Bartholin Cysts and Menopause, The Good News

By WV Marshall

OK, I’m telling you from the get-go that this isn’t for the squeamish or the extremely sensitive.

But it is a necessary discussion for this somewhat rare condition and menopause.

Have you ever heard of the Bartholin glands? Or Bartholin cysts?

Well, Bartholin glands are two small glands on either side of the vaginal opening.

They produce mucus that helps lubricate the vagina.

When one of these glands develops a blockage, mucus builds up and forms a lump – a Bartholin cyst.

Bartholin cysts occur in about 3 percent of all women, typically diagnosed in women of reproductive age, according to the Cleveland Clinic .

Here’s the good news: The chance of developing a Bartholin cyst decreases after menopause.


Healthcare providers say they don’t know why some women are predisposed to Bartholin cysts.

In rare cases, sexually transmitted infections can be related to cysts.

Many Bartholin cysts are small and do not cause symptoms.

If such a cyst forms an abscess, symptoms may include

  • pain,
  • change in size with swelling,
  • drainage,
  • redness and
  • fever.

Larger cysts that aren’t infected may include these symptoms pain during sitting, walking or sex.

How are Bartholin cyst treated?

Please check with your healthcare provider on treating Bartholin cysts.

  • If a cyst is small and doesn’t appear infected, it does not need treatment.
  • If the area has indications of infection and hurts, your healthcare provider may recommend self-care treatments such as sitting in a warm bath a few times a day for several days, which may help drain the cyst and relieve pain.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications can also help ease discomfort.
  • If symptoms persist or the cyst grows, then your healthcare provider may want to drain the abscess or prescribe antibiotics.

mySysters is an app for women in perimenopause and menopause. Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day named mySysters the Best App for Women in Perimenopause and a Must Have App for Women.

  • The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.