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What is the treatment for a bartholin cyst?

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Quick Answer

A Bartholin's cyst does not require treatment if symptoms are not present. According to the Mayo Clinic, soaking in a tub filled with a few inches of warm water can help the cyst to rupture and drain. Another treatment involves surgery, such as marsupialization, to drain the infected cyst. Antibiotics are prescribed if the cyst is not drained or if the patient has an STI.

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Full Answer

Bartholin's cyst occurs when the Bartholin's glands become blocked and the excess fluid cannot drain. A painless swelling, or cyst, develops. The cyst is usually painless but if it becomes infected, walking and sexual intercourse can be painful. AAFP.org adds that about two percent of women develop a Bartholin's cyst at some point in life, and these cysts occur more frequently in women of reproductive age.

A doctor can diagnose a Bartholin's cyst by performing a pelvic exam and taking samples of vaginal or cervical fluids. Asking the patient about her medical and sexual history and recommending a biopsy for menopausal women or women over the age of 40 is also proper procedure for diagnosing Bartholin's cyst. The Mayo Clinic adds that a Bartholin's cyst cannot be prevented, but practicing safe sex and maintaining good hygiene help prevent infection and further complications of the cyst.

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