Vaginal Cyst FAQs
Following are the common questions about Vaginal Cyst:
- What is a vaginal cyst?
- What are the different types of vaginal cysts?
- What is a vaginal inclusion cyst?
- What is a Gartner’s duct cyst?
- What is a Bartholin’s cyst?
- What is a Mullerian cyst?
- What are the causes of vaginal cysts?
- What are the causes of a vaginal inclusion cyst?
- What are the causes of a Gartner’s cyst?
- What are the causes of a Bartholin’s cyst?
- What are the most common causes of a Mullerian cyst?
- What are the symptoms of vaginal cysts?
- Who treats a vaginal cyst?
- What diagnostic tests are done before vaginal cyst treatment?
- What are the treatment options for a vaginal cyst?
- How can I prevent vaginal cyst?
- What are the complications of a vaginal cyst?
- When to see a doctor for a vaginal cyst?
Q. What is a vaginal cyst?
A. A vaginal cyst is an uncommon benign cyst that develops in the vaginal wall. It occurs when a gland or duct becomes clogged, causing liquid or other material to collect inside a pocket. A cyst can develop in any part of the body.
A cyst is basically a lump filled with air, pus, fluid, or other substances, and it can vary in size and number. Some cysts can be tiny, and others (in rare cases) can be as big as an orange. Usually, a cyst is not harmful or painful.
Q. What are the different types of vaginal cysts?
A. There are different vaginal cysts, including vaginal inclusion cyst, Gartner's cyst, Bartholin's cyst, and Mullerian cyst.
Q. What is a vaginal inclusion cyst?
A. A vaginal inclusion cyst develops on the lower back of the vaginal wall. This type of cyst is tiny and unlikely to get noticed. However, an injury causes this vaginal cyst to develop on the vaginal wall. Sometimes, it may appear after childbirth or surgery.
Q. What is a Gartner’s duct cyst?
A. This duct is described as a remnant organ found in the pelvis after fetal development. Gartner's duct cyst occurs when the ducts in the developing embryo don't vanish as they should after the child's birth. This can occasionally fill with fluid, pus, and other elements and turn into a cyst.
Q. What is a Bartholin’s cyst?
A. This type of cyst is found on the labia near the vaginal opening. The Bartholin’s gland can become overgrown by a flap of skin that causes fluid to back up and form a cyst. Bartholin’s cyst can be infected in rare cases, leading to a Bartholin’s abscess.
Q. What is a Mullerian cyst?
A. A Mullerian cyst is the most common cause of a vaginal cyst. It occurs when a duct is left behind during the baby’s development. A Mullerian cyst can develop anywhere on the vaginal walls and contain mucus. You may not even notice this type of cysts until you are in your 20s or 30s, when they become painful and uncomfortable.
Q. What are the causes of vaginal cysts?
A. The causes of a vaginal cyst depend on its type, size, number, and reasons.
Q. What are the causes of a vaginal inclusion cyst?
A. A vaginal inclusion cyst is caused by trauma to the vaginal walls. For example, a woman may get a vaginal inclusion cyst after undergoing episiotomy (a surgical cut used to enlarge the vaginal opening during childbirth) or when a woman undergoes surgery that damages the lining of the vagina.
Q. What are the causes of a Gartner’s cyst?
A. A Gartner's cyst develops on the side of the walls of the vagina. It's present while a baby is growing in the womb. However, this disappears in most cases, after the baby is born. If parts of the duct remain after childbirth, they may collect fluid and develop into Gartner’s cysts later in life.
Q. What are the causes of a Bartholin’s cyst?
A. Bartholin's gland cyst is caused when Bartholin’s gland becomes blocked by a flap of skin that creates a fluid-filled growth.
Q. What are the most common causes of a Mullerian cyst?
A. Injury during childbirth or surgery is the most common cause of Mullerian cysts. Also, a Mullerian cyst can form due to material left behind when a baby develops.
Q. What are the symptoms of vaginal cysts?
A. Usually, vaginal cysts don't cause symptoms. However, you may feel a lump along the vaginal wall or on the labia if you have any type of vaginal cyst. Most often, the gynecologist discovers the lump during your physical exam. A vaginal cyst may grow larger or remain the same size.
Typically, a cyst doesn’t cause pain, but if the cyst is large or a Bartholin's cyst, you may feel pain and discomfort when you walk, have sexual intercourse, or insert a tampon. In addition, a vaginal cyst is likely to cause pain when it gets infected.
A vaginal cyst can get infected by the normal bacteria on the skin or a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Also, an infected vaginal cyst can form an abscess that can be very painful.
Q. Who treats a vaginal cyst?
A. A gynecologist is a medical practitioner who treats the vaginal cyst. You should visit an experienced and skilled gynecologist as soon as you experience the symptoms of a vaginal cyst or are diagnosed with the same.
Q. What diagnostic tests are done before vaginal cyst treatment?
A. Usually, vaginal cysts are detected by a doctor during a routine physical exam. However, if you notice any symptoms of the vaginal cyst, you can directly ask your doctor to confirm it.
The doctor reviews your medical history, asks a few questions regarding the symptoms, such as when you have been noticing it, performs a test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) to choose the best treatment option.
In rare cases, the doctor also recommends biopsy to confirm anything more severe or a scan or ultrasound to get a clearer view of the cyst and problems it's causing. After that, the doctor moves ahead with the treatment process.
Q. What are the treatment options for a vaginal cyst?
A. A vaginal cyst usually goes away on its own without the need for medical treatment. However, if a cyst persists for an extended period or becomes infected, treatment becomes crucial to treat it effectively and avoid further complications.
Following are the treatment options for vaginal cysts:-
Antibiotic medicines are used when a vaginal cyst is infected or if an abscess is present. Antibiotics involve the usage of certain medications to treat the problem.
- Sitz bath
The doctor advises the patient to soak in warm water several times for 3-4 days. Sitz bath helps an infected cyst to burst and drain on its own.
- Surgical drainage
If a vaginal cyst is big or infected or poses problems, the doctor uses the surgical procedure to drain the vaginal cyst. This surgery is performed under the influence of local anesthesia.
- Marsupialization and word catheters
This procedure is performed under the influence of local anesthesia, but in some cases the doctor may prefer general anesthesia. After anesthesia, the doctor cleans and sterilizes the cyst and surrounding area and uses a scalpel to cut on the cyst and drain the fluid. After that, the doctor stitches the edges of the skin to leave a small, permanent opening through which fluids can drain freely. This procedure is considered the most effective treatment for recurring or troublesome vaginal cysts that have been drained.
- Gland removal
This treatment method is used in rare cases, especially to treat Bartholin's cysts.
How can I prevent vaginal cyst?
The growth of a vaginal cyst is difficult to prevent. Therefore, you should focus less on stopping cyst formation and keeping your vagina as clean as possible. In addition, you can prevent infection from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) by practicing safe sex.
What are the complications of a vaginal cyst?
One of the most common complications of a vaginal cyst is an infection that causes an abscess. An abscess is an extensive collection of fluid and pus that causes pain, swelling, and redness. If an abscess develops, it needs to be drained to heal.
When to see a doctor for a vaginal cyst?
You should have an annual gynecological examination as usual routine care. In addition, you can ask your doctor to check any new lump on the vagina to ensure it's benign. Also, you should consult a gynecologist as soon as a vaginal cyst becomes painful or shows signs of infection.