My Search for the Root Cause of Bartholin's Cyst Abscess

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Hi everybody,

As I can image everyone does when they get these little monsters, I have been on the search for years of how to prevent bartholin cysts abscesses from happening. 

I, as everyone does, have horrid stories dealing with this condition. From surgeries to marsupilizations, to it bursting on its own. I have had my bartholin glands removed from both sides, and when another cyst arrived only 9 months after surgery and weeks of healing, I lost my mind. I thought it would be gone for good because of the removal of the glands. It was like I was in a nightmare and I was fed up. I went on the search for SOMETHING/ANYTHING to define the root cause of these because it seemed as if no doctor knew what to do besides treating the abscess itself by loading me up on antibiotics or putting me under for surgery. When you get these things more than once a year, it is not optimal to be going under local anestethia or having antibiotics so often. 

Since I prefered not to grow a pair of testicles (thats the cute name I came up with for these)...I started searching for a doctor. 

After being treated by 6 different doctors, finally, I found a doctor who actually cares. Who spent about an hour explaining things about this condition I never heard before. 

I would like to share this with everyone, as I know how frustrating and how little information there is out there. I hope I can be of help.

Since my abscesses were reoccuring, this amazing doctor said that we needed to look at the reasons of why my body is creating these things constantly even after having my bartholin glands removed. Finally! A doctor who started our discussion with this as opposed to "I'll write you a prescription for.." or "lets schedule an appointment for operation." 

He explained:

- Every time you got a cyst, it created a new cavity for a possible new infection. That is why they reoccur and seem to get worse each time. Even if you have had the bartholin gland removed, you can still get an abscess as long as these cavities exist and get introduced to any imbalance/bacteria. It is not ideal to removed these cavities, as part of the vulva will need to be removed as well. So, finding the root cause of the cysts is more ideal. 

1) Pathogens

- Bacteria wise, get tested for Ureaplasma/Mycoplasma. These can "go into hiding" so you will need to be tested several times in order to know whether you are cleared. It has been linked with barthoinitis, and is a separate test, so don't think that a pap smear will show it. A PCR test is the most accurate, but also the most expensive, so taking pap cultures for this every 3 months can do the trick. Also, this bacteria lives in males in their prostates, so if you are in a relationship with a male, make sure he gets checked out as well by a urologist.

2) Biological

- Women who suffer from bartholin gland abscesses also have a higher risk of getting colon cancer in the future. This is due to the fact that they are so close to one another in the body that the imbalance of flora in the colon can create imbalance in the vagina/the other way around which can cause the abscess in the bartholin cyst. It is important to get your colon healthy. This can be done through taking probiotics daily and finding out which foods you should be eating. This is essential to creating an appropriate balance in your body. Every body is different and requires different things for need to find out what is right for you and keep it up (especially the probiotics!).

- Also, make sure you practice good hygiene. do this for you AND your partner.

This includes:

  -washing underwear separate from other clothing in high temperature

  -ironing all underwear (especially on the part that touches the genitals)

  -use female washing liquid in the shower and wash "there" with your hands

  -always wash there after any sexual intercourse (oral included)

  -make sure your partner is clean as well (washing his hands before getting frisky)

  -sleep with no underwear

  -use organic pads/tampons

I know it seems like alot and like it requires a lifestyle change, but it does not hurt to be hygienic, plus it prevents the kind of pain you experience with an abscess, which is totally worth it.

I have started doing everything the doctor told me for the past 2 weeks now...and I feel great! This is probably the placebo effect, but I'm just happy this doctor gave me hope. I'm not a medical professional in any way, and maybe these recommendations are his own theory...but heck, it made a lot of sense to me! He said the results may not be immediate, but over time you will become healthier and so will your body. I am actually excited about my future now when before I was dreading when my next "testicle" would arrive. I hope that I could have been a help to you all and provided some hope. 

Please feel free to ask me any questions ladies, and again...I'm sorry if you are going through this. I wish it not upon even my worst enemy. Keep your heads up!


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4 likes, 7 replies


7 Replies

  • Posted

    Thanks for your positivity.

    I am on the waiting list to have the cyst (which they don't know whether is sebaceous or glandular) removed surgically. I dread having a general anaesthetic as I've heard they really aren't good for you and I already had one for varicose veins. They say it's not infected, which is hard to square with your gynaecoligist's assertion that they are caused by bacteria.

    Confused (or have I just read it wrong!?)

    • Posted

      Hi neia,

      The thing with bartholin cysts is that they can be large, but painless. It's when they become introduced with a bacteria that they become an abscess which is very painful because it is an infection at that point. My problem in my discussion is not really about the cyst aspect, but of the cyst becoming continually infected...growing to be an abscess about every few months. My gynecologist said mine was becoming infected by possibly ureoplasma which is a bacteria a lot of people have but becomes asymptomatic whereas my body (as others may) become symptomatic somehow go into the bartholin cyst.

      I believe your case must not be a bartholin cyst...since you mentioned glandual and sebaceous. Am I right? Bartholin gland cysts come from the bartholin gland. But maybe yours is in the skin instead? I read there are different kinds of cysts you can get "down there".

      Hope to hear back soon. Even if yours isn't a bartholin gland, good luck! It can be frustrating but stay positive smile and using my doctors recommendations will probably also be effective in your situation as well smile

    • Posted

      Thanks for explaining. As a home edding mum I tend to grab minutes where I can and probably not read all the detail I should! The gynaes didn't know what sort my cyst was...but I'm taking the advice about looking after the imbalance of bacteria as there's a chance it could get infected. Shall be giving up sugar for Lent. Not sure how I'll cope with such a drastic step but we'll see!
  • Posted

    Thanks for the great info, I was kinda afraid when I first felt the cyst when I was a teenager, like I never engage in sex and suddenly I had this infection down there. Will try ironing my undies and washing them with hot water.

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