Bartholin's cyst - Causes of a Bartholin's cyst
NHS Choices Medical Reference
A Bartholin's cyst is caused by an obstruction that blocks the duct (tube) leading from the Bartholin's gland into the vagina. This leads to a build-up of fluid, which can turn into a cyst.
Several different types of bacteria can cause an infection that blocks the duct. Some types of bacteria can be passed on through sexual contact while others are found in the environment.
Bacteria that may cause a Bartholin's cyst include:
- Gonococcus: usually responsible for gonorrhoea (a sexually transmitted infection) and may be responsible for around a third of Bartholin's cysts.
Chlamydia trachomatis: usually responsible for chlamydia (another sexually transmitted infection).
- Escherichia coli: often responsible for food poisoning.
- Streptococcus pneumoniae: responsible for pneumococcal infections, such as infections of the inner ear or sinuses.
- Haemophilus influenzae: responsible for a number of infections such as epiglottitis, an infection of the epiglottis (the flap of tissue at the back of your throat).
Visit your GP or a sexual health clinic (GUM clinic) as soon as possible if you have any other symptoms, such as vaginal discharge, itching or pain. You may have a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
If you have an STI, the sooner you receive treatment, the better. Do not have sex until you know the results of your STI tests and you have completed any necessary treatment.
The vagina is a tube of muscle that runs from the cervix (the opening of the womb) to the vulva (the external sexual organs).
Bacteria are tiny, single-celled organisms that live in the body. Some can cause illness and disease and some are good for you.