Any lumps and bumps that appear on any part of the human body are called cysts. Their size ranges from microscopic to the size of an orange, and are usually painless. These small sacs are normally filled with either fluid, air, or other various materials and will not harm the surrounding area. When they occur on the vaginal area, they can usually be found on the inner folds.
Types of Vaginal Cysts
There are four main types of vaginal cysts:
- Inclusion Cysts: These are the most common vaginal cysts. They are also the smallest. These cysts normally appear on the lower back of the vaginal wall.
- Bartholin’s Gland Cysts: These cysts are normally filled with fluid and are located on Bartholin’s Gland. These glands can be found on either side of the vaginal opening, and are responsible for producing the lubricating fluid for the labia.
- Gartner’s Duct Cysts: These cysts occur during and after pregnancy in some women. Small ducts that are supposed to disappear after the pregnancy and childbirth, can unintentionally remain behind. Small cysts can then start to grow in the vagina as the woman begins to age. These are not harmful.
- Mullerian Cyst: These cysts can also develop after childbirth, and commonly contain a type of mucus. They can appear more regularly than Gartner’s Duct cysts and also are able to grow anywhere on the vaginal wall.
Causes of Cyst Causes
Vaginal, and other types of cysts form when either a duct or a gland becomes blocked. Liquid, mucus or other materials can become ensnared inside causing the formation of cyst. The type of cyst will depend on what caused the cyst to form. Inclusion cysts are formed when some type of trauma occurs to the walls of the vagina. This can include surgical incisions and childbirth. Other traumas can be caused by sports related injuries and other accidents. The cyst will usually form where the vaginal wall has been injured.
Bartholin’s gland cysts are formed when one or both of the glands becomes clogged. This is usually caused by a loose fold of skin that can cover the gland. Fluid can then begin to accumulate, causing a cyst to develop. Abscesses can also be found on the glands, and are caused by exposure to bacteria. Sexually transmitted diseases and infections in the tract of the intestine can also cause Bartholin’s gland cysts to appear.
Symptoms of Vaginal Cysts
Vaginal cysts do not basically have any particular symptoms, other than possibly being able to feel the lump during a routine exam. Cysts also are not known to cause pain, but Bartholin’s gland cysts can interfere with sexual intercourse and some exercises over time. If a vaginal cysts does become painful, it might be an indication of a vaginal infection. If the infected vaginal cysts are left untreated, they can become painful eruptions.
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Treatment for Vaginal Cysts
Vaginal cysts do not require any form of treatment in most cases, since they tend to remain small and will not affect every day routines. For some women though, it might be necessary to have a small part of the cyst removed for screening. This is only to make sure that the cyst is not cancerous. In most cases, simple home remedies are more than adequate in treating and relieving any discomfort the vaginal cysts might cause. Some of these are:
- Fill a Bathtub with several inches of warm water and soak in it a few times a day to help to relieve any discomfort.
- Cysts that have become infected and painful are often treated with antibiotics, while other cysts may need to be drained.
There are two basic methods for draining a cyst, one includes having a catheter inserted to remove the accumulated fluid and the other is a simple surgical cut that will quickly drain the fluid from the cyst. The most common type of cyst to need additional draining and treatment are normally found on Bartholin’s glands. Most women choose to have the cyst surgically drained, instead of having a catheter implanted. The catheter can be left in place for up to six weeks, impeding daily activities difficult.
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While cysts commonly occur all over the human body, vaginal cysts can become a concern for some women. While they are usually small and do not effect a woman’s daily life, they can occasionally cause problems. If a cyst is noticed on or around the vaginal area, it is always a good idea to have it examined by a doctor.