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Bartholin'S Abscess


Bartholin's gland is also called as greater vestibular gland.Bartholin glands were first described by Caspar Bartholin, a Dutch anatomist, in 1677.This gland is present near the opening of  vagina in women.They are helpful in lubricating the vagina and during the sexual arousal as they secrete mucus which lubricate it.This gland is homologous to the bulbo urethral glands in males.The cyst in the gland forms when the bartholin's gland gets blocked and a fluid filled cavity called cyst is formed.Cyst formed is very painful.It is common in the age group of nearly 20-29 years.

An accumulation of purulent fluid that forms a lump (swelling) in one of the mucus producing Bartholin glands which arelocated on each side of the vaginal opening at the innermost part of the labia.

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Causes may be:

    * Any infection due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis as common pathogens
    * Blockage to the ducts of bartholin's gland
    * Inflammation
coli bacteria, along with Gonococcus, staph, and strep organisms are the most common causes of the infection that leads to aBartholin's abscess. If the bacteria happen to be very virulent the abscess can become full-blown within 2 or 3 days. Anypressure against the vulva may cause such excruciating pain that even walking and sitting seem almost impossible.

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Signs & Symptoms

* Acute painful unilateral labial swelling

* Dyspareunia

* Pain while walking and sitting

* when there occurs a discharge then there is relief of pain totally.

*A tender lump on either side of the vaginal opening- fever. This swelling is hot, sensitive, and painful.


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Safer sex behaviors and good personal hygiene may decrease the risk.

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Marsupialization Modern Medicine

* Marsupialization can also be done to permanently treat the condition.In this procedure gland is kept open.

Medication or Surgery Modern Medicine

  * Treatment depends on the size of cyst if it is small then a catheter is inserted in the cyst and the fluid is drained while the catheter will be in the place for 2-4 weeks.This catheter do  not interferes with thenormal activities.
    * Surgical or laser removal can be possible of cyst in the bartholin’s gland.

Warm sitz baths 4 times a day for several days usually provides some relief. This may help localize infection and precipitatespontaneous drainage. However, it does not always solve the problem because the site of rupture is usually very small and closesquickly so drainage isn't complete.Surgical incision which results in complete drainage of the abscess provides the greatest relief and the fastest recovery. Thisprocedure can be done under local anesthesia in a doctor's office. Placement of an iodoform gauze wick during surgery allowsthe abscess to continue draining while facilitating healing. Antibiotics may be prescribed to combat the infection, but they arenot usually needed if the abscess is drained properly.Women who have recurrent abscesses may consider the marsupialization procedure. A small, permanent opening is surgicallycreated to facilitate drainage.

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