Bartholin Abscess

Bartholin abscess is defined as infection in the Bartholin glands leading to the collection of pus and formation of a lump; Bartholin glands are present on each side of the vaginal opening.


The Bartholin glands are pea-sized, mucus-secreting vestibular glands two in number present in the labia minora (organ of external genital of female) in the 4 and 8 o’clock positions. Bartholin abscess is formed when infection travels to the Bartholin gland through its duct that opens outside labia minora. Due to infection, the opening of the duct of the gland is closed and pus starts accumulating (collecting) inside the gland forming Bartholin abscess.

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Bartholin cyst can also lead to the formation of Bartholin abscess when infection occurs in the cyst.
Occur In Females

Bartholin’s abscess occurs more commonly in women of childbearing age.
Occur in women above the age of 40 years.
Bartholin glands are present only in females. Women of any race can be affected by Bartholin’s abscess.

Why Do I Have Of Bartholin Abscess ?

• Bartholin’s abscess common cause is the infection of the already present Bartholin cyst by various pathogens.
• Various pathogens involved in the formation of Bartholin’s abscess are
Neisseria gonorrhea.
Chlamydia trachomatis.
Staphylococcus species also responsible for the formation of Bartholin’s  abscess most commonly, Escherichia coli.
•Another cause of formation of Bartholin’s abscess is the blockage in the duct of grand opening in the outer margin of the vagina.
• Unhygienic conditions of the vagina are the major cause.
•Release of sticky white discharge (leucorrhoea) from the vagina can lead to the collection of bacteria and stay of bacteria on external genitalia lead to infection and this infection can travel to the duct of Bartholin gland.
•Continuous irritation of external genitalia in cases of excessive masturbation practices.
• Fluid in the gland keeps on increasing in amount and gets infected and leads to the formation of an abscess.

Bartholin Abscess Signs and Symptoms

Bartholin’s abscess shows the following symptoms:-
• Swelling is present on one or both sides of the labia.
• Swelling is painful and tender to touch even of the cloth.
• The patient complains of pain while changing position, sitting, or walking.
• Fever occurs with acute infection of the abscess.
• Redness present around the swelling.
• Dyspareunia.
• If the abscess is ruptured due to any cause there is also seen purulent discharge from swelling.
• There is sudden relief of pain if the abscess is ruptured.

Investigations for Bartholin Abscess

The first step for investigation of the case is by physical examination and history of symptoms given by the patient. On physical examination following symptoms are seen
• Swelling present on the external part of labia, tender to touch, very painful, swollen mass is fluctuant with surrounding erythema and edema.
• In some patients, there is the occurrence of cellulitis around the abscess.
• Fever is also present along with above-given signs.

Other investigations done are as follows
• Complete blood count (CBC)
• WBC’s
• Platelet count
• The culture of the discharge from the abscess to find the type of bacteria involved in the infection.
• Routine culture tests for the drained fluid from the abscess.

Differential diagnosis of Bartholin Abscess

• Gartner duct cyst.
• Lipoma.
• Sebaceous cyst.
• Warts on genitals.
• Syphilis disease eruptions.
• Skeneduct cyst.
• Vaginitis.
• Vulvar malignancy.
• Vestibular mucous cysts.
• Hematoma.
• Endometriosis.
• Chancroid.
• Bartholin gland malignancy.
• Hidradenoma.

Complications of Bartholin Abscess

• Bartholin’s abscess drainage in rare cases can be transformed into necrotizing fasciitis.
• Can lead to the development of toxic shock syndrome.
• There may be the occurrence of the nonhealing wound.
• There can occur bleeding in some patient who presents coagulopathy.
• Scar marks are present on the vagina.

Prognosis of Bartholin Abscess

In most of the cases where the abscess is drained at the early stage shown good prognosis.
Recurrence can occur in patients who possess a low immunity level.

How Can I Treat Bartholin Abscess?

Antibiotics are prescribed in cases where fever is also a sign.
Incision and drainage of the abscess are done.

Homeopathic treatment for Bartholin Abscess

Belladonna –
• Inflamed parts, red with throbbing
• Glandular abscess
• Alternate redness and paleness of skin
• Suddenly spreading eruptions

Hepar sulphur –
• Great remedy for suppuration
• Sensitivity of parts
• Chilly sensations
• Abscess with prickly pain
• Ulcers sensitive to contact

Silicea –
• Painless swelling of glands
• Offensive pus
• Every little injury suppurates
• Joints abscess
• Delicate, pale and waxy skin

Mercurius –
• Moist skin, dryness of skin
• Ulcers irregular in shape
• Vesicular and pustular eruptions
• Good remedy in abscess

Lachesis –
• Thick, dark pus with offensive in character
• Blue, black swelling
• Intense prostration
• Cellulitis

Sulphur –
• Dry, unhealthy suppurates
• Itching, scratching, pustules
• Skin affections after local medicine

Nitric acid–
• Easy bleeding ulcers and sensitive
• Ulcers with irregular edges
• Offensive discharge of dirty, green color

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