Bartholin glands are two glands located on either side of vaginal opening. These glands secrete mucus, which helps in lubricating the vagina. Most women will not notice the presence of these Bartholin glands in their body.
Sometimes the opening of the Bartholin glands can get blocked; this will result in collection of the mucus inside the glands. Thus the gland will get distended and may feel like a lump and is called a cyst.
The cyst can get inflamed and can cause pain. This cyst can get infected and will result in acute inflammation, redness, and pain and abscess formation. When an abscess forms you will experience pain and difficulty in sitting and walking, the area may be red and swollen and very tender to touch.
The diagnosis is easy and usually done by clinical examination.
Treatment- when there is an abscess it has to be drained. This requires admission to a hospital or nursing home, anesthesia and surgical drainage. If there is just a cyst and no inflammation then marsupialization or complete excision may be done as the situation demands. The recovery is good and quick.
It is difficult to say if the cyst will recur on the same side or other side simply because it is not known why it occurred in the first place.