Vaginal cysts are the closed pockets filled with air, fluid, or pus and are located under or on the vaginal lining. There are many types of vaginal cysts. Vaginal cysts can be caused by injury at the time of childbirth, fluid buildup in the glands, or benign, noncancerous tumors in the vagina.
The cysts generally do not cause any symptoms, but can sometimes cause discomfort during sexual activity or while insertion of tampons. Vaginal cysts usually remain small in size and often do not require emergency or medical treatment. However, some types of vaginal cysts may get enlarged and cause pain, itching, or raise a high risk of infections. If they cause discomfort or pain, the female should visit her gynecologist to prevent any further risks.
What are the types of vaginal cysts?
There are several types of vaginal cysts. However, the most common types of vaginal cysts include Gartner’s duct cysts and Bartholin’s cysts. Vaginal cysts sometimes may resemble benign tumors in the vagina.
Gartner’s duct cysts
The Gartner’s duct is a remnant organ of the pelvis from a female’s fetal development. It can at times accumulate fluid and with time develop into a cyst on the vaginal walls.
Bartholin’s gland is located on the labia (the vaginal lips), near the vaginal opening. If a flap of skin overgrows on this gland, fluid can build into the gland, which may form a cyst. Bartholin’s cyst is usually painless. But, in case the cyst gets infected, it can become an abscess.
Symptoms of Vaginal cysts
There are mostly no signs or symptoms of vaginal cysts. The female may notice a small lump protruding from the vaginal walls or have pain or discomfort while inserting a tampon or during intercourse.
Call your gynecologist if you notice a cyst or lump inside the vagina, or if you notice bulging in or on the vagina.
Diagnosis of vaginal cysts
During a routine pelvic exam, the gynecologist may notice the mass on the walls of the vagina. The gynecologist would then review the female’s medical history and ask if she is having any pain or symptoms due to the cyst. The gynecologist might also suggest some additional tests among the ones mentioned ahead to rule out other serious conditions-
- Biopsy of the tissue sample from the vaginal cyst to rule out the chances of vaginal cancer.
- Tests on the vaginal or cervix secretions to determine if the presence of sexually transmitted infection (STI).
- MRI scan, CT scan, or an ultrasound to see detailed images of the vaginal cyst.
Treatment of vaginal cysts
Gynecologists suggest that vaginal cysts should be monitored during routine check-ups or exams for growth or changes in their appearance. If the vaginal cyst grows larger or causes troubling symptoms, your gynecologist may also recommend a small surgery to remove the cyst. If the cyst gets infected or develops an abscess, your gynecologist may prescribe antibiotics to treat them.
Complications of vaginal cysts
Complications in the case of vaginal cysts are rare. However, vaginal cysts may grow larger over time, which can cause increased pain and discomfort, and a high risk of infection. Delaying the treatment or avoiding the condition may cause more serious complications in the future.
The long term outlook of vaginal cysts is generally not worrying. The vaginal cysts are usually benign and mostly remain small in size. After surgical removal, the cysts are most likely to not reoccur again.