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Bartholinitis, what is it? Symptoms and treatment of the disease

Bartholin glands are the largest paired glands located on both sides of the entrance to the vagina. They are spherical cells up to 2 centimeters in size. Most women will not even be able to find them on their bodies, they are so small and inconspicuous.

With sexual arousal and orgasm, Bartholin glands separate the viscous secret, which is necessary for the normal level of vaginal moisture and improve the quality of the sexual intercourse.


Bartholinitis, what is it?


Inflammation of Bartholin glands, one or two at a time, is known as bartholinitis. It is accompanied by painful swelling of the labia, sometimes leads to surgical intervention.

Each gland has a short tubule 2 cm long, 5 cm long, called the Bartholin duct. On it comes a glandular secret to the surface, exactly behind the inner side of the vulva lip. Violation of the free fluid outlet leads to its accumulation in the cavity of the gland.

The duct is clogged, preventing the outflow of secretions. The gland grows in size, it is freely palpated. Stagnant secretion leads to the development of microbes and inflammation of the Bartholin gland.

From the nature of inflammation, bartholinite is divided into forms:

  • sharp;
  • chronic;
  • a false abscess (purulent process in the formed cyst);
  • a true abscess.

The forms of bartholinitis in women have characteristic features and symptoms, treatment is selected taking into account the specificity of inflammation.

For about 40 years, doctors believed that the function of Bartholin's glands to produce a secret for moisturizing and lubricating the vagina during sex. American scientists have proved that this is not true and the lubricant comes from the upper part of the vagina. The glands separate a small amount of fluid in response to sexual arousal, its purpose in moistening the labia.

At the birth of the girl and before her puberty Bartholin glands are undeveloped, so children do not get sick with bartholinitis.

Causes of Bartholinitis in Women

The cause of bartholinitis are various microorganisms that infect Bartholin glands:

  • staphylococci, usually live on the skin and nasal mucosa;
  • streptococci - microorganisms that cause inflammation in the throat and live on the skin;
  • coliforms - intestinal microbes;
  • gonococci-causative agents of gonorrhea;
  • Candida, Trichomonas, etc.

A prerequisite for the inflammatory process may be non-observance of the elementary rules of hygiene of female genital organs. The glands are closely located to the external genital organs and can be infected with microbes that penetrate the duct and reach the glandular tissue.

The "culprits" of inflammation are the factors:

  • diseases of the urogenital tract;
  • weakening of immune defense;
  • stress and vitamin deficiency;
  • a surgical operation performed on the pelvic organs, when the hygiene of the genitals is not given due attention;
  • microtraumas of the skin and mucous membranes (intertrigo, irritation, scrapes, scratching);
  • chronic foci with neglected forms of diseases, pathogenic microorganisms are transferred by lymph and blood and cause inflammation in the Bartholin gland;
  • erratic sexual contacts with frequent partner changes increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases;
  • tight underwear, which prevents a normal outflow of secretions;
  • supercooling.

Symptoms of Bartholinitis

Symptoms of Bartholinitis

The initial stage of the disease has no severe symptoms. Harbinger is the redness of the outlet to the surface of the duct of the gland and scanty discharge of mucous contents with an admixture of pus. When palpation, a densified duct is distinguished.

Bartholinitis develops immediately after blockage of the duct and with the accumulation of secretion in the gland cavity. There is a painful compaction in the labia near the entrance to the vagina. A woman feels the tension and burning sensation in the tissues between the vagina and the anus.

When a false abscess is formed, the condition deteriorates. There is drowsiness, lack of energy, pain in the external genital area, which increases with sexual contact and movement. The body temperature rises to 38-39º C. Very often one-sided lesions of the bartholin gland occur - the labia has a papilla-like seal.

When the inflammation progresses, a true abscess is formed. The swelling is reduced, the tissue of the labia becomes milder. A purulent capsule forms in the cavity of the gland. The patient's condition worsens, there is weakness, high fever, dizziness. In the place of inflammation, there is a sensation of pulsating pain. In laboratory blood tests, there are increased leukocytes, ESR.

The swelling of the labia tissue is well pronounced. The skin color is bright red, with a feeling of intense pain. Sometimes inguinal lymphonoduses increase.

The intervention is directed to the installation of drainage. Sometimes there is a spontaneous breakthrough of purulent contents - this leads to a decrease in tension in the tissues and pain, the edema subsides.

Women suffer from inflammation of the Bartholin gland, a condition called "swelling of the labia", "bud of the labia." The process can proceed without suppuration and stop alone after a period of time, complications lead to bartholinitis. In any case, a woman needs medical help to avoid the chronization of the disease.

Chronic bartholinitis is characterized by a change in exacerbations and temporary improvements. The gland is dense, the secret is accumulated. Cyst formation is possible. It does not affect the general condition of the patient, it does not cause pain. With a strong increase, it causes inconvenience for walking and sexual intercourse.

Deterioration occurs during menstruation, when immunity decreases, with the appearance of other infections in the body. With chronic bartholinitis, there is a slight pain in the area of ​​inflammation and discomfort. The temperature is normal, sometimes increased.

Diagnostic methods

To make a diagnosis it is necessary to:

  • Interrogation of the patient, to find out how long she is in pain, there was swelling and fever.
  • Elucidation of the number of abortions, pregnancies, infections and postoperative surgeries.
  • Examination of the gynecological chair, determination of redness and localization of edema.
  • Taking a smear to determine the causative agent of bartolinite.
  • Bacteriological analysis, the method of sowing the secretion of the gland on a nutrient medium to identify the pathogen and the selection of an antibiotic for treatment;
  • Diagnosis of infections transmitted through sexual contact.
  • General blood test (number of leukocytes, ESR);
  • General urine analysis.

Treatment of bartholinitis, drugs

Treatment of bartholinitis, drugs

Therapy is conducted under medical supervision by conservative methods. How to treat acute bartholinitis:

  1. Rest is required to avoid pain when moving.
  2. Locally apply cold, apply ointments and make compresses (Levomekol, Vishnevsky ointment , etc.).
  3. Physiotherapeutic procedures are performed in the absence of temperature and acute phase of inflammation. Magnetotherapy, laser, UHF are shown.
  4. Therapy of infection involves the appointment of antibacterial drugs. Antibiotics are the main treatment. The ideal option to wait for the result of bacterosis on the sensitivity to antibiotics, but more often bartholinitis is treated with broad-spectrum drugs (Amoxiclav, Sumamed, Ceftriaxone, etc.).
  5. Anesthetics.
  6. Antihistamines that reduce swelling.

In some cases, bartolinite requires surgical intervention. The operation is aimed at opening the cavity and removing the focus of infection by washing with special solutions. There are two options for conducting medical manipulation:

  • Extirpation, that is, complete removal of the gland along with the duct;
  • Marsupialization, involves the creation of an artificial duct, which will not stick together.

When bartholinitis occurs in a chronic form, treatment is carried out at home. Patients with uncomplicated, asymptomatic cyst, prescribe intimate phyto-baths (chamomile, calendula, sage, etc.) at least three times a day (for 20 minutes) for several days.

So also recommend physiotherapy (paraffin and infrared laser). In parallel, the doctor prescribes medication.


When bartolinite is prohibited from self-medication and conduct procedures without prescribing a doctor.

  1. Independent manipulation to remove pus from the cyst threatens with the infection of blood ( sepsis ).
  2. With bartholinitis, repeated inflammation (relapse) is possible if the disease is not treated adequately.
  3. The accumulation of pus in the gland can contribute to the formation of a fistula.
  4. The development of infection threatens to infect the organs of the genitourinary system ( colpitis , urethritis ).


Avoid inflammation possible, while it must be observed:

  • regular hygiene of the genitals;
  • use contraceptives for sexual intercourse;
  • maintain immunity;
  • ration with high content of vitamins;
  • timely treatment and prevention of sexual infections;
  • do not overcool;
  • wear comfortable cotton underwear;
  • undergo regular monitoring by a gynecologist.

Bartholinitis is a disease that must be treated seriously. An experienced gynecologist will choose the right treatment. At the first symptoms or deterioration of well-being, a woman needs an examination and medical help, which will help to avoid complications.


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