. Sitz baths. Soaking in a tub filled with a few inches of warm water (sitz bath) several times a day for three or four days may help a small, infected cyst to rupture and drain on its own.
. Taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), may help with discomfort.
When to see your doctor
Make an appointment to see your doctor about a painful lump in your vagina if:
. The vaginal pain is severe.
. You have a fever higher than 100℉.
. Three days of home care — such as soaking — does not improve the condition.
. You are over 40 years old or postmenopausal. In this case, your doctor might recommend a biopsy to check on the possibility, although rare, of cancer.
Your doctor might refer you to a gynecologist.
A Bartholin's cyst, also called a Bartholin's duct cyst, is a small fluid-filled sac just inside the opening of a woman's vagina.
A Bartholin's cyst usually affects sexually active women aged between 20 and 30.
Bartholin's cysts do not usually affect children because the Bartholin's glands do not start functioning until puberty.
The cysts are also uncommon after the menopause as this usually causes the Bartholin's glands to shrink.
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How to diagnose a Bartholin's cyst, your doctor may:
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If cysts recur or bother you, a marsupialization (mahr-soo-pee-ul-ih-ZAY-shun) procedure may help. Your doctor places stitches on each side of a drainage incision to create a permanent opening less than 1/4-inch (about 6-millimeter) long. An inserted catheter may be placed to promote drainage for a few days after the procedure and to help prevent recurrence.