Treatment options for an abscess on the Bartholin's gland include sitz baths at home and surgical drainage in a medical setting, according to Healthline. Sitz baths relieve discomfort and pain, but they are not a particularly effective cure. Individuals with a Bartholin's gland abscess should take a sitz bath up to four times a day for up to 15 minutes each.
The doctor may choose to drain an abscess that persists for more than one week, or one that is very large, explains Healthline. Surgery to drain a Bartholin's gland abscess is done either under general anesthesia in a hospital or under local anesthesia in a doctor's office. An incision is made in the abscess and a fluid draining catheter is inserted, where it remains for several weeks. The catheter falls out or the doctor removes it once the abscess heals.
Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed since the abscess typically results from an infection, notes Healthline. As long as the abscess drains correctly post-surgery, antibiotics are usually not needed because of the surgery itself.
Recurring abscesses that diminish an individual's quality of life are sometimes removed in a procedure called marsupialization, advises Healthline. Rather than letting the incision close, it is stitched open to ensure maximum drainage. A catheter is used, and depending on the abscess' complexity and size, the doctor may need to perform the surgery under general anesthesia. In the rare instance that the procedures are unsuccessful, the Bartholin's glands are removed in a hospital setting under general anesthesia.