The Bartholin’s cyst develops in the Bartholin’s glands which are small organs beneath the skin in a woman’s genital area. The function of the gland is to make fluid that moistens the genital area. This fluid is passed through two small tubes located next to the vaginal opening and is termed as Bartholin Ducts. When these ducts are blocked, the fluid starts accumulating in the gland, resulting in Bartholin Gland Cysts.
Now that we have understood the physiology of the gland, let’s find out if it affects the fertility of a woman.
Bartholin Gland Cysts—Effects on the Reproductive System
These cysts are often small and can be as minute as the size of a pea or big as a piece of marble. While some of these cysts are painless and don’t need treatment, other complicated cysts that exhibit main symptoms definitely needs a treatment. Infection, swelling or thick mucus can block the ducts and can result in a cyst which may get bigger after intercourse. Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs may be another reason for the infection of Bartholin gland duct.
Generally, the cyst may not have any symptoms but in complicated cases, the person may have-
• Painless lump in the vulva area • Redness or swelling • Difficulty in sitting, walking or having sex • Fever & chills • Drainage from the cyst
Despite being a serious issue, various experienced professionals from the medical fraternity say that Bartholin gland cyst does not affect the fertility of a woman. While the cyst is not an infection, it can cause discomfort in the day-to-day activities or during intercourse. Despite this, Bartholin Gland doesn’t interfere with the conception.
On the contrary, in case a pregnant woman has a Bartholin cyst, she needs immediate treatment depending on the severity of the problem. Since the genital area has a high blood flow, it is more likely to bleed from the local vessels, & hence, doctors prefer to delay the treatment of the cyst until delivery while in some cases wherein the cysts are large, it has to be removed in order to ensure safe pregnancy or else, it may lead to early delivery.
Prevention of Bartholin Gland Cyst
In order to maintain a healthy life, one has to follow certain preventive measures- • Safe sex in order to prevent STDs e.g. chlamydia, gonorrhea and other bacterial infection which is the main reason for Bartholin gland cyst. • Screenings are important and one should go for regular check-ups for vaginal infections. • Focus on personal hygiene. Keep your vagina clean using various products.
A woman is more likely to develop Bartholin cyst when she is sexually active, is not yet pregnant or had only one pregnancy. One should visit a doctor immediately when-
• The cyst enlarges continuously even after using hot water treatment. • It is painful. • You have unbearable pain. • Difficulty in walking, sitting or a painful intercourse • Incidence to Fever
The first step in the diagnosis of Bartholin cyst is the Pelvic examination or a biopsy.
This is one of the basic treatments that can be followed many times a day for a period of 3-4 days. Take Sitz bath which will help rupture the infected cyst and drain out on your own.
In the case of large cysts, a surgery is necessary. In the surgery, a small incision is made on the cyst and is allowed to drain. A rubber catheter is fixed on it for a period of at least 6 weeks.
This is an important part of the treatment in order to heal the infection from within.
It is a surgical technique wherein a slit is made into an abscess or cyst and it is left open so that it can drain freely.
The problem of Bartholin cysts can be really frustrating as the symptoms are not visible in the first instance and secondly, it is very frustrating to struggle with the discomfort in the day-to-day lives. Therefore, it is important to keep a check on this problem with a timely diagnosis. The cysts do not interfere with fertility or pregnancy. However, routine diagnosis is a must to tackle this issue.