STIs or problems or anything. I never really thought anything of it. I just knew that skin just inside/around the opening to my vagina was kind of bumpy.

A partner I had actually asked to look at my vagina, because he only had seen diagrams in health class, and I guess he knew we were close enough and I was open enough to let him "inspect" my vulva. He saw them and called them "fun folds"

BUT, mine have never hurt. Was it just the one time? Because then maybe it was just a lubrication problem or something. Otherwise, I hope this gets worked out. If it turns out to be nothing, you and me can be the girls with the "mutant vaginas" ;]
brooklebee 31st-Mar-2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, my vulva/vaginal opening looks pretty similar too--and I can't tell what in particular you're referring to, OP. Are you worried about the bits on the bottom, near your fourchette? Or the stuff to the left? Your vulva looks pretty normal to me... I see hymenal remnants and such, but nothing unusual.
1girl 31st-Mar-2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
Mine also looks similar. A little bit ragged, I guess is how I describe it. I've been having gyno exams for 8 years now, and have seen three different gynos, and none of them have said a word about it, so I assume it's not omg vagina of doom.

If it's hurting you, obviously pursue the matter, but if it's pain that seems like a one-time thing, I agree that it might just be a lube problem or maybe your boyfriend was just rubbing you at a funny angle.
pinkdramon 31st-Mar-2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
The part in the middle that sticks out? Just looks like vag or hymenal tags to me...

The little bumps on the bottom left side of the picture just look like fordyce's spots to me...

If this is not the area of interest, could you circle what you're talking about?

Preeeetty sure I've had 1 barhtolin's gland cyst so far & you can't really See it. It was pretty deep up in the left labia - can't see it, but 3 people (1 was a doctor) could feel it! Felt like a firm round ball. It went away.
myrcwood_rose 31st-Mar-2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
Definitely not a Bartholin's cyst or abscessed cyst, that would be to the left or right of the vaginal opening, not so near the bottom. You'd also likely feel a cyst as a hard rice grain to pea sized lump under the skin, it wouldn't really be that visible, and if it abscessed, it would look almost water balloonish in appearance, and probably be HELLISHLY painful, all the time. Mine went from little pea sized, hardly notice it lump to a grape sized OMFG Kill Me painful abscess in about 24 hours give or take. All I see in your pic are what look like residual bits of hymen, or possible skin tags, honestly, it's a fairly normal, non-mutantlike looking vagina to me. Maybe you aren't getting, or staying lubed enough in that one area during sex? I know that I tend to dry out in the area of my perineum before any other area and won't always notice that it's happening until I feel the pain/rawness afterward.
quabazaa 1st-Apr-2009 03:43 am (UTC)
It sounds & looks to me to be more like a normal variation

From DermNetNZ
" People may confuse normal anatomical structures as warts. These do not require any treatment.

* Pearly papules (these are in a ring around the glans of the penis )
* Sebaceous glands on the labia (known as "Fordyce spots")
* Vestibular papillae (the fronds found in the opening to the vagina)"

I can't find any pics of vestibular papillae, I did find this description: "Vestibular papillae occur in one third to one half of women and are a normal anatomic variant distinguished by monomorphic appearance, rounded tips, discrete nature of the base of the lesions, and symmetric distribution. Some variants of vestibular papillae are short and confluent, giving a cobblestone texture to the skin. These lesions are typically found in the vaginal vestibule and are asymptomatic. Although there is some debate as to the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the development of vestibular papillae, the current consensus is that HPV is not related to these lesions"
kiteless 1st-Apr-2009 05:10 am (UTC)
A Bartholin's cyst looks exactly what it sounds like, a cyst. It is round, hard, and generally is discolored. Mine looked like a very large pimple. They can be from about the size of a grain of rice all the way up to the size of a baseball. Luckily, I finally made my gyno cut mine out when it got to be the size of an edamame.

Those three frondy type deals you have are normal. They're probably remnants of your hymen. If I had my camera around I'd post some photos of my vag because mine looks a whole lot like yours!

What does the pain feel like?
missbuttercup89 27th-Jul-2013 07:09 pm (UTC)
I too have these and make it painful for sex. I'm self-conscious about them and don't even want my partner to touch me in a sexual way. My gyno said its normal in women going through Menopause, however I'm 23 and in no way going through the change in life yet. I'm looking for a new gyno that cause that they Are painful and to see what I can do about getti g them removed.
lookin4answers2 Something similar24th-Nov-2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
I too have the same thing, mine look more like flower stamens or like coral tentacles(weird visual, I know). They don't hurt nor have ever caused problems. There is no feeling in them either, as I have test pinched and felt nothing. I have tried researching if anyone else has this and not found any results other than yours.
I was raped as a teen and always thought it was extra skin from the hymen being broken. That could still be the answer but would like a positive assessment.
No gyno has ever said anything. I always thought maybe it was a telltale sign of the rape and due to my embarrassment of the subject I figured that's why it was never mentioned. My first and now second husband have never mention it nor were weirded out by it.
Personally I'm considering cutting them off since they have mentally have bothered me for years and now i am I have the courage to do it.
I can't include a pic here, but may get the courage to take one and add on different post.
IliveahWaters 31st-Dec-2013 02:15 am (UTC)
caruncles and fordyce's spots.
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