My Experience Of Chronic Bartholin's Abscess And Cyst
Aug 29, 2014
After roughly 5 years of experience with these beasts I opted to have my gland removed. I feel as though I've been through hell and back and almost feel a sense of obligation to share my story to those who may be going through the same thing. I know I wanted to know everything about them, so the least I can do is contribute my knowledge of the topic.
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*I am NOT a medical professional and I am not dishing out medical advice, just sharing an experience*
I got my first abscess towards the end of my senior year of college. I'm now 27. I had the abscess drained by OB and it did not reappear until several years later. And guess when it decided to return? My honeymoon. My honeymoon was completely ruined. We were in the Dominican Republic and I noticed it starting to swell up the morning after we arrived. By that afternoon I was already starting to feel sluggish and almost like I had the flu. By the third day I was in bed with a 102 degree fever. I was too embarrassed and nervous to see an actual doctor in the Dominican so we went to the resort clinic and I faked a sinus infection knowing they would give me antibiotics. The antibiotics did not help (cephalexin) and I still had several days until I could get a flight back to the states. I writhed in pain for days, I didn't sleep for 3 days straight. I made a half-assed attempt at popping it WITH A NEEDLE. That is what desperation will do to you! The pain was so bad I had to stop and LAY DOWN IN THE AIRPORT when we were trying to get home. Do you know how disgusting and humiliating it is to lay down on the ground in an airport? I refused to get help until we got home. There is just something about getting cut open by someone you don't know in an unfamiliar place that is just unsettling...I cried for the entire day during the course of our 2 flights home. My husband rushed me to the ER as soon as we landed. The doctor lanced the abscess and gave me a word catheter. I felt amazing afterwards. It hurt to sit, but I could work from home and within a week I was back to normal. Story should end there with a happy ending, right?
Fast forward to a few months later and it's back. I tried the sitz baths, but it did not change. When it got big enough and I started to feel that awful flu-ish feeling, I saw my OBGYN who once again lanced it and inserted a catheter. Went home, did my sitz baths, back to normal in a week...
Fast forward another two months and I feel another one coming on. Once again, I got the catheter. Except this time my OB stated she made a larger incision than before. It hurt extremely bad this time. I cried at the pharmacy waiting for my pain meds and cephalexin. I almost couldn't make the drive home. That night, I got chills and noticed I was bleeding way more than normal. I also developed another high fever. By that time I was a veteran with the word catheter so I knew something was wrong. Me and my husband called local hospitals trying to figure out how to classify "too much blood loss". I toughed it out and tried to sleep through the night. I was sure it was infected and that it was bleeding too much. 3 days of bleeding with chills and fever, puss burst through the catheter, almost as if it had re-burst again after it was lanced. It was a horrible, horrible experience.
Later that winter it came back once again...like clockwork, I swear. This time I had a marsupilaization. The procedure seemed almost TOO good to be true. I felt way better afterwards than when I had the catheters. We even went out to eat that night! This blissful feeling lasted for 3 whole months! I know it seems odd, but when my husband and I were intimate after the incision healed and the stitches dissolved, it was better than it was before this whole mess started!
Too good to be true, you say? You are correct.
Here we are...summertime, a little over a year after my honeymoon disaster. On a holiday weekend I felt it coming back. I went and saw my OB and she said she would lance and insert a catheter. At that point, I finally took control of what I thought should be done and declined the catheter. I requested a lancing instead because at that point - I already know it will come back, so why go through the extra pain of the catheter? She lances it, it got infected (despite the antibiotics) and re-burst again a few days later. Same fever, same pain, no sleeping, etc. I cried once again, but this time not just because it hurt, but because I felt broken. I felt like it had officially taken over my life.
Before I left my OB's office the day I got it lanced again, we talked about a more permanent solution. I mentioned removing the gland entirely (because like you people, I troll the internet looking for all possible solutions to this thing) and she shrugged her shoulders and gave me an uneasy look suggesting that removing the gland was not something she would advise.
The fact that she wouldn't even hear it out made me feel a bit less comfortable with her even though she had been my OB for 14 years! I once again took to google and searched for the BEST gynecological surgeon in my area. I settled on one and set an appointment for a second opinion. My visit with her was borderline inspiring. She was so confident, she explained that I was considered an ideal candidate for the surgery and even went so far as to draw pictures of the actual procedure for me. It sounds weird, I know, but it helped. She sent me on my way and said to call back when I was ready. I called back two months later when I just barely felt another abscess coming on and she put me on the surgery calendar. I met with her the night before and even sat down with the anesthesiologist to get a very clear picture of how everything the next day would run. The surgery went great. I'm 3 weeks post-op and feeling really well. There is still a little pain, but definitely no bleeding. I'm used to healing really quickly so I keep expecting it to not hurt at all, but that is just unrealistic considering a gland was removed from my body.
I'm not going to tell anyone on here to go out and do the surgery. It is up to you.
Below is what did not work for me.
Tea tree oil
Probiotics (these are good for you anyway)
Massaging the area
The Bartholin Cyst Miracle e-book
Here is a little procedure cheat-sheet for those who may be unfamiliar:
Lancing - the area is numbed with a topical anesthetic, again with local anesthetic and a small incision is made into the abscess/cyst to allow the built up puss to drain. **soooo gross**
Word Catheter - incision is made similar to the above, except a small tube with a balloon on the end is inserted into the hole. This allows the hole to remain open and encourages the cyst to continue to drain. My first doctor said the catheter should stay in place for a few days. The internet told me 4 weeks. My second doctor that performed my excision also said it should have stayed in for at least a few weeks.
Marsupialization - incision is made per the above and instead stitched open to allow the hole to remain open. From what I've heard, this has been a permanent solution for some! Not for me, but I definitely preferred it over the catheter.
Gland Excision - exactly that. The entire gland is removed. Recovery time is around 6 weeks, pain is mild, I was also warned that disfigurement is a possibility, but that was not the case for me. Yes, I've looked at it.
It may be too early to tell if my surgery has a good prognosis, however, my doctor did say she was able to remove almost all of the gland. It is important to know that the gland is so small and the area is so vascular, that it can sometimes be difficult for the surgeon to remove the entire mechanism. Understanding how much was removed will help you better figure out your chance for recurrence.
Well friends, I wish everyone on here the best of luck with this awful condition. It blows my mind that this disorder doesn't get a whole lot of attention considering how life altering it really can be. I leave you with just a few of my mantras for battling this crap: you are not alone, you are not broken, and you are not crazy. Do your research, don't be afraid to get second opinions and do what you feel is best for your body and your well being.
i had a solid cyst removed on friday its worse than childbirth, i have had 4 babies so i should know. i am swollen black and blue,can not walk or sit down feel depressed,no one can understand how bad the pain is.in hospital they did give me morphine that did take the edge of the pain.but i am home now and it kills!. i've tried to think of things i can do to get the pain away like cold flannels. and spray with a shower nothing helps.
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If you're reading this, you may think you have a Bartholin's Cyst, or worse a painful Bartholin's Cyst Abscess. I'm just going to recount what happened to me so that you might be able to gauge if yours is similar, or if it has gotten infected, and may require the operation. In Hawaii where I'd been snorkeling for weeks, (sand granule?), suddenly a day after spirited intercourse, I felt something that felt like a sprained muscle about an inch and a half along and just under the skin at the beginning of the left inside side of my vaginal wall. It seemed to spread out and fade in pain but only a couple of days later I felt a very alarming, but not painful lump there, about the size of a small olive. When I got home I managed a bit of psychic reading and brought it up to a friend who apparently is the only one in my circle of female friends who'd ever heard of it or had one before. She'd had 3 in her life. She told me to take 2-3 very hot sitz baths a day with nothing else, no epsom salts. She said to gently massage it in the hot water. I started myself on Echinacea tincture, because that works for me for my immunity. My friend said that until it hurts, it is not infected, just clogged and filling up with the normal fluid. She said that it may itch or feel uncomfortable from swelling, but that the pain when it gets infected is unmistakable and fierce. So I bought a weird plastic sitz thingy with the bag and did that pretty religiously for 3 weeks. At about 4 weeks my lover and I tried to have intercourse, and that was pretty impossible because it hurt like I was a virgin again - ouch! So we waited and i continued to do the sitz thing, but by now I was at about 1 time a day. Over the course of these weeks, it would get slightly bigger, then shrink down a bit, back and forth. Sometimes it felt smaller after the sitz bath so I kept it up, though I never saw anything in the water to indicate it had drained. Right in the middle of week 6, (sheesh), it itched and felt a little uncomfortable so I did a sitz bath right in the middle of the day, when I was down to 1 time a day. She always told me to use water as hot as I could stand and I massaged it like usual - maybe I was doing anywhere from 8 mins to 20, but that day it was probably about 10. About 30 minutes afterward, I was walking and it just let loose, just a fairly small amount of slippery fluid that felt like I got my period. I went to the bathroom thinking that was what it was, and was relieved to find out the thing had just passed whatever blockage, opened and cleared. There was no odor or anything, it was nearly clear. I kept doing the sitz baths about 5 more times and that was that. 100 percent normal now. It was still pretty weird and inconvenient, and I really hope I never get it again, but for all the times I was considering hauling myself in to get it lanced, I'm really glad I waited and did what I did, because it worked. I'm sorry for the high detail, I just want to make sure that someone knows that they can handle this without surgery if this is what they have and it's not infected.
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I would like to share with the community that unless your Bartholin cyst is a real problem in your life, don't do it. From my own experience, and from what I have read from others on forums and sites, it seems pretty safe to say that many women who have had the surgery regret it. Ladies, it is not worth the pain. Many doctors completely play down the surgery and pass it off as being minor with little pain, fast recovery.
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Here is my story: I had a small to med. size cyst, not bothersome at all..it was just there. I went to my yearly exam and the doc said, let's remove that. He explained that is was a simple, common surgery. So, I went in to remove it , expecting to be able to work the next day (ha!). I was given some shots of anesthesia, and then some more, during the surgery I felt pain...was administered more shots. I became completely nervous and entered panic, pleading for something to calm me down. Well, I went through it and I noticed there was a lot of blood and the doctor asked the nurse to help me up, the doctor left the room and I was bleeding so much, like all over the place. To make a long story short, the doctor found my out in the hospital hall and rushed me into surgery again (this time they put my ass to sleep). Come to find out, there was a vein behind the cyst that got cut during the surgery. Later on through research I discovered that this could cause the need for a blood transfusion! Thank goodness I didn't. I completely regret the surgery.It's been 8 days and I still can't drive or sit with both cheeks down in a chair, I'm still walking funny and my vagina looks weird. I love to run and swim and I would NEVER EVER have done this if I had known it was this painful and debilitating. So girls, unless it is a complete necessity and it is totally ruining your life, don't do it. And for those of you who do do it, demand an ultrasound to make sure there aren't any veins behind it, its your right. A lot of veins run through this area and if the doc cuts a vein, its a bad surprise and there is a chance you would need a blood transfusion if you loose too much blood and the doctor isn't prepared. Oh, and I was prescribed tylenol with codeine for the pain every 12 hours...I ended up in the emergency room the next day so they could give me something much stronger. Today, day 8 I didn't have to take any pain meds, but I still can't work/drive/sit normal/walk normal.
It hurts when I sit down and sometimes when I walk. I have used a hot washcloth for compresses, I have used cold water to help maybe the swelling go down, I have even put a heating pad between my legs applying pressure on it when I sleep. I only noticed it a few days ago and thought it was an ingrown hair. I haven't had any sexual activity since October. It hurts to itch and touch it. It even hurts when I wipe after using the restroom. I'm trying as many home remedies as possible before telling my doctor because at the moment we are still trying to figure out if I'm going to have a strong pregnancy or not and I don't want anything getting infected.
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Have any of you ladies experienced a bartholin cyst that could've been questionable for herpes? How to tell the difference? I had some ache down in that area for a month when I would squeeze my legs together while sitting cross legged. Then one week was some slight itching and I looked, on the inside of the opening of vagina on left side was a marble sized like white ulcer, i went in to get it swabbed and it hurt when she swabbed it. The swab came back negative for herpes. It has since been 6 weeks and there is still some healing happening. Blood test for herpes came back negative but tested again and am waiting for results. We're anyone of you thinking herpes when you got your first Barth cyst? ( infected one) I think if it was bartholin cyst it was an infected one
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I just had my bartholin's cyst drained two days ago. I know it's healing there is no pain and the swelling has gotten smaller. But! Sometimes it hurts because it's kinda dry and tender and my skin is moving like it might be trying to go back to it original form. Is it normal that it hurts a lot when healing? I'm scared it might be because it's getting worst and not actually healing. Please help!
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I was diagnosed w/ Bartholin cyst that burned until it ruptured. Dr. Gave me antibiotics. How long will I bleed for?
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ive read through all the posts but it doesn't seem as though anyone has spoken about a solid cyst...i've had one for a few months now and its half a pea size, it doesn't hurt and it's near the surface of the skin as it looks yellow/white in colour
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Every time I feel an abscess coming I do this very simple steps and trust me! Trust me! when I say INSTANT RELIEF! I've had bartholin abscess recurrence since 8 years ago. I've had it maybe 15 times. I've tried everything except surgery. I just did these steps literally 10 minutes ago because I felt an abscess coming and when I checked my vagina I was right my right labia was starting to swell up.
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All you need is q-tips or cotton swabs, and a mirror. (I use the magnifying mirror it's easier to see) Sit on the toilet, place the mirror in front of your vagina so you can see. Find your bartholin duct/opening... Using your index and middle finger spread the labia - I don't know if it's the same for everyone but my bartholin opening is just right beside my clitoris. It's a very small hole. Position the q-tip/swab on the swollen gland then press to squeeze the puss out. Keep doing it until the gland is empty. The relief ahhhh if I had known this procedure 8 years ago (I discovered it by accident -(tried everything out of desperation) omg all those suffering from pain and not being able to walk and sit.
Just discovered I have both of these a couple months ago after noticing a lump in my gum. The cyst has been eating away at my jaw and has perforated it, I've had no pain, but will be getting surgery soon.
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My question is what are the chances of the tooth infection contributing to my chronic fatigue? I have found a few only posts stating, infections can make you feel lousy, fatigued etc. But no real solid information or testimonials.
I am a 65 year old female soon to have a L4/L5 Laminectomy with resection of Synovial Cyst (L4/L5) I need more information about the surgery, and what to expect as far as recovery time, etc.
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1. You will feel tired, bloated and in pain after the operation. I felt very nauseous for a few days and unable to eat. This is normal and is the effect of the anaesthetic used during the operation combined with strong painkillers. It will pass after a few days, try to sip water frequently to flush out the toxins.
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2. The nursing staff are very helpful and concerned with your wellbeing. If you don't feel ready to go home, say so, you know your body better than anyone. I stayed in for 7 days in the end as I was in a lot of pain and had severe swelling. Don't be afraid to ask!
3 The nursing staff will remove the dressings after 3 days and if like me you have ster-strips underneath these will come off on day 5 or 6. When I removed mine the wound bled a little, but it was nothing serious and the nurse put a temporary bandage on for 2 days until it stopped. You will be shocked at the size of the wound. Mine reached from my pubic bone to above my belly button. It does start to look better after a few weeks and once healed, I will be using lots of bio oil to help it fade.
4. You will have trouble having a bowel movement. Constipation is normal following a major operation, a combination of painkillers and lack of movement. Drink plenty of fluids combined with a healthy diet (lots of fruit & vegetables). Try to move around as much as possible. Go for short walks once you feel stronger at least once a day. If like me you still haven't been after several days you could try LAXIDO and or LACTULOSE, both effective at clearing any blockage. It worked for me
5. Take the painkillers they give you, they will help. Try to take them at the start of the pain, not when it has you in its grip (not so effective). Only stop them when you feel you can cope without them, don't try and be brave.
6. If you have had your ovaries removed you will suddenly go into the menopause. I am having terrible night sweats now, which keep waking me up I bought a summer quilt 4.5 tog and am using a fan, to keep cool, it helps. I am trying to cope without HRT due to a family history of female cancer and will be trying natural herbal supplements instead. Hope they help
7. Lets be honest it will hurt and I am only starting to feel better after 3 weeks. I expect to be off work for at least another month, as my job is quite physical, and my muscles/wound are far from healed, but every day I feel stronger and I am off the painkillers now. I go for a short walk every day and potter around the house. My wound is healing nicely (its not pretty) but at least my alien is gone!
I am 36. I have chronic prostatitis for 18 years, that's half my life. My experience in the disease and treatment follows:
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The pain is intense and crippling. I have to be in bed all the time. Intense spasms. Symptoms move from urethra to prostate, back,ass, testicles so when you feel you finished with a symptom there starts another. I also may have difficulty urinating and some time ejaculating. This condition has remained idle for a total of 6 years out of 18 and whenever I feel it is gone I have a really good flare up the very next day. Idle means I am not in pain but I get to wet my pants after urinating.. That is the closest I can have to normal life. My sex life is not good because I get erectile dysfunction when chronic prostatitis is active. When it moves to being idle there is a tendency for restoration of erectile capacity however it is clear to me that I do not respond to visual stimuli any more . Reason for ED is venous leakage. Location of pain is as such that I frequently check both my urinary system and intestines.
Findings: High bladder neck, non typical inflammation of colon, prostate has no infection
Medical checks so far: Urethroscopy, Colonoscopy. prostate, testicular, bladder, kidney ultrasounds. urine and prostate fluid cultures.
All cultures have come back negative. Bladder ultrasound shows some urine remaining after fully urinating.
Experience with medication: I have used antibiotics, a-blockers, mesalazine for my intestines and cortisone (buddy cole). For ED I have used Viagra and Cialis.
When I have flare ups NO medication works to control the pain. Or it may work for some weeks and then all of a sudden stop working. Medication for ED seems to be effective provided my symptoms are either gone or are not too intense. Symptoms come and go and it seems I cannot really control them.
Psychological impact: I am desperate and seriously considering suicide when I have flare ups
Social impact: No friends left. I do not have the energy to move out of bed
Fertility: Thankfully no problems whatsoever. However I am extremely worried whether my offspring will have the same problems as I do.
Tomorrow I will be two weeks post op so thought it's about time I check in to see how everyone is a to leg you all know that my surgery went really well.
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my cyst was approx 35cm, weighing 10lbs! I had that and my right ovary removed via a vertical laparotomy. Thankfully the surgeon was able to keep my incision below my belly button, although it is large at 7" which required 23 staples.
Over all I am happy how it went and how my recovery is going.
Diagnosed by dentist yesterday as abscess. Put on antibiotics. Given choice...root canal treatment @ £850 (Cannot afford) or extraction. Is this really necessary...will the antibiotics not clear up problem.
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I am going for surgery on a large cyst. I am expecting a baby so I am anxious about having to have surgery during this time. Has anyone been through similar and were ok and the baby was ok?
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Also what were your experiences of the surgery pain relief and stitches etc?? Did it take you long to recover. Also if anyone has had this surgery pregnant or not I would love to hear from you but if you were what stage of pregnancy did you have surgery?
I had a simple 13cm cyst removed from my broad ligament (next to ovary) at the end of June. It had been causing me issues for at least 6 months, including sharp pains, which I thought were linked to the digestive system at first. I had a laparoscopy and feel much better in myself.
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The week before surgery, I began to noticeably lose hair from my head. It's now been coming out for nearly 8 weeks. Luckily I had a lot of hair to start with but I've now had to have it cut shorter as looked awful and I must have lost half my hair or more. :o( I've had blood tests and everything seems fine, so Dr thinks it must have been the stress that the cyst was putting on my body, esp with sharp pains etc. I have found this link to PCOS but not large cysts and wondered if anyone else had suffered in the same way and if so, how long the hair loss continued?
My dentist took an x-ray of my mouth and found no sign of a tooth abscess, even though when she drilled the infected tooth (which had a filling), there was a foul smell, indicating an abscessed tooth.
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There is also a swelling below my left jaw, and it is difficult to swallow and open my mouth.
The dentist didn't explain much regarding why the x-Ray didn't reflect the tooth abscess. When we asked about the swelling in my jaw, she answered (rather uncertainly) maybe, it was because of trauma?
i first saw signs of a dental abscess around three months ago, so made an appointment with my dentist, he then told me that 4 needed to come out, prescribed me antibiotics and then stated that a referral form would be in the post to undergo sedation to have them removed, 4 weeks later attended clinic for a consultation only, appointment made for a further 4 weeks away for work to be carried out, this last week has been hell i've not slept or eaten now for 4 days and spent the whole of sunday ringing numbers try and find an emergency treatment, even the NHS were no help, monday (today) contacted my dentist at 9:30AM for an emergency appointment, told they were 2 dentists down so no appointment could be given today, contacted the emergency NHS dentist and was basically told they would offer no help as i was booked in for work to be started at another practice to which is still 10 days away, is this what i've worked for all my life and paid into the national insurance, on sunday i was actually told by an out of hours NHS service that if i paid privately i would be seen to right away, unfortunately im not rich enough to have that privilege so here i suffer waiting another 10 days for treatment, i was taking paramol only to discover that paramol can actually increase the pain, so now im taking regular paracetamol and ibuprofen, this seems to be working
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better but i still cant sleep or eat due to the pain, any advice that anyone knows of that i can use to get this sorted sooner than in 10 days would be great because as of yet the NHS has offered no help whatsoever or my dentist for that matter
so it started on thursday a slight pain in my tooth i just thought i had nicked my gum with something and thought nothing of it and by friday it had gotten a little worse but still thought nothing of it but now it's saturday and the pain is unbearable now
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the pain has spread from the top left incisor to my front two teeth and to all the teeth on the left hand side of the top set and has spread to my left cheekbone which has swollen up like a balloon
my mother says its a dental abscess and have to wait but i have had 12 solpadeine max tablets with 12 ibuprofen which has done almost nothing to stop any pain i literally want to pull my teeth out
is there anything my local A&E can do to help because my dentist is very busy and i doubt i can get an appointment on monday nor tuesday i can not go 3-4 more days of this pain