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Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

Symptoms

Many Bartholin's gland cysts don't cause any symptoms. They usually are discovered when a woman notices a small, painless mass just outside the opening to the vagina, or when a physician notices it during a routine pelvic examination. However, if the cyst grows larger than 1 inch in diameter, it can cause discomfort when sitting, or during intercourse. If a cyst becomes infected, it fills with pus, and becomes firm, swollen, and very painful, making it difficult for a woman to sit, walk or have intercourse. The pus-filled cyst is called an abscess.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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