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

Posted , 13 users are following.

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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5 likes, 23 replies

23 Replies

  • Posted

    hey, thanks so much for this post. its refreshing 😃

    what country do you live in? im curious about who your doctor and surgeon was who removed them.

    • Posted

      Hi Kali!

      I'm glad it was helpful! I was actually living in Istanbul, Turkey at the time...but have since moved to the states and it seems the doctors here don't know much about it. I did do some research and found out that the best kind of doctor to go to for bartholin cysts are not OBGYN but Gynecological Oncologists! If you plan on going to Turkey I would be happy to share my doctor's name with you though! just let me know.

      Best wishes!

  • Posted

    hello sea girl,

    i know its been a while since you write your post but here is hoping you see this.

    Did you end up testing positive for Ureaplasma or Mycoplasma? Were these the bacteria that were causing your issues? couldn’t they swab the culture/infection and see what was causing the infection or those two bacteria wouldn't have shown up in the puss?

    thank you,


    • Posted

      Hi Eva,

      They suspected it but could never get a swab to show it unfortunately. I guess the bacteria would become latent.

  • Posted

    did you have the bacteria that you mentioned? I wonder if that could be why mine have come back.

    i have reoccurring cysts for the past two years and have got them drained with the balloon catheter. i’ve got one now and I went to A&E and they told me to get a marsuplization. however I have read on so many forums that draining with catheter and this procedure doesn’t fix the problem as they keep coming back.

    next week I have an appointment with a surgeon who will (hopefully) remove the glands completely. however she won’t be able to do the surgery for about a month or so I’m going on Monday to have this cyst drained and a catheter inserted. The doctor I seen before A&E today told me that I shouldn’t get the glands removed in case of chronic pain but a lot of people have said that they have fell back to normal months after the surgery. I am willing to take the risk because I don’t think I can deal with this cysts and the constant draining for the rest of my life. it is painful and I’m sick of sitting in a&e for hours in pain.

    • Posted

      Hi pri,

      I'm so sorry you're going through all this...its absolutely terrible and painful. i would definitely recommend getting the gland removal. I know it sounds extreme but it was the best decision I have ever made. Especially if you're having recurring cysts more than 3 times and have to keep getting it treated and go through all that healing and then the disappointment when you feel it coming back. Its now been over 10 years, I haven't had any pain...on the contrary i finally felt normal after the recovery. I went on to have a healthy pregnancy and birth.

      As far as the bacteria, The doctors would test but they couldn't find what was causing the infection.

      I hope I was helpful!

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