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A Guide On Vaginal Cysts: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Vaginal Cysts

Vaginal Cysts - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second-Summary
  • Vaginal cysts are a common, benign condition in which fluid-filled sacs form on the surface of the walls of the vagina.
  • Vaginal cysts can be small, medium, or large but usually do not cause any pain.
  • Some cases require no vaginal cyst treatment, and they will disappear without complications.
  • The most common risk factors for inclusion cysts are a previous injury to the vaginal wall that has left an area of scar tissue.
  • The vaginal cysts can worsen, become more inflamed, and even burst and bleed during examinations or sexual intercourse, which can lead them to be more susceptible to infection and further medical issues.

Introduction

Vaginal cysts are something that many women may have but don’t know they have them!

In most cases, vagina cysts are within the walls of the vagina, so unless they are discovered as part of a medical examination, or they begin to cause more problems, there may be no indication that they are even there. Most vaginal cysts are harmless and don’t require invasive vaginal cyst treatment to go away independently.

You should look out for certain things that may indicate you have vaginal cysts and some indicators on when they may start to become a problem for a health professional to look at.

Read on for more information on vaginal cyst causes, treatment, and the lowdown on these cysts.

Vaginal cyst causes

What Are Vaginal Cysts?

Vaginal cysts are a common and often benign condition[1] in which fluid-filled sacs form on the surface of the walls of the vagina. They’re usually found during a routine exam and can vary in size from small to large. Although they’re often harmless, it’s essential to see your doctor if you experience any vaginal cyst symptoms that worry you.

Vaginal cysts can be small, medium, or large but usually do not cause any pain, and there are no vaginal cyst symptoms. Symptoms that may indicate an underlying and silent medical condition include bleeding or discharge from the vagina, pain during sex, fever, or discomfort when urinating.

Some vaginal cysts require no treatment and will disappear without complications; however, others need surgical intervention because they have grown too large and are causing symptoms, such as pain or distortion of the vaginal canal.

What Are The Types Of Vaginal Cysts?

There are many types of vaginal cysts.

Among the most common include:

1. Vaginal inclusion cysts

Vaginal inclusion cysts are lumps that form inside the vagina during childbirth or after surgery and can be found anywhere but mostly on one side of it.

These cysts result from an injury or trauma to the wall of a vagina during childbirth or after surgery and trauma [2] that lead to scar tissue formation and some pockets getting clogged.

2. Müllerian cysts

Müllerian cysts are vaginal cysts that form from structures left behind when the baby develops in the womb. The cysts can grow anywhere on the walls of your vagina but commonly form near the active sites of childbirth.

3. Gartner’s ducts

These ducts can grow to become cysts in the form of a pouch and are recognized as a cyst in the vaginal wall.

These are usually harmless, but they can lead to other health concerns, such as infection, inflammation, and altered urinary sensations if left untreated.

4. Bartholin’s glands

Bartholin’s glands’ cysts[3] are located near the opening of a woman’s vagina.

The Bartholin gland produces fluid that helps to lubricate the area and may produce painless blisters if covered with skin. If punctured, it can cause bleeding inside or outside of her body and intense irritation due to its corrosive acidity, which causes inflammation in surrounding tissue.

In most cases, these differing cysts can and will go away on their own with no medical intervention; however, this is not the case for everyone and if there are any medical concerns, always consult a medical professional.

Vaginal Cysts Causes

Vaginal Cysts Develops
One of the most common vaginal cyst causes is a previous injury to the vaginal wall that has left an area of scar tissue, and this can include giving birth multiple times or multiple invasive surgeries that have left scarring and trauma to the vaginal walls or the exterior of the vagina.

In this case, the vaginal cysts can become worse, more inflamed, and even burst and bleed during examinations or sexual intercourse, which can lead them to be more susceptible to infection and further medical issues.

The other vaginal cyst causes are usually a blocked duct or gland, where liquid and other materials gather in the area to form an infection-causing mass. These can be harmless and minuscule, but they can also be prominent and cause discomfort and pain.

In the case of Bartholin’s gland cysts, these can develop when the gland is blocked or obscured by inflammation. This can come from sexually transmitted infections and some gastrointestinal infections.

Vaginal cysts causes may be external factors, and sometimes, there will be nothing that you can actively do to prevent or heal them. They will come up on their own and will often go away in just the same way.

Vaginal Cysts Symptoms

There are no specific vaginal cyst symptoms that may indicate you have vaginal cysts in most cases.

In the case of vaginal cysts that are on the outside of the vagina, these may or may not present as lumps that you can see or feel. In this scenario, they may or may not be uncomfortable, be inflamed, or display redness and irritation.

In the case of a cyst in the vaginal wall, you may notice these ones even less, especially if there has been recent trauma to the specific vaginal canal from childbirth or surgery.

In this situation, you may not notice any more of a changed sensation other than from the childbirth or surgery itself, and it may only be if the recovery is taking longer than expected or on an investigation by a medical professional or OBGYN that the vaginal cysts are discovered.

Of course, if there have been vaginal cysts present, the woman is completely unaware and has become bacterially infected or inflamed through disease or irritation. There may be secondary symptoms, such as rashes, high temperatures, redness, inflammation, and a general unwell feeling.

Vaginal Cysts Treatment

Vaginal Cysts Treatment
Cysts, such as vaginal cysts, don’t always require treatment. In general, they will remain small and not cause any problems.

Your health care provider may want to monitor the cyst’s size during routine exams or for biopsy purposes if appropriate. This typically involves removing a tissue sample from the area with your help, so it can be examined under a microscope to see if it is cancerous.

If you have a large and full vaginal cyst, your health care provider may drain it for you before suturing the edges shut. This can be an uncomfortable procedure and recovery. However, the result might be that it is better than having the cyst in the first place.

A health professional may insert a small tube called a catheter[4] to keep the hole open in the middle of the incision. More fluid can be continually drained from the cyst and collected and removed from the cyst pocket. You will likely need this vaginal cyst treatment for about four to six weeks to drain fluid out of the cyst.

Surgery may be recommended if a cyst is incredibly uncomfortable or keeps returning. The surgery can be a permanent vaginal cyst treatment to remove the entire cyst in one go, especially if the cyst has the potential to become cancerous. Women over 40 are recommended to have this type of vaginal lesion removed because of its potential to become cancerous and return after more conservative methods of treatment.

Risk Factors

You are at risk of vaginal cysts if any of these has or is happening:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Gastrointestinal infection
  • Injury to the vaginal walls
  • Never having a pregnancy, or indeed having a very first pregnancy
  • Surgery and trauma to the areas

Conclusion

Vaginal cysts are a common, benign condition that is usually discovered during your yearly pelvic exam.

These cysts can be more likely if you have had recent trauma to the vaginal area, such as childbirth, recent surgery, or some other traumatic event. They vary in size but can be small or large and may cause vaginal cyst symptoms, like pain when changing positions or urinating.

It is essential to see a medical professional who can help you determine the risk of more severe conditions if these vaginal cyst symptoms persist. It is also genuinely possible that the woman may have vaginal cysts and still be unaware of them.

Suppose a bacterial infection or inflammation has been present. In that case, there could be symptoms like rashes, high temperatures, redness, inflammation, and an overall feeling of being unwell.

Vaginal cysts can be harmless in a majority of cases. Still, if they are causing pain, discomfort, redness, swelling, or you suspect they might be cancerous or infected, the best action is to consult a healthcare professional immediately.

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