Bartholin gland cyst and pain on arousal

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello all,

I wondered if anyone is experiencing anything similar to me....I still have a pea sized Bartholin gland cyst present following marsupialization a couple of years ago. It hasn't caused me problems other than when I am first becoming aroused when I get a deep ache....not pleasant and very off-putting!

Only lasts for about 20-30 seconds thankfully but I'd love to hear I'm not alone in this.....

Also....has anyone else ended up with 2 cysts at once on the same side? I think this is what's just happening with me and am off to docs tomorrow for confirmation. Ain't life grand!?!!

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  • Posted

    Yep - experience that "deep ache" - know exactly what you mean - also post marsup myself - about 3 months - not had two cysts on one side at the same time but have had two cysts, one on each side at the same time - pleasant (not)!  I am still "discharging" when I push the area (despite the OP and two lots of subsequent antibiotics - in addition to those I had BEFORE the op) but am just leaving it to see what happens next on the basis that, if the stuff is not spontaneously discharging but I can get it to discharge when I went that it's not too bad (in the scheme of these things that is) and that, clearly, antibiotics are not helping (and at least I can "drown my sorrows" with a bevvy or two if I'm not taking them - lol).  Life with these things is certainly "marvellous" - I just console myself with the fact that there are worst illnesses/conditions than this - and am just grateful for the periods of my life when I'm not in agony and completely immobilisted with these blasted things!  The very best of luck - hope you recover soon xx 
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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for replying. It's good to have some company!

      I think I've been fairly lucky with the first cyst - mine never reached the proportions I've read about. I really feel for you having had so many Debra....they are not explainable to anyone who hasn't had them really. 

      Mine are incredibly deep and I although I have tried the very hot baths and massaging the area it makes little to no difference. I can't imagine being able to burst one that way at all. For me marsupialization was the only route offered....and even from recovery there has always been a little round mobile pea still there! Thankfully the marsupialization must have worked to a degree as it doesn't get huge.

      I've read a comment from one lady who had 3 cysts on the one side at once so that has made me feel a bit easier about things. I guess at heart I am concerned and want reassurance there is nothing else going on (think the peri-menopause is giving me anxiety....oh joy). 

      If Nadia is reading this too I would say I always think of the pain on arousal as just the gland trying to work and sort of feeling "stuck" because the flow is somewhat blocked. That's my take on it anyway.

      I asked the gynaecologist I was referred to for marsupialization and his take on it was "but it's shortlived and you can deal with it" accounting for the fact that knowing it's going to ache (even for a very short time) is disconcerting and doesn't put you in a great frame of mind emotionally. Men.

      I'm intrigued by the idea of total gland removal but I've never heard of it as anything other than a big op with 4 weeks recuperation so Lyd's story is very different. I wonder if she will tell us more. If you are reading this are you in the UK? my GP told me last time that this was a pretty big op she wouldn't rush into if she was me.....

      Anyway, I'll let you know what my GP has to say but at the least I'm wanting referal back to gynaecology for review. Here we go again I think.

      In parting I'd also second what Deb has said about stress - def has an impact on my health and we've just had a heck of a time recently so hardly surprising I'm getting another little blighter appearing!

      Sometimes i think you have to try very hard to just live....not over think everything. If it's gonna happen then it at present we don't have a formula to avoid the cysts we should just take each day as it comes. I'm also with you on the fact that it could always be worse! This is annoying and can be painful, debilitating etc BUT not life threatening.

      Best to you all and thanks again for the contact. J x     

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    • Posted

      Hey ukjo,

      Sorry if I confused you. The procedure I had was to remove the pea size cyst that didn't grow or cause pain that I had for years. That's a tiny procedure. The gland removal which I have been thinking about as I've got 4 huge nasty painful infected cysts in the last 3 years is a much bigger operation your right with a long healing process, not sure if I'm brave enough for that one. I do live in the uk xxxx

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    • Posted

      I too have had deep ones that have required ops (because they simply will not burst) - the one I had in July this year, I almost had blood poisoning, so had to seek medical attention (I had started to get feverish) but, pretty much all of them have been HUGE (such that I lose about 5lb once they've gone).  Mainly mine have been "not so deep" so that I've been able to burst them - but they go from a slightly uncomfortable feeling to massive (bed ridden and unable to walk) in a few hours.  Doctors have been quite shocked that I have been able to burst them myself and just look at me in total horror.  One that I had last November burst when I was in bed and I asked my partner to bring me something to get all the yuck with - he came back with a few sheets of tissue - I said, I'm gonna need more than that.  He brought a whole kitchen roll and stayed whilst I cleaned it away sufficiently to get into the bathroom without it going everywhere and he was completely shocked by the amount of horrible stuff that came away - he was just standing there saying "oh my God" repeatedly.  I think, until then, he thought it was some sort of normal sized boil - so, whilst that wasn't pleasant for him, he certainly has a lot more sympathy now.

      I have asked about gland removal, but have been told its a big op, recovery time is months, doesn't always work and can leave unsightly scarring (not that that would be a consideration for me, lets face it, its not an area that many people see!) but the "doesn't always work" comment left me baffled - how can it not work if the gland has gone?  Doctors response - I have no idea, but people who've had the gland removed, continue to suffer.  Again, helpful.

      I'm sorry your life has been stressful - but "reassured" that someone else thinks stress is a contributory factor.  I have thought that all along, but Doctors have said it isn't - yet, if they don't know what causes them, how can they say that they AREN'T caused by stress?  In the end, they just get "annoyed" because I am questioning them ......................

      If I EVER find out anything useful, I shall post it here - in the hope it helps other suffers but, in the meantime, it is reassuring to know I am not alone.

      Best wished to all fellow sufferers.  xx

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    • Posted

      Wow Debra - You have really been through it....thank you for sharing - I think I'll get my other half to read your post so he has a bit more of a clue!

      Can't say enough how glad I am to have found this forum and to see that these little (or not so little in some cases) devils affect a fair few of us. And to see how different our experiences are.

      Found out today my GP has just retired so I saw someone new - I'm in for the watch and wait (as the new one is small, moveable and not causing concern). I will go back in 3 weeks and get a referral if I'm no happier....I know it sounds daft but I sometimes feel it's a bit like a time bomb and worry that I'll have Vesuvius erupt whilst on a holiday somewhere exotic (although chance of the holiday would be a fine thing! - can you imagine the catastrophe?!) So just want to deal with it really....get it out of the way before I get the big Lottery win and subsequent round the world trip lol

      I'm still researching gland removal as my old GP said it was an option for the future if I could see my way to enough "time off" etc.... I'm self-employed so it's not without problems. She warned it was no walk in the park so to hear about possibility of future probs down the line post op?? I just don't get how it can recur post big op if there's nothing there to produce the fluid and thus cause a flair??!! Like you, I'm more than a bit baffled and off put. 

      Thanks for your concern - the stress for once hasn't been bad/negative stuff happening really and I feel guilty for seeing at as "stress". We've been living with builders working on our house on and off for 6 months and though I shouldn't moan and I guessed what we were letting ourselves in for....well, it's been not so great! Being tired just doesn't help with your immunity and staying positive.  

      Well, keep smiling and hope you are doing ok. I too will post if I find anything interesting down the line and will check back here to see how you are doing......Look after yourself x J

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    • Posted

      Thanks for clearing that up lyd97773 

      - for a minute there I thought you were some sort of miracle healing woman!  

      If I get interesting info I'll post back here - let's stay in touch and we can all compare notes...... best J x

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    • Posted

      I try to do the same with you ! sometimes although in some pain i feel so happy i am not in the great pain :D  almost in tha same condition havent done marsup. I decided to stop postponing my happiness and waiting for the day i am back to normal to smile again.

      My best 2 friends have also other quite serious problems with their health . :D They smile and try to think positive like I will do .

      It is important for me cause i believe sex life is very important for any person and hope to be back again soon painless but i will not cry myself everyday till then .

      actually one doctor talked to me about excition 

      and the other told me that go for surgery and the doctor will decide then if he does a marsup or excition . It sounded strange to me .

      Any information about it is welcome. 

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    • Posted

      Hi there spin23052,

      ​I can say personally marsupialisation was fine for me....but my cyst wasn't infected at the time of the was just enlarged.

      ​I had a general anaesthetic (you are only out of it for about 30 mins I believe). I was watched for a few hours but allowed home that evening. I was told to take pain relief as required - just Co-codamol - and I only needed this for a couple of days.

      ​I wasn't unduly uncomfortable. There were a couple of annoying things post-op though, one of which was trapped wind - which was really awful! Rolling around on the floor helped with that.

      I didn't bleed massively (although I typically started my period the day of the op so maybe hard to establish just what was going on!) I could sit, sleep, walk around etc etc without discomfort.  I didn't miss work as my op was done Friday and by Monday I felt normal.

      ​The most irritating thing was that I ended up having some pain around my hip area which eventually got diagnosed as Femoral Nerve pain and can be apparently related to the position you are placed in for the op. It has been dealt with via physiotherapy and I am fine. It was just a bit inconvenient for a while. 

      ​I had read alarming stories about marsupialisation so I was concerned pre-op but my experience was actually pretty positive so I would say do your research and remember we are all different. Talk to the person who will perform the op and ask for their "success rates."

      ​My experience longer term post op has also been good. My cyst doesn't enlarge to the extent it did (it has never fully disappeared apart from for the first couple of weeks after the op!). So I know the op allows drainage where it had become a problem.

      ​Unfortunately I have another little cyst forming further back (or was it always there and I never noticed it before? - after all, unless there is an obvious problem like a swelling we aren't normally prodding around searching for these things day to day are we!??!).

      ​Anyway, don't feel alone. We all sound as if we're experiencing something similar and we can all share what we find out here.

      Take care of yourself x 

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    • Posted

      thanks so much UKJo the timing is perfect for good news so happy for you . this thing with feeling pain for so long has made me depressed . i am frightened and think that i will never be normal again. my cyst ruptured yesterday on its own . but still feel pain in the area also have pain at inner thigh at the other side that concerns me .  i read that marsupatisation is more difficult if the cyst has ruptured on its own and sure i will need a lot of time till it forms again . i cannot handle this agony every moment wondering if i will have a problem for ever..

      i know its not the right way to handle it but im so frightened i convinced myself today i have endometriosis too . i dont know maybe i have lost my mind but also doctors dont help to trust. everybody tells me different things and imply i am creating the pain .

      It s not the case though. i had so much pain sitting i went to 2 doctor they said you shouldnt have it is not absessed its ok .

      2 days later my cyst ruptures and i fell big relief and all the nerves down to my thigh opening and connected again . 

      so there was a reason i felt pain and it decreased .

      anyway sorry for the long post. 

      this is the only place i can cry myself as much as i like .

      i hope everybody is healed and brave. 


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  • Posted

    Hello. I've had 3 cysts now but never two at the same time. I have had 2 marsupializations (the first cyst was just drained). I also experience this aching when aroused. It lasts for around 5mins and then disappears. Do you have any idea what it is?

    I'm scared to death of the cysts coming back and any twinge down there sets me off worrying!

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    • Posted

      No, I have no idea.  I have been having these things for the best part of 20 years - but have only had 1 drained and 1 marsup - rest of the time I've burst them myself - VERY, VERY HOT baths and VERY, VERY HOT cloths to the area.  Not pleasant but, once its burst, instant "euphoric" relief.  None of the medics I've seen over the years have any idea what causes the cysts (and therefore have no idea what to do to prevent them recurring) and only say "some people are just prone to them" - which isn't very helfpul.   I have done loads of research trying to find out what causes them myself, but have drawn a complete blank.  From my own experience, however, I think they are brought on by extreme stress as, when I've got them, that's what they've been preceded by.  If I EVER find out anything useful about the cause of these cysts, or about how to prevent them, I shall post it on here.  In the meantime, try not to worry too much as, if its going to come, it'll come regardless.  Best wishes xx 
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  • Posted


    I had the same thing & I had it for 5 years. Finally I got referred by my doctor & had it removed literally it was a 10 minute procedure. I needed 2 stitches. It's actually a small build up of hard flesh & blood. It's been 6 months & it's now perfect, no sign it was ever there. Ask to have it removed. Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hello all! I know this thread was created almost
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    • Posted

      a year ago, but I'm hoping someone will see this. (sorry for the split reply.. my phone went bezerk rolleyes)

      I've had a bartholin's access approximately 5 times in the past 3 years. It always comes back in the same spot, about the size of a golfball. I've always just gone to the gyno to have it lanced, and had a Ward's catheter put in multiple times, the longest for a month. I haven't had an abcess come back for about a half a year, but every time I become aroused, I get that deep, stinging pain.

      I went to the gynecologist this past month and told them about the pain. They inspected the area, and I guess my problem never went away because I have a small cyst still there. They're worried that the pain is caused by the repeated trauma to the area and that nerves were damaged, causing the area to become irritated upon arousal. I don't think that's what it is, but I've been rubbing coconut oil on the area every time I get out of the shower because they said it might help. It doesn't do anything.

      I'm so happy to see that I'm not alone in this. I'm terrified that I will never be able to fully enjoy sex again. I'm nervous to get the surgery, but I'm wondering if it will make my sex life normal again. I'd have to wait a few years to get the surgery if I decide to because I'm not at a point in my life where I can take time off to heal. Hopefully someone figures out how to fix this. Thank you very much for this post. It keeps me hopeful.


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    • Posted

      Hi Holly, 

      I have recently joined this site and so glad to see I am not on my own, I had the marsupialization op over two years ago, the operation went fine and I didnt really experience much discomfort with healing afterwards, the annoying part is waiting for the hole to close up, I was hoping all my problems would be solved by the operation but sadly they are worse. The cyst came back and became infected 3 more times and I found the cause was having sex, currently my sex life is non existent.

      I also get the deep ache when I am aroused, I get random sharp pain from the cyst and I have a lot of pain during intercourse. I also get itchy down there since the op too and I cant understand why. 

      I have also been to the gyno but she didnt really give me any solutions other than for pain during intercourse, she has given me vaginal dilators but they dont seem to be helping.

      I feel that the doctors have no idea when it comes to these cysts and that I will never get back to normal. Sorry I havent offered much advice, really wish I could have given you some sort of solution.


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