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Bartolinitis: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Bartholinitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of Bartolinitis glands. These are two tiny glands on each side of the vagina, on the outside, and are responsible for secreting a transparent liquid that helps the natural lubrication of the vagina. Bartholinitis is the most common vulvar infection since approximately 1 in 50 women developed or will develop a Bartholin’s cyst throughout their lives, so you are expected to hear of this disease or believe that you have already experienced some of your symptoms or complications. You can continue reading this article by FastlyHeal to learn more about this condition. We explain what the symptoms, causes, and treatment of bartolinitis are.

Causes of bartolinitis

Bartholinitis is an infection caused by the accumulation of fluid secreted by the Bartoolino glands; This transparent fluid, instead of going out to the outside and fulfilling its lubricating function, accumulates in the path of the glandular ducts, the product of an eventual occlusion in the exit orifice at the end of said ducts, which generates an inflamed territory vulnerable to further superinfection.

This inflammation causes the formation of the so-called Bartholin cysts (liquid content); When an infection is added to these cysts, only in 2% of cases, which are usually mostly older women who have undergone several deliveries, leads to an abscess, which is a cyst filled with pus product of bacterial degeneration.

The bacteria that we can find in the culture samples of these lesions can be part of the transient flora of the skin or external pathogens that through fomites (manipulation of objects that have a microorganism present, for example, in means of public transport, public bathrooms, etc.) will reach these orifices, colonize the inflammation and produce abscesses. Among the most common microorganisms that can cause bartholinitis are the following:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis
  • Propionibacterium acnes
  • Streptococcus pneumonia (pneumococcus)
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonococo)
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Escherichia coli
  • Haemophilus influenzae

It should be noted that bartolinitis is not an STI (sexually transmitted infection), so we understand that the transmission mechanism of this disease is not precisely the product of sexual intercourse. However, having promiscuous sexual behaviors without protection increases the risk of contracting more severe infections.

Bartholinitis symptoms

Bartholinitis does not usually produce any symptoms, especially if the cyst is small and does not end up causing infection, so the patient may not notice it. However, if the accumulation of fluid progresses and the cyst increases in size, the presence of an annoying or even painful lump may be perceived in the area where these glands are located (on each side of the vagina).

Although a Bartholin’s cyst can grow between 1 and 4 centimeters in diameter (about the size of a ping-pong ball), these are usually painless processes. If it becomes superinfected (it can become infected within a few days), it could become symptomatic for the woman.

Among the most frequent symptoms of bartolinitis, they find:

  • Very uncomfortable pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia).
  • Presence of a painful lump in the area where the exit orifices of the Bartholin gland ducts are located.
  • Increase in local temperature, with redness of the groin area.
  • The lesion is usually unilateral in the case of cystic formation or even its subsequent abscessification.

In case of presenting symptoms that coincide with the symptoms previously described for bartolinitis, specifically if you notice the presence of a painful lump or mass in the inguinal region, do not hesitate to consult your family doctor for a correct diagnosis and timely treatment.

Bartholinitis diagnosis

The diagnosis of Bartholinitis, either from a Bartholin’s cyst or abscess, is made in the doctor’s office through a complete physical examination. Most of the time, no further studies are necessary. Within the diagnostic routine, the professional must:

  • Ask about gynecological history to find out a history of interest.
  • Perform a pelvic physical examination, looking for tenderness or tenderness.
  • Take a vaginal and cervical discharge sample for culture and detect any sexually transmitted infection such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, which are risk factors for other gynecological pathologies.

If it happens in women over 40, your doctor will likely suggest collecting a tissue sample (biopsy) to ensure that cancer cells are not present, even though Bartholin’s gland cancer is sporadic.

If cancer is a problem, your doctor may refer you to a gynecologist who specializes in cancer of the female reproductive system for a specialized consultation in this area.

Bartholinitis treatment

Bartholinitis home treatment

In case of presenting a single small and painless Bartholin’s cyst, it will likely be quickly resolved by applying home sitz baths, which help the small cyst in the path of infection to rupture and the cellular rest be reabsorbed, determining thus Bartolinitis.

The simplest way is to sit in the bathtub, filling it with a few centimeters of warm water, the temperature must be hot, but special care must be taken not to exceed it not to burn the skin. The correct frequency to perform these sitz baths is approximately 3-4 times per day, and the minimum duration of the bath should be at least 15 minutes.

The hot compresses on the affected area also help relieve symptoms and unpleasant sensations.

Bartholinitis medical treatment

As symptomatic support therapy, NSAIDs are usually used. Among the most used we have paracetamol and diclofenac. They are typically indicated as treatment, prophylaxis, or prevention of antibiotic infections.

In the case of the presence of a giant or painful Bartholin’s cyst, the medical professional proceeds to perform surgical drainage of said cyst/abscess with the possibility of also performing a process called marsupialization, which prevents the canal orifice from returning to occlude easily. Because of

Faced with recurrent episodes or refractory to previous treatments, the professional may directly indicate the removal of the Bartolino glands.

Bartholinitis medical treatment

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Bartolinitis: causes, symptoms, and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.

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