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Definition  

Bartholin glands are located on either side of the entrance to the vagina. A cyst is a pocket of fluid in the tissue around these glands. If the cyst becomes infected, it is called a bartholin gland abscess.

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Causes  

Bartholin glands make fluid that lubricates the vagina. If the glands become blocked, the fluid can back up and create a cyst. Sometimes, bacteria or viruses can develop in this fluid and lead to an infection.

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Risk Factors  

Women with a history of cysts are more likely to develop a Bartholin gland cyst.

Sexually transmitted infections may also increase the risk of an infected cyst.

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Symptoms  

Symptoms may include:

  • A painless or tender lump on either side of the opening of the vagina
  • A lump that may grow in size over time
  • Pain with activities such as walking or intercourse
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Diagnosis  

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will