Hi, my name is Candy and I am currently recovering from my first (and it better be last!) Bartholins abscess. I am 38 years old, which from what I have read, is a little old for this, but apparently not (lucky me). Today is Saturday. This past Sunday night I noticed a tender spot and upon checking it out discovered what sort of looked like a sore about the size of a large pimple. I called my gynecologist right away Monday morning and said I needed to be seen right away. They had an opening the next morning, Tuesday. When I got home Monday I looked at it again and in less than 24 hours it became the size of the end of a pencil eraser. I was more than a little "freaked out"!
I saw the doctor Tuesday morning and she numbed the area and made an incision. She poked me with a needle 4 times to numb the area and oh my god it was painful. She then cut it open and I heard scissors. She took a sample for lab testing obviously. When I got home and looked at it, it was hideous. Sorry, but it's the truth. She gave me antibiotics and told me to keep an antibiotic ointment on it.
I went to work Wednesday but barely made it thru the day, it painful and got worse as the day went on. I made arrangements to be off work thru Friday. I called the nurse Wednesday morning because my doctor had not given me any useful information or warned me of anything, especially the pain. The nurse assured me it was normal. I spent the next two days laying around without underwear, taking hot soaks every few hours, and avoiding peeing as much as possible! That is the worst part, trying to pee without it feeling like you're being branded with a hot iron. I came to work today, Saturday, and am doing better. Still very painful to the touch and I'm trying not to do too much walking, but it is healing up very nicely. I pray to God this never happens again, it has been horrible.
I would welcome any emails from anyone with questions.
My name is Miranda, I'm 26 and I had my first and hopefully only Bartholin's Gland Cyst several months ago. Actually, it had been there for several years and my doctor told me it was some type of cyst (unfortunately, I wasn't paying that good of attention to the name) and that as long as it didn't hurt not to worry about it. When I first noticed it, it was about the size of a pencil eraser. But, it had been there for a while and didn't bother anything, so I just ignored it. Then one day, while at work, I started feeling bad and noticed this pain down there that was pretty bad. I mentioned to a co-worker who is also a very close friend that it was hurting and explained to her about it being there for a while. I ended up having to leave work because of the pain and by the time I got home it was the size of a grape. I went to the doctor the next morning and she said it was infected and decided the first route would be to make a small incision so that it could drain. She also prescribed some antibiotics. Well, it provided a little relief, at least until I got back home and then it started swelling even larger. The smell was horrific. I think someone else on this site described it as a dead animal smell. So, being the brilliant person I am, I decided that I would try to squeeze the infection out. This does not work. It only made it worse. DO NOT TRY IT. The next couple of days were excruciating. I thought it would drain and go away. I was terribly wrong. Two days later, I was so sick from pain that I was vomiting. I went back to the doctor and this time, she lanced it and removed the abcess from inside the cyst. It was VERY painful during the procedure even with the numbing spray. After it was over, I immediately felt better. The doctor told me to use a sitz bath, which I used for about 3 days. This helped tremedously with easing some of the pain. Eventually it was completely gone and as of today, I have not had a recurrance. I would never want to go through that again. I have been looking for ways to prevent it. I am so glad to see a helpful website for women with this problem. I had never heard of it when I first experienced it. I would be more than happy to answer questions about my experience if someone has them.
Daphne's Bartholin hell
November 12th in the evening I began to feel the dreaded bump. I've had this before so I knew what I was in for but I had to wait until Monday to get a doctor. I took baths etc.. I figured it would be like last time. A quick lance, home and in a few days - I would be happy again...
I saw him on Tuesday November, 16th. He looked at me and gave me an antibiotic and vicodin and sent me home. By the next Tuesday, I wasn't any better, in fact I was a lot worse! He then lanced it which meant cut a hole and sent me home again. OW! Then it really get's bad! It swelled and swelled that by Thursday of that week, I was in complete total body toxic shock and could barely walk. It was the size of a tennis or billiard ball.
I swear to God if I ever see that guy on the street I'm going to put his testicles in a vice grip, tighten it really hard and joyfully watch him squirm. This man did not help me. He made me much, much, worse. If you ever find yourself in this situation and the doctor doesn't offer to cut it open and drain it, get the hell out of there FAST and find someone who will, either that, or demand that it is done or you're not leaving. If you don't do this, you are in for the most uncomfortable ride of your life. Believe-you-me This is the best advice I can ever give. I would be all better and dancing around the Christmas tree right now if that bastard hadn't just waived me away with a "no big deal" kind of slack assedness. Men.
I was in so much pain that tears were a constant and I thought I was just going to pass out all the time. I stayed in bed and prayed that I would never have to pee again. I ran out of vicodin pretty fast.
I go back to the man doctor about a week later who just shook his head in confusion, he had a nurse with him, who, upon looking at what resembled an alien baby sac, said, "Oh, my good God, you poor thing!" and gave me a hug. The doctor knew a GYN in the building so he went to "Beg" her to see me. I went downstairs with him and laid-down like a sick animal on the Dr. bed thing and fell totally asleep. Ahh, sweet sleep.
About an hour later (they did fit me in between appointments) the nurse practitioner came in. She was to be the one to help me. She got one short look at me and just like de' ja vous says, "Oh my God, you poor thing!" (no hug) I just started to cry. She was very young and just barely out of medical school, and says to me, "Are you crying?" I needed help so badly and I had zero confidence that this young thing even knew what she was looking at. Welcome to the real world lady! All the while, I'm thinking, Please, please, please help me, I'm in so much pain and just want so badly to find the right person to make this awful thing GO AWAY. But I said, "Yes, I'm crying, I'm in a lot of pain." She stared at me dumbfounded. I stared back, then she skiddled away looking worried and freaked. She wasn't the only one. Eventually the doctor came in. A calm and knowledgable woman, I guessed that she was Japanese and seemed very sweet. The nurse had apparently gotten it wrong when they talked in the hallway HA! I was right! She had no idea what she was dealing with! (I was delirious and happy to be the *lesson*) Maybe the next woman who walked in with this would get better and quicker treatment.
I cried again, but this time, I was happy because the Doctor was calm and confident and had a name for it but more importantly, knew how to deal with this. I liked her right away, until she got out her tools! Oy yey.
She cut me open again, squeezed on the stretched out, infected almost unbelievably sized thing and kept me posted on the progress as I let out a whirlwind of profanity and screams. I wondered what people on the other side of the door must be thinking and then I just decided that whatever they thought, they were right and I kept on a cussin'. She inserted a Word Catheter into the cyst to drain it. I figured that was a good idea, but what the hell did I know, I could barely think! She told me that she took enough fluid out to fill a urine sample cup, and then announces that (erp) She was leaving the catheter in for a while. No sex. Now you see, I just got engaged and well, there goes the Thanksgiving bliss. When I left the room I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror. I was completely pale and worn out and wanted to be able to beam myself home but no I had to drive and cried all the way home. I felt like a prisoner that had just been tortured at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. Torture, that's the only word for it. The fiance was working late, which was good because I wanted to be alone with my vicodin and my pain and try to make sense of it all * lesson # 2 * don't try to make sense of it. It's a senseless horrible thing that happens to some of us. Just get it out of you so you can move on with your life and find relief.
Then I went back 6 more times (twice a week) to see if I could get the catheter out. How fun to miss work just to go put your feet in that dreaded stirrup and have all your "business" all out there like that. I absolutely hate that. Everytime they have sent me home, I've had a complete meltdown, knowing full well, I'll be right back there in a few days. My fiance has been remarkably patient and supportive through this entire proces. But, of course that's why I'm marrying him...
It's December 7, 2004 today and I'm still waiting. I am still in hell although to a lesser degree. Most of the pain is gone, just some discomfort because of the catheter and an occasional "twinge." Through out this month long process I've seen 3 doctors, had 8 appointments, taken about 80 vicodin, and 90 sitz baths and still have this freakin’ TUBE IN ME!!! Will it ever be taken out? Maybe in time for Christmas.
Anyone got any vicodin?
Peace and a Bartholin cyst free life,
My name is Mindy and I am just turned 45, married 19 yrs and 2 nearly grown kids and have lived thru hell with Bartholins cysts and MUCH, MUCH more. My nightmare DID NOT actually begin with the Bartho Cyst, it began with an infected rectal gland (which also lubricate and work much the same as the Bartho Glands.
During a routine pelvic exam, my former gp informed me that I had an infected rectal gland and that the gland was high up in the rectum, I was very surprised as I had absolutely no symptoms at all, He the gp lanced it, it drained and yes, I also was given antibiotics. Appointment ended, no more was said and home I went THINKING ok, it is found and finished with.
WRONG, oh so WRONG
Approximatley 2 yrs later, I noted a very, very painful swelling at the opening to my vagina, my god it hurt, it hurt to walk, to sit, it just hurt, even laying down did not bring real relief. I went to my Gyn who diagnosed a Bartholins Cyst which had abcessed and yes, he lanced it, drained it and gave me antibiots and told me let him know if things did not improve. Over the course of the next 6 months, my abcess came back many times, gyn tried me on long term antibiots and then decided my Bartho gland needed to come out. I went to same day surgery for removal feeling elated that at last my pain would be over, again.
WRONG, so very, very WRONG
I knew that at 1 p.m. they took me back for surgery and put me out immediately so when I opened my eyes and looked at the clock I was wonderfullu gleeful to see that only 25 minutes had passed and I was free, then I saw my husbands face and the fear on it, then here comes my gyn not looking at all happy, he said, Mindy, I could not find your gland, you have a mass unlike anything I have ever seen before in 18 yrs of practice and if you are up to it, I have a doctor who can see you just as soon as you get there NOW, off we go, we arrive and I see that the doctor is a "gynecological Oncologist" cancer, my god I have cancer. Over the next 3 months, I undergo a colonoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy, upper and lower gi series, catheters, many vaginal and rectal exams, vaginal and rectal ultra sounds, maps drawn on my vagina and rectum, pics drawn and taken while they, (2 doctors) try to map out a surgical route to take. Finally, surgery date arrives and yes, I AM SCARED TO DEATH, surgery begins at 7 a.m., next time I look at the clock and am aware, it is evening time and the entire day is gone and I am in so much pain, I want to die.
The morning after surgery, my gyn's come in and sit down to talk, Mindy, you DON'T have Cancer, BUT we had to remove a lot of tissue, we removed the equivalent to just over a softball sized area of tissue internally plus, we removed your left labia, your perineum (tissue between vagina and rectum, we quit counting sutures when we hit 500, your tissues now are so thin, they may not hold together (indeed, some ripped loose over the next few days) we used healthy tissues from inside you and from your thigh crease to fill in the gaping hole surgery left, You have 2 drains, 1 sewn into your vagina, 1 sewn into your rectum, you have a catheter which you will go home with, you have about 6 ft of sterile packing inside you.
The pathlogy report which we ordered "stat" came back late last night, it reads:-
"Patient with extremely large mass located between the walls of her vagina and rectum, extending from high in the rectum to the external vagina and left vulva, and perineum, tissue were sectioned and biopsied to rule out cancer, tissue is not malignant, but is highly necrotic (dead) and appears to be the result of an inaduquatley rectal gland infection. Infection appears to have originated in the top most portion of the rectum. Infection has caused wide spread tissue death resulting in total necrosis (death/tissues died)."
It was then that I learned, that 80% of infected rectal glands become *chronically* infected and need to be removed in a simple office procedure. My god, I never had symptoms, my gp never told me that they can come back, never told me to come have it checked later and as I had NO symptoms, I never knew I had the first one let alone that it came back.
For me, it came back and because it never got treated, it burst inside me and spilled the infection out into healthy tissues thus creating more abcesses and these too then burst and thus the cycle went for 2 yrs till it eventually killed much tissue and infected my bartholins gland. I have to date, undergone 9 operations including a temporary Intestinal revision (having my bowels rerouted to the outside where I had to wear a bag to collect stool in.) and am prepping for number 10 as I type this story.
PLEASE, PLEASE I beg each and every woman who reads my story to GET TO KNOW YOUR BODY, INSIDE AND OUT.
We do self breast exams, we insert tampons, we look at our bodies, BUT WE NEVER check our rectums, simply inserting a well lubricated finger into the rectum at least a few times a yr can tell us if we have something that feels wrong back there, also, check your vaginas for lumps, bumps and swellings, the inside of your rectum should feel smooth and lump free.
PLEASE, know your bodies and know them well, know your vagina and your rectum as well as you know your face, your breasts and everything else, it could save you from a decade of pain, it could save your vagina, your labia, your sex life, it could save your life, I now face the potential to develop cancer in this area due to widespread tissue death and distortion and recurrent infections.
Aside from the loss of my very sexuality, I have forever lost much of my vagina, thousands out of pocket not covered by insurance, thousands out of pocket for office visits, tests, antibiots, loss of much intimacy, loss of numerous jobs, loss of income etc etc.
I only have half of the outer portion of my vagina left and now may lose it too and have been informed that I now face the possibity of reconstructive surgery done in several steps, a total removal of my vagina called a "radical vulvectomy" which is the most hideous looking thing you could ever see, a rad vulvectomy literally means removing entire vagina, leaving only a huge empty hole.
My right gland is now infected plus they suspect more of the left side is infected and that infection is now in my belly as well.
PLEASE, PLEASE check your parts out and check them often, live well, live free from pain, live as a whole woman.
May the lord walk with you all.
Thank God, my abcess burst sometime this morning while I was sleeping. I never thought that I would get such joy out of my body oozing slime, but I am thrilled!!! Two and a half days ago I woke up at 2AM because of pain 'down there.' Upon inspection I found a bouncy-ball sized lump and was immedietly alarmed. I got right on the internet and started researching. I found Cat's site and read everything (thank you Cat!).
After researching about my Bartholin Gland Abcess, I decided that I would wait it out and only use the GYN as a last resort. So, besides praying and praying and praying that the abcess would either burst on its own or disappear (wishful thinking) I took to heart the advice offered on Cat's site and started doing the salt baths. I'm a stay-at-home mom, so doing 5 baths a day (or as needed to reduce the pain) was easy. I'd put 1.5 to 2 cups of epsom salt in the tub and run enough water to sit in, then would alternate two clean wash clothes on the affected area (which grew to about the size of a golf ball with an ovalish shape - kinda like an eyeball). I would let hot water drizzle from the faucet onto one washcloth and once it was hot (not scalding) I'd immedietly place it on my lump. When that washcloth started to cool down, I'd replace it with the second wash cloth. From previous infections (ears, mastitis, etc.) I know that wet, warm heat is the best to get the blood circulating on the affected site, which gets the bacteria/germs flushed out. I really think that I would have been in for a longer painful period had I not done this.
Like others on the site have mentioned, I immedietly started drinking more water. I also cut out all sugar (including juices), since sugar is a breeding ground for bacteria and increased my Super Food (by Dr. Schulze) - one of the best 'multi-vitamins' you can get. After my daughter's birth I lost a lot of blood and was told to take the Super Food to help nourish my body back to health--man is it good stuff! I tried to eat things that were easy to digest like soups and broths. (My youngest daughter is not quite 3 months.) Since I'm nursing, I don't like to take medicines (which always seem to affect me wrong) so I wouldn't take an Ibuprofen until I just couldn't stand the pain anymore, then I would take one 200mg and wait to see if the 'sharp edge' of pain will dull down a bit. (My mom-in-law is a very experienced OB nurse. She says that nursing mothers can take does of 600mg of Ibuprofen at a time without affecting the baby, just in case there are any other nursing moms that might be wondering what's a safe dose.)
I also read on the site that the pain is the worst before the abcess breaks or bursts--this was true for me. Last night I was crying from the pain and my husband asked if I needed to go to the doctor. I decided to tough it out through the night and see how I felt in the morning. Man, am I glad I waited! The abcess burst this morning and I've been draining it--what relief!
I think there are a couple of factors that helped me get the BGA. The two days before I got the cyst I was wearing a generic pantyliner (Home Best brand). Instead of being soft, the pantyliner had a plastic-type top sheet/protector that irritated my skin (so much for saving a few bucks on a box of pantyliners--I just threw out the whole box!). I think this is what helped to clog the Bartholin duct. Second, I had a massive intake of sugar the day before the abcess. I made Valentine's Day sugar cookies (lots of sugary frosting!) with my kids and just couldn't stop eating them (they were good). I think the combo of the generic liner and the excessive sugar helped set the stage for the abcess.
On a note: If you think you'll be going to the doctor becuase of your abcess or cyst and will be getting antibiotics, I STRONGLY urge you to start taking Primal Defense by Garden of Life (find it online - even at Ebay - if you don't know someone who sells it, some health food stores do, but they charge you out the nose for it!) or some other sort of acidophilus to ward off a yeast infection (like someone on the site had Posted) that can come along after taking antibiotics. You should be able to get some form (pill or liquid) of acidophilus at your pharmacy or drug store, but you usually have to ask for it. Also, you may want to up your Vitamin E intake during and after the abcess/cyst, since this Vitamin is great for repairing tissues. (Believe me, it's been a long, exhausting road trying to recover from my last birth--I've learned A LOT!)
Like others on the site said, the relief is instant once the abcess bursts. I am a little sore right now, but am so relieved that the horrible pain is gone! Hope this has helped someone!
(26 year old mother of 4 of the best kids in the world!)