What Is the Treatment for a Bartholin Cyst?

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.

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.

Recurring cysts are common in women under 40, so doctors rarely suggest draining when cysts occur without pain, Merck Manual Consumer Version states. When surgery is necessary, a doctor can make an incision in the cyst and insert a catheter to permanently rerouted fluid from the ducts to the vulva surface. Another option, known as marsupialization, involves surgically stitching the cyst edges to the vulva to allow fluid drainage.

When a patient has a severe cyst infection or sexually transmitted disease, doctors typically prescribe antibiotics, according to Mayo Clinic. In rare cases, doctors perform surgery to remove a Bartholin?s gland that doesn?t respond to other treatment.