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Bartholin's Cyst


Please describe your experience with Bartholin cyst. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: J , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I'm on my third Bartholin cyst abscess. I'm thinking stress is my big trigger (thanks, COVID-19). I was crying and depressed upon realizing it was happening again. I'm trying to go into this as calm as possible because I'm not looking forward to my 3rd surgical drainage. Mine never drains on its own but I'll definitely be buying tea tree oil.

Comment from: Adriennenicoel, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

This is the first time Bartholin cyst happened to me. They cut it open to discover blood clots (not pus or mucus); they were shocked but left it open to drain. I was sent home with a pad. I went through 4 huge diaper pads in an hour and realized something was very wrong. I was rushed into the emergency room where I was taken to surgery and when the doctor opened me up he realized I had a blood vessel randomly rupture into the same space as my gland. I know It's rare but we should have known better.

Comment from: SC, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I had a Bartholin cyst after about 4 plus years of not getting one. I think the culprit might have been the damage done to my vagina from inserting a DivaCup (too large). I don't know what actually made it pop just now when it did, but my exact steps were: wetting a cotton pad, adding a few drops of witch hazel on it, firmly pressing the right side where the abscess was. I also took a vitamin B supplement which I frequently do each night to prevent migraines. Then I lay on my side. I guess there was some pressure.

Comment from: Phoebes cure method , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

I had my first Bartholin cyst this week at 24 years of age. At first sight I called my doctor and did some of my own research. Day 1 I did three 30 minute sitz baths and applied witch hazel after each bath. At night I applied Phoebe's cure, which is calamine lotion, tea tree oil and witch hazel. At some point during the night the cyst ruptured and the pain is a lot more tolerable. The cyst is still draining so I am continuing Phoebe's method as well as applying an antibiotic ointment. Try Phoebe's cure!

Comment from: Ljord1313, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

Between August and mid-January I had my Bartholin cyst drained 2 times. I had the bulb catheter placed that fell out 4 days later. In January I had the marsupialization done and my doctor was confident that it would not come back. It came back within 2 weeks post-surgery. I now have had a massive cyst that also has a hematoma on top of it. I find out today when they're removing it. Wonder if anyone else had a similar experience, or had their gland removed.

Comment from: Chanille, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I had my first Bartholin cyst in 2014 and was prescribed antibiotics for 2 weeks. It disappeared. It recurred during my period this March. It's now huge, bulging and very painful. I was prescribed cefuroxime and tried apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and sitz bath with Epsom salt. I tried turmeric paste last night, and it grew bigger. Tea tree oil is not available in the pharmacy. I can't go to the hospital because of COVID. I am prescribed 2nd round of antibiotics, this time it's metronidazole. Wonder if it needs to grow before it bursts.

Comment from: Zayna, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I had a Bartholin cyst for so long, and recently it grew rapidly into an abscess. It was so painful that I almost passed out. I had to have a drainage under general anesthesia and it was all over within 30 minutes. I am so relieved. Yes, there is swelling and a slight discomfort but nothing like the pain I felt before. My advice would honestly be, if you can get it done under general anesthesia rather than local, the process is so much better as you won't feel anything. Hope it helps.

Comment from: hannah, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I'm 21, and had a Bartholin cyst the size of a large cherry. The pain that came with it was unbearable and I have a high pain tolerance. I applied apple cider vinegar (ACV), tea tree oil and coconut oil. I applied a heat pad and had salt baths for the pain. I did this until a head formed. I popped it, and finally, relief! I then bathed in ACV and salt, and applied a tea tree soaked cotton ball consistently until it went away. I'm going to keep eating garlic, apply witch hazel often and have regular ACV baths.

Comment from: Pollyb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I am so thankful for this comment area, it literally saved me so much. I'm in COVID-19 hell and I not only got a huge golf ball sized Bartholin cyst, my whole left side labia was a painful balloon. I read over 60 comments here, took the advice, and using the witch hazel, tee tree, and heat, my cyst burst. I would have never known! Thank you from my heart. There are no doctors to help right now... we need each other's stories, to learn and heal. Thank you!


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Comment from: Baxter414, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

I am 19 and had gotten my first Bartholin cyst. I waited a bit but then got it drained on Tuesday. It's Thursday now and I'm in so much pain and discomfort that I don't know what to do anymore.

Comment from: Liga, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 09

About a year ago I had my first Bartholin cyst. It started as a pea-sized lump and got to about a golf ball size. I had it for about 2 months and it just disappeared. I did not have any pain whatsoever, just a discomfort. About 4 weeks ago the lump came back. I tried every home remedy I could find, nothing helped. Witch hazel burned my skin. The pain was unbearable, it grew to the size of an egg. I couldn't walk, sit or sleep for 6 days. I went to the doctor and was prescribed antibiotics, steroids, and pain killers. After 2 days it started to form a white pimple and on day 3 it started to drain.

Comment from: Ajé , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 07

I just got my second Bartholin cyst. The first I had local anesthesia to drain and it was the most pain I've ever felt in my life (would not recommend). I also had a vulva biopsy from my gynecologist after she had seen the scar from the catheter. This is my second one, I used witch hazel and tea tree oil on a big piece of tissue, kept it there overnight, and also alternated between sitz baths and heat compresses. Popped in 5 days total. Hope this helps.

Comment from: Ice pack and elevate, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 07

This is the fifth day so far! Tried baths and warm compresses, but the Bartholin cyst got more swollen and painful between the heat treatments. I got in contact with a doctor and sent her photos, and she confirmed I should be doing the opposite! Elevate my pelvis above everything else so the swelling could go down, and ice packs! With a witch hazel toilette beneath the ice pack, within two hours of this it finally ruptured! Felt immediate relief. Hope this helps someone. Going to Urgent Care tomorrow for follow up.

Comment from: Avahmomfoever , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I have been dealing with my Bartholin cyst since I was about 17, before I was sexually active, and I am not 25. In the beginning it was very depressing for me, I was in so much pain I would go to the emergency room each time to get the cyst cut open (it was by far the worst pain ever). Then my doctor finally performed marsupialization procedure on both my left and my right side. However my left side continues to come back! The only thing that has help me through my Bartholin cyst is 100 percent tea tree oil.

Comment from: Becca, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I had my first ever Bartholin cyst appear a few days ago. On the first day it was small, on the left side. By the third day it was extremely painful and grew to the size of a ping pong ball. That third night I used a hot compress on the area for 5 minutes at a time for 2 hours straight. Then I soaked a paper towel with witch hazel and left it on the cyst for 45 minutes and then at the 45 minute mark the pain was gone in a flash and the cyst began to drain on its own. Witch hazel works!

Comment from: M, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I had my Bartholin cyst removed in December. It seems like the operation never healed and I keep getting some discharge from it. My general physician has given me a referral to a gynecologist. I can't have sex as it hurts too much. Wonder if anyone else has experienced this before, it's now been 4 months since the operation.

Comment from: mir, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I'm 22 and this is my second Bartholin cyst. With my first one I went to the doctor and the cyst was probably between the size of a golf ball to tennis ball size and definitely infected and painful. I was on antibiotics and it burst a few days later. Now I have it again and it's much smaller and not painful, but it won't go away. I went to the doctor and she drained it but couldn't fit the tube in it to keep draining it, so she said it would be fine. But it's been a week and it's still not gone.

Comment from: JoAnn, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

Some years ago, I had an abscess as a result of one of these Bartholin cysts. I was subjected to an excruciatingly painful surgical procedure in the doctor's office. I was quite sick for the next few days. When returning for follow up checkup it was revealed that I had developed a serious blood infection and was admitted as an emergency patient with emergency surgery to follow. I spent a week in an isolated room in the infectious disease ward. I believe this was the physician's error.


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Comment from: Lma0127, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

I have had two Bartholin cysts in the past, one that just went down on its own and one that drained on its own. Neither of these was extremely painful, rather more uncomfortable. Recently I got one again and each day it got worse. I tried the baths, witch hazel and tea tree oil, and I think it made it worse. It was stinging and so painful and about the size of a walnut. I was in so much pain I went to the emergency room and had it drained. It hurt terribly but I'm so happy it is gone. I am now recovering but still sore.

Comment from: Bella, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 24

I had a ping pong sized Bartholin cyst, with fever, two years ago. It lasted 8 very painful days. I took antibiotics but did no home remedies. Yesterday, I noticed a cyst the size of a grape had started to form on the same side and I immediately took multiple Epsom salt baths. I also put a witch hazel soaked cotton ball on the opening of the Bartholin gland duct with a heat pack. This morning, I continued the witch hazel and the cyst popped and started to drain within an hour. I'm so happy.

Comment from: Patient x, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 23

I've gotten Bartholin cysts a few times, and they are so unbelievably painful. I find soaking the cyst in a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel (even some Thayer's if that's what you've got), and sitting in a hot sitz bath to be effective for getting them to come to a head and burst. Mine have been increasingly harder to get rid of. I want to go to the obstetrician/gynecologist to get it removed, but I have to wait until I'm able to get health insurance.

Comment from: Layla, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 17

Recently I had a small bump and it kept growing. It became painful to walk or sit. I ended up going to the doctor, they gave me some medicine and just kind of sent me on my way. I ended up discovering it was a Bartholin cyst, via google. I decided to not go to Urgent Care and instead did sitz baths with Epsom salt, and washed the area with Aveeno oat soap. My aunt who is a nurse recommended I also put Monistat 7 afterwards. After 2 days of this it naturally popped.

Comment from: Dee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 17

This is about my 4th time getting a Bartholin cyst, every time on my left side, and they've all gone away a day or two later, except for this last one. It just kept hurting, and every time I sat down, walked, slept sideways, coughed, I just felt pain. I went to the emergency room and they drained. It was the worst thing I ever felt, but I'm glad I did it, even though I got a bit traumatized and now think my vagina will look disfigured.

Comment from: Jdimpls, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 12

I am 26 and 28 weeks pregnant. I'm recovering from my 1st Bartholin cyst. It grew to almost the size of a golf ball, and the pain was unbearable. Couldn't walk, sit, or sleep. I had no idea how to deal with it or what it was till I did research. I took warm baths for relief and finally used a product called Prid, on the 4th day before my doctor's appointment at 3 pm. I applied it at 10 am and by 2 pm it started draining but not too much. I went to my appointment, she drained most of it and it hurt so bad. But I feel way better now as it continues to drain.

Comment from: Rebekah , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 11

My Bartholin cyst grew to the size of a golf ball, into an abscess. I went up to the gynecologist at the hospital. They told me if I wanted to be put under, it could be days. I was in agony so we decided to just get it over with. They gave me a local anesthetic, it did not work, or if it did, it was nowhere near enough. The most painful procedure I've ever experienced, took about 5 minutes for her to squeeze out the pus. However I did it and the pain was away as she was finished. it's agony, but once it is over, the pain is gone.

Comment from: Ashhhh, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

I got my first Bartholin cyst in January 2016 when I was 20. That was the most painful thing I had ever experienced, and I got it lanced at the hospital. That was very painful but worth it because you get immediate relief. I got my second one that fall and I saw someone mention online taking serrapeptase. I took it and it popped within 2 days I believe. I got my second one in fall 2017, I took serrapeptase, and it also popped within a few days.

Comment from: KL, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

I am on my 3rd day with this Bartholin cyst (BC). I couldn't sit, walk, stand up straight, or even lie flat. I've been reading every single comment and I was in so much pain I couldn't even go to the store to get any of the supplies like tea tree oil, or witch hazel. I have been taking regular baths every couple of hours and I filled a water bottle with hot water. I started to become so desperate I slightly pinched where I could see the “head” and boom. Messy, but Instant relief. It is already way smaller.

Comment from: syd, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 09

I'm 18, recovering from my 1st Bartholin cyst. Over 7 days, it grew to the size of a golf ball. My doctor prescribed me Tylenol 3, which saved me through the pain. It ruptured without my noticing (surprisingly) in the car on day 7. I went to the emergency room for further drainage. They inserted a Word catheter, and it fell out the next morning. I went to my gynecologist within an hour, she stitched the wound and gave me a new catheter. It fell out this morning. She advised sitz baths from here on out. Uncomforting.

Comment from: Cindy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

My first time getting a Bartholin cyst was at age 30. I never had one before. It was so painful, I felt so much pressure. I went to the gynecologist and they told me to wait because it wasn't that big. I went back in 2 days because it was so painful. Fast forward the next year and a half, I've had 4 reoccurring Bartholin cysts, always to the right side. One incision and drainage, and 2 Word catheters. I have one now and we're watching but the next step is marsupialization.

Comment from: A, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

After several courses of antibiotics I finally tried Phoebe's cure which I read about in this forum. I placed a cotton pad soaked in part witch hazel, part calamine lotion and part tea tree oil on the Bartholin cyst (which was swollen and throbbing) and left it on overnight. In the morning it had drawn out the pus. I continued with sitz baths for a week after that until the area had healed. I will say even after the pus had been drawn out it was sore until it had healed. Hope this helps someone.

Comment from: Feminist1, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 27

Warm baths finally caused my Bartholin cyst to burst after about a week. I drained it and treated with hydrogen peroxide. Hoping it doesn't come back.

Comment from: Betterdayscoming, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 25

I've had Bartholin cysts so many times I've lost count. I've gone through the cutting and the nasty scars they leave, antibiotics and even the at-home remedies like tea tree oil and witch hazel. They didn't work for me but I've found an over-the-counter antibiotic cream called triple antibiotic ointment and it helped so much it cut back the waiting period for it to pop by so much. After a day or two it pops on its own and completely painless unlike all the other times. I swear by this product, please try.

Comment from: Ashley, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 21

I just had my first Bartholin cyst, that abscessed quickly. The amount of pain I was in was unreal. Sitting, standing, and trying to urinate were pure torture, forget about walking. Mine grew to about the size of a tennis ball. When it finally did burst the amount of blood (and the smell) was awful and terrifying. I tried Prid, didn't really work for me, witch hazel offered some relief but didn't allow it to burst. A wet gauze and a heating pad was the best relief. And strong antibiotics.

Comment from: Helga, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I have got my fifth Bartholin cyst now. I am exhausted. The first time I got hoodwinked by a surgeon who let me allow him to lance it and squeeze the contents with just a paracetamol. Second time I got a Word catheter in place to drain it. And third time again a catheter. All three landing me in the emergency department. The last time I got it super early with harsh antibiotics and it ruptured itself. I am now on my fifth, day 12. I have taken antibiotics and no relief. I am exhausted.

Comment from: Sweetiepie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I have had 3 Bartholin cysts so far. All on my left side, as the bump never fully goes away. The first time was the biggest and worst. My doctor put me on SMZ-TMP. I was extremely sick by day 4. But, it popped. They changed my prescription. The second time, I was put on the same medicines without realizing at first. As soon as I started feeling the same symptoms (horrible migraine and then upset stomach), I immediately called and my prescription was changed, but still, it had drained.

Comment from: Shi, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I found out about the Bartholin cyst, 2 years ago, on my right labia. It was painless and just as small as a pea size. Three days ago, it got infected so badly and the size increased progressively. I went to the doctor and they gave me antibiotic even though I was in whole lot of pain (the painkiller doesn't help much). It was so painful and I tried sitz bath twice in a day. The next day it got really swollen and painful. I went to the doctor, and it burst while I was waiting for my turn. A relief and I went straight into the surgery room.

Comment from: Danilovescats , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

This works for a Bartholin cyst. I tried everything, every method under the sun, seriously, and this is the only thing that works. Silica Complex (Holland and Barrett) blue bottle. Take 3 tablets a day instead of 1, until it's gone. The bottle says 500 mg horsetail standardized to 7 percent silica. It helps it drain naturally. No popping or draining. You're welcome!

Comment from: 123polly, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 14

My Bartholin cyst was the size of a golf ball and hurt so bad. This worked for me: hot bath with Epsom salt, tea tree oil, and witch hazel for an hour, followed by an hour of a cotton ball of witch hazel and tea tree oil on the cyst, sitting on a heating pad, and repeating the process 4 times. The next day I did one more bath and it started to drain! I am continuing the process until it's gone, but now I can walk! Do this the first day you notice it, and as many times in a row as you can. There's hope!

Comment from: 112polly, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I just got my first Bartholin cyst (BC). I didn't notice it until after I had sex, and the next day, there was discomfort. The cyst was golf ball sized. I waited 4 more days to get to a day off, put creams on it that just irritated it, and it got progressively worse. Go as soon as possible to the doctor! Now my doctor has given me antibiotics, and is waiting for it to drain until I've finished them. I am in so much pain but baths are helping, and it hasn't burst yet. This forum made me feel better though. I was embarrassed, didn't know it was so common.

Comment from: Jenn5, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

I currently have a Bartholin cyst, the first one in 6 years. This one is the most painful things I have ever had. I went to the doctor on Wednesday and already knew what to expect. He drained it and tried to put a catheter in but couldn't. So it swelled up again! So I have been doing sitz baths, am on antibiotics, and crying and hoping this goes away soon! Today in the bath it drained a bit. Hoping in the morning it feels much better because the incision has opened a bit more.

Comment from: 253253253, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I am 22 and dealing with my first Bartholin cyst. I noticed it after I shaved and after it just kept growing. The cyst is about the size of a walnut if not a bit bigger. It just started to drain today. Wondering about how long it will take to completely drain.

Comment from: Merlin , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I had fever and chills, and all of sudden the abscess had grown. I panicked and went to gynecologist for treatment of my Bartholin cyst. She gave me antibiotics and told me to do hot fomentation. I am still under medication, I have no idea what is going to happen, whether it bursts or shrinks, if it recurs or not. I am suffering so much with this abscess, can't sit or walk.

Comment from: Majerli, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I am 25 years old. I have had what I have believed to be Bartholin cysts in the past based on their location, however, they have always naturally gone away on their own. Recently however, I developed a cyst and it grew to the size of a golf ball in 3 days. I couldn't walk or sit or even sleep, it was throbbing so bad I went to the emergency room (ER) and had it drained. It's been a few weeks and now I think I have one on the other side. I am currently trying to do everything I can to prevent another ER visit.

Comment from: THANK YOU LADIES, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I found this website on the 3rd day that my Bartholin cyst grew to the size of a ping pong ball. I couldn't take the pain anymore. I let warm water run over my vagina to relieve the pain whenever I took a shower. When I was done I would rub tea tree oil on the cyst, then I would microwave 2 pieces of paper towels in a bowl for 2 minutes, squeeze out excess water, and place it on the tender areas with a pad on panty (repeat 3 to 4 times a day). The next day it burst. I took Advil for pain. Rest well.

Comment from: Talia22, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 06

I am 22, my second time with Bartholin cyst (BC). The pain is on another level. I cry every time I stand, walk, urinate, cough, sneeze or turn in my sleep. I haven't slept properly in 2 days. I've been to the doctor and now I'm on antibiotics, it's only been one day on the medicines but not sure if it's possible, but my cyst seems to be getting worse than better. I'm at wits' end with the pain. I don't have a bath so can't do sitz baths, going to get my boyfriend to pick up some tea tree oil. Hoping it works as I just can't cope anymore.

Comment from: teacamm, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

Last week I got my second Bartholin cyst that I've ever had. This time, the cyst was so deep it wouldn't come to a head on its own to drain. If you go to the doctor, let them put a catheter in. My first visit, admittedly I was afraid, so I asked them to only drain it and let me go home. I was back a day later in worse pain than before, had to do the entire draining procedure again, and this time get the catheter in. It's a painful process, mostly because the local anesthetic is hard to take in such an area.

Comment from: MRN, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

I just had my first Bartholin cyst and let me tell you it's not for the faint of heart. I was in excruciating pain to the point where I couldn't walk sit or sleep. I went to the walk-in clinic who prescribed me antibiotics and was told to schedule a visit with my gynecologist to insert a drain. Unfortunately they couldn't fit me in for 6 days. In the meantime I tried all the remedies I could find and nothing worked until I tried Phoebe's method. It was tough to go through but 100 percent paid off.

Comment from: Concernedlady, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

Beginning of week I had discomfort and soreness. I assumed it was a yeast infection. Mid-week the Bartholin cyst felt like a ball on the left side of my vagina and I couldn't sit from the pain and the discomfort that still felt like a yeast infection. I started treating the yeast infection on Thursday. Friday was unbearable, I was away at a swim meet and had to sit on bleachers all day. The concerning part was Saturday I had significant bleeding. But after the bleeding, all my symptoms went away. Wonder if a cyst ruptured.

Comment from: Holiday goer, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

I'm 29 and experienced a Bartholin cyst for the first time during my holiday. I noticed a large lump under the skin before I left and it didn't hurt, so left it. By the 7th day of my holiday, I noticed severe pain and the lump had got bigger and closer to the surface of the skin. The next day I could barely move and felt an unbearable amount of pressure. I looked up the at home remedies on this site and only managed to find Epsom salt and apple cider vinegar. After 24 hours of pain, sitz baths and vinegar, it burst.

Comment from: Anon, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

I'm currently dealing with my 3rd Bartholin cyst. I had 2 on the right, now this on the left. I had the first one marsupialized, but it came back and ruptured. This one is much smaller, the size of a marble. I have never experienced pain like that of a Bartholin cyst. Ladies, hot compresses and sitz baths are so helpful. If it's unbearable, please see a doctor, don't let it go untreated. If urinating is painful, fold the labia back to protect the wound, as best as you can. It does help some!

Comment from: Debbi , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I am 62 years old and have had Bartholin cysts on and off for years. I found that the causes could sometimes be too tight jeans, especially if it was hot and I sweat, and friction of any kind also. Normally hot moist compresses, used as frequently as time allows, hot water shower with a hand held shower, and patience have helped in the past. I have not had one in a few years and I have done the above and am trying the witch hazel in hopes of success and a little quicker recovery; it's been 3 days.

Comment from: Brittany, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 31

I've had 4 experiences with Bartholin cyst, all the size of golf balls, no exaggeration. The first one was 2016, it didn't hurt at all, and went away on its own without any help. The second time it hurt so badly I couldn't walk, sit, stand or do anything without being in some of the worst pain I've ever been in. I got it drained at the emergency room (ER). The third time same thing, had to have it drained at the ER. this last time it was day 4 of heat pads and witch hazel and it finally ruptured on its own.

Comment from: This sucks., 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

I had a large Bartholin cyst that quickly abscessed. I could not stand, walk, or even sleep comfortably. I cried a lot. It was the worst pain I had ever experienced in my life, and I'm only 21 years old. I had to go to the emergency room to get it drained. It was actually a decent experience, not as painful as the cyst itself. Although, the cyst hasn't completely disappeared. It was so little and is now getting bigger. I'm a little worried... home treatment didn't work the 1st time.

Comment from: Anon, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

Not usually a commenter online but felt the need! Day 3 of Bartholin cyst and I was in so much pain! It's after 2 am and I've been lying since about 8 alternating between cotton wool pads with hot water and tea tree oil (TTO) to just hot water (the TTO stung). Settled on a hot water bottle awkwardly between my legs as I couldn't move, but just got up for a pad with TTO and spotted the start of it breaking. Pain gone! Actually could squeeze with no pain to drain it. So relieved and these comments got me through it.

Comment from: Emo , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I have had my 3rd Bartholin cyst abscess last week. I had the first two times a surgical procedure but this time without sitz bath, it happened to burst on its own. I am so much worried that it will recur again. All this happened in 7 months and in between I was pregnant and lost my pregnancy. Now, in the coming months I want to conceive again but I am very worried and scared about the recurrence. I am going for an MRI as my doctor advised me to.

Comment from: Kk, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I didn't know these things existed. Bartholin cyst was the most painful thing that I've ever experienced. I thought It was a boil, to find out it was a Bartholin cyst. Thanks for all the home remedies listed here. Not sure which one worked for me as I tried them all. The tea tree oil, coconut oil, witch hazel, and I used a heating pad almost constantly. Mine lasted about 7 days before receiving relief.

Comment from: Ash0816, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

I have dealt with these nasty abscess for 6 years now! I have had 8 Bartholin cysts in total and mine always get as big as a golf ball size and hurt extremely bad. I went to the doctor every time and had them drained (not a pleasant experience) but they always come back! The last one I had my doctor suggested having the excision surgery where they remove the entire Bartholin gland.so I decided to do it. The surgery lasted an hour and went well. I did have some pain for a few days but haven't had one since.

Comment from: Km, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 24

I had a Bartholin cyst that turned into an abscess and burst. I had another cyst appear approximately 3 months later. It was about the size of a golf ball and wouldn't go away. Due to my age (48) the doctor suggested removing the whole gland, which he did one week ago. It is the most painful thing I've ever gone through, and I've had 2 C-sections. I would not do it again if I was given a choice.

Comment from: Loveness, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I had two Bartholin cysts, about a year ago, I had the first one drained at a general physician's (GP) office and my second one sent me to the emergency room where it burst on its own the next day. I had my 3rd one and it was drained at the GP's. A few days later the fourth one grew just close to the wound of the 3rd. I tried steaming with Epsom salt and applying on it an ointment that relieves boils, but all methods I used aren't working. Now I'm scared that my vagina is going to rot because it's been two weeks of pain and growth.

Comment from: Cowgirl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

I don't know how to say thank you enough for the witch hazel and hand warmer heat pack suggestions. I suffered for a very painful day with my Bartholin cyst and less than 12 hours after using witch hazel, it popped. What a relief! I also took numerous Epsom salt baths. Thanks to all who shared their stories.

Comment from: Relieved , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

After reading all of the comments on here I went out and bought a bottle of witch hazel, witch hazel wipes, tea tree oil, and castor oil. I've been taking two sitz baths a day, applying the tea tree oil on the witch hazel wipes and tucking a wipe in my panties to wear and keep it clean throughout the day. When using the bathroom, I am using a new wipe to clean it, and then repeating the process again throughout the night. I'm happy to say my BC popped and drained. Must try! Castor oil didn't work! Thanks to you all.

Comment from: FLgirl, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

I just got my Bartholin cyst (BC) drained (this was my 2nd one). The doctor put in a Word catheter, which stayed in for a week. Three days after it fell out, I went to the doctor for my follow-up, only to find out that my BC had already started to form again and I had a yeast infection. Isn't this why they put in a catheter! Ugh... does it ever end or will this be something I'll have to deal with forever! I don't think I can deal with another catheter; so, so painful.

Comment from: Megan , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 18

I had a Bartholin cyst about the size of an egg. It was so painful I couldn't sit, bend down, or sleep. I didn't want to get it drained surgically so I searched this site for hours. I got Prid drawing salve. I put it on thick for a full day (just under 24 hours), and covered it with gauze. In the last hour before it ruptured, it got so painful I could not stop crying. It burned similar to a urinary tract infection. Then, instant relief when it popped and drained.

Comment from: Auntie L., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I have been dealing with this reoccurring annoyance since I had a partial hysterectomy, and I still have my ovaries. So at times I feel menstruation like discomfort, cramps itching, and bloating. Shortly after I would have an episode of Bartholin cyst (BC). I read that (any) stimulation including sex, scratching an itch, masturbation or sports including horseback riding or cycling can cause increased fluid in the vaginal lip of your vagina, which could become a backed up collection of fluid, i.e. BC.

Comment from: BeachN, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I am 70 and having issues with my Bartholin cyst for the 2nd time. Old folks are not supposed to get them. The first time, my gynecologist lanced it but shot it up with novocaine prior and it still hurt! Can't get in and out of tub so that solution is not possible. Wonder if anyone else is out there old and having issues with it.

Comment from: Trisha W, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 13

I have had maybe about ten of these Bartholin cysts. I have had three cut open with a scalpel. And the pain was excruciating! The last one I had cut open I couldn't drink soda because of the acidity. My urine went through the cut where the catheter was placed and it was the worse pain ever experienced. I use witch hazel and it pops by three days at the latest. It will really give you pain and discomfort right before it bursts. I just grab a warm towel, get water, squeeze witch hazel on it, and press it on it.

Comment from: Anya, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 10

I had a Word catheter put in for my first Bartholin cyst (BC) which I hadn't even noticed as it wasn't painful. Word catheter was my least favorite thing ever, so now that I have another BC on the same side, I'm doing sitz/Epsom baths nightly but it's still the same size (again, no pain). Wonder if putting coconut oil or witch hazel on it hurts. I've been using some Tucks pads on it but am afraid to use anything stronger.

Comment from: Anonymous, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 09

I had a Bartholin cyst come on very quickly; the size of a quail's egg, and very painful. After reading about the Phoebe's cure I figured I had nothing to lose. I sat in a hot Epsom bath with a splash of tea tree oil for about an hour. Immediately following I applied a compress of witch hazel and tea tree oil. Within a minute it felt very intense so I decided to put a new compress on with less oil. Amazingly, the cyst had burst. Firm believer here. Don't wait! Do it now.

Comment from: Cindy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

Well, the first time I noticed a Bartholin cyst was in 2017. It was really small and painful, I read online that sitz bath works, so I did that and the pain stopped, but the cyst was still there. Then it went on its own. Then in 2018 it came again, and it got bigger and painful. I took some antibiotics, it ripened, and I went to the hospital to drain it. Few months later, it came again, and I did same thing. The year 2019 was a free year. It came this year, I took antibiotics and it reduced. I just need a permanent solution.

Comment from: Emma, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

I got my first and worst Bartholin cyst about a year and a half ago. I was 18 and my cyst grew to the size of a lemon. I had it for about 2 weeks, I couldn't walk, sleep or eat. The pain was excruciating I was screaming in pain all of the nights and I lost 15 pounds. I eventually just went to the emergency room, barely able to walk, in the middle of the night and got it drained. It was very painful and I still get cysts randomly and always on the same side.

Comment from: Paris , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 07

I had my first Bartholin cyst 3 years ago, and I am now going on my 3rd one on my right side again. The first time I had one I went to the emergency room to get it drained. The second time I got one I took several sitz baths and it ended up popping on its own. This one I did everything, it's not too big or anything. I tried sitz bath, and I tried witch hazel, but it stings really bad when I put witch hazel on it. It hurts to walk, it hurts to urinate or even wipe. I'm not sure what to do.

Comment from: Daisy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 07

I am also suffering from my second Bartholin abscess and the pain is unbearable. The swelling is almost covering my vagina. I have bought pain killer and antibiotic but I don't know when exactly I should see the doctor for drainage or if I should leave it to drain on its own.

Comment from: J.k, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

I had developed my first Bartholin cyst three weeks ago. My doctor prescribed me antibiotics and I was told to go to my primary care physician and have it lanced. Due to my job I couldn't afford to miss work, so I treated it with warm compress and lots of Tylenol, to no avail. It got worse by the day, felt like fire, and I finally tried the witch hazel and coconut oil. I soaked four cotton balls, wrapped them in a warm cloth like a burrito, applied that to the cyst for 45 minutes, and 5 hours later it burst. I cried with relief.

Comment from: Fmac, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

This is my first experience with a Bartholin cyst. I didn't know what it was but I had increasing pain for about a week before Christmas, then the pain was just too excruciating by Boxing Day so I went to the emergency room. They told me it was a Bartholin cyst and gave me antibiotics, which I didn't take as I will only take antibiotics as a last resort for my health. So I went home and it ended up bursting that night! I have been doing sitz baths, using which hazel and tea tree gauzes, using oregano oil.

Comment from: Naomi, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I am 28 and This is my first Bartholin cyst experience! I started noticing discomfort and pain. I got some pain reliever but the pain persisted. It became so excruciating that I could no longer walk, stand or sit. I tried hot compress and shea butter but the swelling didn't go down, instead it kept growing, to the size of a walnut. I visited my gynecologist and he advised that I go for marsupialization, prescribed antibiotics, and fixed a date for surgery. Just last night, it burst by itself and I am so relieved, hope it is gone for good!

Comment from: Hannahconduh, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

This past Bartholin cyst got to the size of a marble, and it was very painful to sit or walk or use the bathroom. Hot compresses with tea tree oil and witch hazel helped. It started to swell to the surface and ruptured. Lots of blood and pus, even blood clots inside.

Comment from: Kat1980, 35-44 (Patient) Published: December 26

I am so glad I found this forum. I recently had a Bartholin cyst and had it surgically removed, much like the ladies here. I had one around 10 years ago as well. What I noticed in my separate cases is that the doctor needs to make sure the cyst sac is also removed. Doctors that say it is lifelong and so on; ladies, that is false. It does not have to be. The procedure needs to be done correctly. If it is drained but the sac has not been removed it will keep reoccurring. Best of luck ladies!

Comment from: Student, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 23

I'm still in my early 20s. I mean I'm 20. And when I was diagnosed with Bartholin cyst, I was not really sure what it was. Then the doctor kept on asking if I'm active. Well, no, I'm still a virgin. And the doctor suggested me to do surgery at first. I was so scared because I still have assignments and dues coming. I am still a student by the way. It made me so scared and I don't know what to do. But the doctor prescribed antibiotics and painkillers for a week. I really hope I don't need to undergo surgery. I'm scared.

Comment from: Lissa, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 20

I am about to turn 27 years old in January, but age 25 to 26 was when I experienced my first Bartholin cyst (BC). I had absolutely no idea what it was, but after research and 4 days of unbelievable pain I went to the emergency room and they told me it already started draining and to do sitz baths until it was gone. Each month it became recurring. I went to my gynecologist each time and finally we did a marsupialization. It's been 6 months or so and it's back and huge and nothing is making it drain! I don't know how to apply witch hazel to it.

Comment from: WhoaN, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 18

I caught my Bartholin cyst at the size of a pea and managed to burst it tonight. Oh my goodness, does it hurt! I've had issues with small cystic abscesses, and had one or two on the outside of my vagina, but this was literally sitting right outside my clitoris. I got a small lump of something out of it and managed to get clear fluid, then washed in water gently. This is awful. I hope to never have it again.

Comment from: Reggie , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 18

I have had a Bartholin cyst for over 17 years, no pain at first, up until this year, with 4 occurrences. For the first one I went to the emergency room, the doctor lanced it incorrectly and numbed me excessively. The 2nd time I had drainage and Word catheter which fell out same day, 3rd time I was in so much pain they aspirated it to just decrease the size and scheduled me for marsupialization. The cyst has to be present in order to perform surgery, and while waiting for surgery it filled back up but luckily it ruptured after applying the hot compresses (I microwaved my water).

Comment from: night owl, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 10

Since 2017 I had this Bartholin cyst, and at first while I was pregnant. And then when it goes off, it is always coming back every month on the same spot. The last time I had this Bartholin cyst was last November 24, 2019. But until now I have this cyst. It is not aching, it is just like a small cyst. Wonder if it is safe if I ignore this.

Comment from: Kristen S. , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

My Bartholin cyst was on the left side. It lasted around 4 to 5 days. The first few days it caused a little discomfort. However, the last 2 days, the cyst had grown to size of a gum ball and pain was unbearable and excruciating. It hurt to sit, walk, and urinate. I was in tears. It got to the point to where I was on the way to urgent care, but out of nowhere the cyst ruptured and the pain was instantly gone. I hope to never have a reoccurrence, this was by far one of the most painful experiences I've ever had.

Comment from: Rayne, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

This was my first Bartholin cyst. It was awful. It swelled to the size of a golf ball in 3 days. I couldn't walk, sit, lie down, absolutely nothing. I had to take leave from work due to the pain. I used tea tree oil and salt in my sitz bath every 3 hours. After 2 days of no change, I slightly changed my method. I used a gauze soaked in tea tree oil, hot water and extra virgin olive oil. It stung. But it was bearable. It burst 2 hours later.

Comment from: Faefly, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 04

I started feeling pain in my vagina on Monday and by the end of the day knew it was a Bartholin cyst. I thought I could handle it and tried many a hot shower and bath but things just kept getting worse. On Wednesday I went on the Epsom salts, witch hazel and tea tree oil. Nothing helped. Saturday I couldn't walk or sit without serious pain and I had to go to the emergency room Sunday. They made two incisions and packed one with gauze. I am still in unbearable pain and don't know what to do.

Comment from: Priya, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

Thank you so much for this forum! The pain had hit the ceiling with the current Bartholin cyst not ready to drain, the worst I've experienced and hopefully the last. For anyone. As a suggestion in the earlier comments, I tried witch hazel extract. I used a flat and round make up remover cotton pad. I sprayed a good amount of witch hazel on it and then wrapped it around the cyst and let it be there for around an hour. And it was a miracle! Thank you.

Comment from: Baby, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

Well, I got to say I have gotten Bartholin cyst before but with this one I had today I was in excruciating pain that I finally went to the emergency room. Now, let me tell you it's the worst when they got to numb the area. I screamed for dear life, that's no joke, but after that the relief! I felt so much better, thank goodness. Just hoping another one does not pop out.

Comment from: Ash, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

My Bartholin cyst story started when I was 21. All of a sudden I had a lump in my female area that caused more pain every coming day. I used some natural remedies until I literally couldn't do anything anymore without hurting; walking, sitting, standing and at some point even breathing hurts. I had marsupialization done and everything was fine until 6 months later, it reoccurred and drained on its own. Now 2 months later and still having worries of it reoccurring because today I had pain in the area.

Comment from: Lizzy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 03

I just recently gotten a I and D (incision and drainage) for a Bartholin cyst and they inserted a Word catheter. It was probably one of the most painful experiences of my life, I could feel almost everything since they went on with the procedure right after injecting the anesthesia. I was screaming for an hour afterwards. It's been a week now and the catheter is still really painful, I can't sleep or sit or barely even clean myself because any disturbances to the catheter is painful. I don't know how I am going to get through 4 weeks of it.

Comment from: Sara BA, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

My Bartholin cyst just popped on its own gradually, but a thick drained piece of skin remained connected to the vagina. I wonder if it comes off on its own or if I have to go to a doctor to remove it. It doesn't hurt but I prefer to not have it there.

Comment from: Juliajulia, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

I had a double marsupialization of the Bartholin gland in 2013. Both Bartholin glands were removed after getting Bartholin cysts every 3 or 4 months like clockwork. Now I can feel cysts in my labia, but they are not painful. I also had a cyst on my thyroid about a year ago. Wonder if there could be a link between all these cysts.

Comment from: Believer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

I have had several Bartholin cysts. I always sit in a bath in water as hot as I could stand, with Epson salt. That did work but not quickly. So I started keeping track of what I did when I got them and when they left. My last one, just as soon as I felt that knot I knew, was just beginning to get sore. I immediately started taking over-the-counter slow release Mucinex and turmeric. That was the easiest and fastest recovery from a cyst I have ever had. So once a week I take 1 Mucinex and I've not had one since.

Comment from: Samm, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I got my Bartholin cyst drained over 20 times and they are the size of an apple. Most painful thing I've ever dealt with and I gave birth.

Comment from: A, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I am 22 years old and currently dealing with my fourth Bartholin cyst. The first time was about two years ago but the last 3 have all been within the last 5 months. The last 2 I needed medically drained because of the pain and those experiences were extremely uncomfortable. I just got a Word catheter put in this morning and I hope it works forever. My friends and family have never even heard of this so I've struggled with this alone and it was very nice to come to a place where others relate.

Comment from: Sarahj91, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I'm onto my 3rd Bartholin abscess. The first one I had in my early 20s, which disappeared after a course of antibiotics. Second one I got this year and it eventually burst on its own. So now I'm onto my third, second in the year. Extremely painful and aggressive. Plenty of sitz baths, antibiotics and witch hazel. Nothing is budging this one. Doctors can't do anything due to my age.

Comment from: Halley, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I noticed the flare up of Bartholin cyst this morning and immediately sat in a sitz bath. This is my second one. It's not painful but very uncomfortable sitting and walking. I've done the bath twice so far for about 10 minutes at a time or until the water runs cool. I'm hoping I can take care of this at home. My last one I went to the emergency room and got it drain. I was put under so didn't feel a thing, but the pain before the surgery was a 10. I hope this home treatment works; will give an update this evening.

Comment from: Carr, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 22

I am now 32 weeks pregnant, and this will be my 3rd recurring Bartholin abscess during my pregnancy. My first one ever (I believe at 24 weeks), I had a hole poked by my gynecologist and drained. The second one recurred at about 26 to 27 weeks and was causing me so much pain I went to the triage and had an incision made with drainage again. Now at 31 weeks, this big ball is back and I'm so tired of dealing with it, it literally makes me want to cry. I go back to have it drained in 4 days.

Comment from: Sarah, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 21

Thanks so much to the people on this page who mentioned witch hazel! I am 3 months pregnant, was reluctant to take painkillers and had an infected Bartholin abscess for a week, and today it is as big as a golf ball (not exaggerating). I went to my general physician and got antibiotics but he said it would take 5 to 7 days for the cyst to go down! I was in tears tonight in the most excruciating pain and came across this post! I went straight out and got some witch hazel, drowned a cotton pad and put it against it for 1 hour and it worked!

Comment from: Bartsimpsolin, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 21

I've had 3 Bartholin abscesses in less than 6 months. All three were so bad I was unable to walk without terrible pain. The first surgery I had was botched and the subsequent 3 included using a balloon catheter which in one case was unsuccessful. Soon I'll get a double marsupialization and be done with these hopefully forever. If anyone reading this finds themselves in a similar boat I'd advise getting a consistent obstetrician/gynecologist who you can call and see, the second the cyst gets bad.

Comment from: Sinnnnnn, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 21

I just had my very first Bartholin cyst and it was an abscess. Very badly infected and since it was my first time I had no idea what it was and didn't know how infected it was. Tried tee tree oil but that burnt. Finally I went to the emergency room, and had it drained. I felt like I was nearly dying when the doctor put in the numbing needle; goodness, such horrible pain. Good luck. Now I'm waiting to go back in for a checkup. Hoping I never get this again!


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