Mar 20, 2022

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Bartholinitis is an inflammation of the duct of one of the two Bartholin glands. The Bartholin gland is a pea-sized gland and is located near the entrance to the vagina. The cause is usually a bacterial infection or a bartholin cyst, but the disease can also cause such a cyst. Other risk factors are poor hygiene and infection with the sexually transmitted diseases gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Bartholinitis can affect adult women of any age, but mostly affects young and sexually active women. Typical symptoms are swelling, redness and pain. Many patients also complain of problems with sitting and walking. The disease is treatable and normally has no long-term consequences for those affected. Surgery is rarely necessary.

Causes of Bartholinitis

“The most common cause of Bartholin’s is bacterial infection. These can be pathogens that occur naturally in our body.”

These include intestinal bacteria such as escherichia coli, streptococci or staphylococci, as well as staphylococcus aureus, which can be found on the skin and in the nose. In some cases, pathogenic microbes can also trigger the disease. These reach the excretory ducts of the bartholin glands through the vaginal entrance and can cause inflammation there. These include certain pathogens of sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia and gonococcus, which trigger gonorrhea. Bacteria can be transmitted through sexual intercourse.

The infection can spread to the glandular body and cause swelling of the affected duct. Due to the adhesion, secretions accumulate and thus provide pathogens with an ideal breeding ground. Usually there is also pus. If this spreads from the gland duct into the environment, doctors speak of a bartholin cyst. But not only a cyst can trigger bartholin’s, the opposite can also occur due to this disease.

Bartholin Symptoms

The disease primarily relieves a swelling, usually unilateral, in the lower third of the labia minora and labia majora. It can reach the size of a chicken egg, or even a tennis ball in worse cases, and is very sensitive to pressure.

This is why patients often complain of severe pain when sitting or walking. The affected area is red and hot. In some cases, there may also be a general feeling of illness, fever, body aches, loss of appetite and fatigue. In rare cases, women only notice inflammation during sexual intercourse. The disease can also heal on its own or progress over a very short period of time, with symptoms becoming more severe.

Bartholin Treatment Methods

Sitting Bathrooms

You can sit in the bathtub for a sitz bath or use special sitz bath add-ons for the toilet. Mix water and disinfectant additives together correctly. Then stay in the warm bath for about 15 to 30 minutes. Chamomile in particular has proven itself as an additive because it penetrates deep into the skin layers and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the one hand and stimulates wound healing on the other. Alternatively, you can use potassium permanganate as it disinfects and causes the inflammation to dry up. However, since potassium permanganate can also cause chemical burns and dry skin, you should pay attention to the correct mixing ratio when using it.

Another possibility of an additive could be polyvidone iodine, which has a disinfecting effect. But additives from herbal medicines such as oak bark, chamomile flowers, hazelnut leaves can also relieve inflammation.


Typical active ingredients for acute bartholinitis in homeopathy are Hepar Sulphur C15 and Pyrogenicum C9. Conium 15 and Staphysagria C15 can also be used in the chronic form. You should take five globules twice a day for a period of five months. If the infection recurs, treatment consists of five granules a day for a period of two months. The choice of medicine is determined by the symptoms: it is recommended to take belladonna for increased pain and reddened and hot abscesses. A painful pain when touched and a bright abscess are more likely to use the apis.


You should consult a gynecologist to choose the right ointment. In any case, the ointment should have an anti-inflammatory and/or antibiotic effect. Those containing the active ingredients fusidic acid, nebacetin or bacitracin are particularly suitable for this. With an abscess that has already formed, an ichtholan ointment will help, which will lead to its faster maturation. This allows it to be treated surgically more quickly.

If the bartholinitis cannot be eliminated by these conservative methods or if the symptoms increase, a doctor should be consulted. The doctor will then decide whether antibiotics should be used. Antibiotic treatment depends on the causative bacteria and is aimed at making the cyst heal and preventing the infection from spreading. Antibiotics can be prescribed in tablet or ointment form. However, if this form of treatment is also not successful, there is usually no alternative to surgical intervention.

How to Expose Bartholinitis?

If you have a bulging and spherical swelling in the groin area that is hardly painful, you should see a gynecologist in the next few days who can determine whether you have bartholinitis.

However, if you experience severe pain and redness of the inner lips, you should see a doctor the same day or at the latest the next day. He will first ask you detailed questions about your symptoms and then examine the swelling. This is usually enough to make a definitive diagnosis. If inflammation caused by chlamydia or gonococci is suspected, the doctor will also take a swab from the vagina and urethra and have it analyzed in the laboratory. Once the pathogen is found, antibiotic treatment can begin.

How is Bartholin’s Surgery Performed?

If home remedies and conservative treatment methods do not lead to an improvement in the disease, the only remaining option is surgical opening of the abscess. Many women shy away from this step at first, but it ultimately brings great relief, as opening the abscess is often associated with great relief.

The operation itself is usually performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and takes only a few minutes. In rare cases, general anesthesia can also be used. This happens when the local anesthetic does not work well in inflamed tissue.

The most commonly used surgical technique for bartholinitis today is called marsipulation. The surgeon opens the abscess with a scalpel and sutures the walls of the abscess cavity with skin. This allows the cavity to remain open to the outside and the secretion can flow out unhindered. Drainage also prevents the edges of the wound from sticking together. This is necessary to prevent the abscess from forming again. The disease-causing microbe can also be identified from the secretion and an appropriate antibiotic treatment can be started. The stitches are usually removed after a few days and the wound itself heals completely within four to six weeks. Sitz baths can be taken several times a day to aid healing. If the disease continues to recur, further interventions may be considered.

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