How can I drain a Bartholin cyst properly, and how can I prevent it from coming back?

1 Answer
Oct 8, 2016

The most common treatment is the insertion of a catheter to drain the fluid.


Bartholin's Glands

The two Bartholin's glands lie next to the entrance to the vagina.

They make a small amount of mucus-like fluid, which passes down ducts to keep the vagina moist.

About 3 % of women, usually in their twenties, experience a blockage of the duct, and a fluid-filled swelling called a Bartholin's cyst can develop.

The size of a cyst can vary from the size of a pea to that of a golf ball or even bigger.

Normal Treatment

A common treatment for Bartholin's cysts is the insertion of a Word catheter.

It has a small, inflatable balloon tip at one end.

A small cut is made in the cyst, often with a laser, and the fluid is drained.

The balloon catheter is then inserted and filled with saline.

Stitches may be used to hold the catheter in place.

80% to 95 % of women heal well, and their cysts do not return after this procedure.


If a cyst keeps recurring, a surgical procedure known as marsupialization is used.

The cyst is first opened with a small cut, the fluid is drained, and the cavity is irrigated with saline.

Then the cut is widened and the edges of the skin are stitched back with absorbable sutures to create a small "kangaroo pouch".

This makes a small, permanent opening for fluid to drain from the gland.

The opening gradually becomes smaller and soon becomes tiny and not noticeable.