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I want to share my experience, because so many of your discussions helped me, so I thought I'd contribute to those having issues. Just a bit of backstory--I'm 27 and have suffered from bartholin's cyst flare ups since I was 24. It started not long after I had a copper IUD inserted. My GP at the time told me with the IUD I'd be more prone to infections, such as UTIs--and apparently Bartholin's cysts. It always happened sometime usually after intercourse where a lump would devlop and within the span of 12 hours I was unable to walk and would have to go to the emergency room. I've had 4 marsupializations under general anaesthetic, which solved the problem short term but every 6 months another lump would pop up. It sucked because it constantly put a halt to my sex life, work life, and also caused anxiety that it would return. I removed the IUD after the fourth operation, which I thought solved the problem, as I didn't have another cyst for a year and a half up until recently.
I noticed 2 weeks ago after sex that a painless lump on my right gland was forming slowly. I had a bit of pressure while walking, but nothing drastic like I had in the past. I read on these forums that a raw onion applied to the cyst worked wonders, so I did and I couldn't believe how effective it was! However, I got cocky and took up having sex again too soon (within 1 week of treatment) and stopped the onion remedy before the cyst was fully gone. It aggravated the cyst and caused it to abscess. Don't be dumb like me and have sex while you have a cyst!
The abscess was super painful, the size of a pea and felt like it had cuts on it. Quite squishy and tender to touch as well. I took up with the onion trick again, but that alone wasn't helping, so I went back to reading discussions and some people said tea tree oil works for this type of abcess. Big mistake! It could just be me, but it really aggravated the area and caused it to grow to the size of a marble. I was so close to taking myself to the hospital. From that point I decided I needed to try to get it to burst on my own, so I purchased a gel heat pack and constantly had it applied to the area while I rested in bed. I would ocassionally switch out with a raw onion slice as it's a natural antiseptic and cooling/relief agent. I periodically took brief showers just to keep the area clean--no soap whatsoever, just water alone. I knew what I was doing was working cause it very slowly started draining white pus. It took 6 days from first sign of abscess to rupture, but when it finally burst it was a huge relief! The rupture was very bloody and pussy, which meant majority of the infection came out. I took a shower immediately to clean the area and applied an onion on it. So far it's still draining a bit but there's no lump anymore.
My advice is know the difference between a cyst and abcess. When you see signs of a cyst, start on your home remedies immediately. Warm baths are great to bring down swelling. Heat packs are your absolute best friend. The onion trick personally was the best option for my cyst. However, when my cyst turned into an abscess, the heat pack was the real winner. Avoid sex or any sort of strenuous activities that could cause sweat or disruption to the area! Anti-bioitics were useless for me personally, although I won't discount others from trying them if a cyst becomes infected. And my last piece of advice is try to avoid hospitals unless you develop a fever, feel nautious, or your abscess is growing at an alarming rate. I truly believe home remedies work with patience. :-)
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