Is Bartholin’s cyst a Sexually Transmitted Disease?

Last updated: May 20, 2019

Contributed by:
Richard Honaker M.D.
Primary Care Physician
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The short answer would be, no. Bartholin’s cyst is not a sexually transmitted disease. Though to understand the causes and take precautionary measures, it is important to understand what Bartholin’s cyst is.

Every woman has Bartholin glands. These two small glands are present in the vagina area and are responsible for producing fluid that is then released onto the inner surface of the labia.

However, if the Bartholin’s ducts, which are responsible for secreting the fluid, become blocked, you can develop a cyst. This will happen because the gland will continue to produce the fluid but since the fluid has nowhere to go, it will accumulate in the duct causing a swollen mass to form.

How would I know if I have an infection?

Having Bartholin’s can cause you to worry. However, it is quite common and can even heal without treatment, if there is no infection.

Though, if there is an infection, an abscess would form. The signs of an abscess are that the area around the cyst is red, swollen and painful to touch. You may also have fever. However, this again, is treatable.

There are a number of different types of bacteria which can cause an infection. It can be anything ranging from bacteria that are responsible for sexually transmitted diseases to bacteria that is commonly found in the intestinal tracts such as E. Coli.

Is there a difference between STI and STD?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) can be a cause of an infected Bartholin’s cyst. This is why it is important to understand what STIs and STDs are in order to understand their link with Bartholin’s cyst.

These terms are used interchangeably but there is a difference between the two. A lot of the people who may be infected do not exhibit any symptoms. So someone who is infected and is the carrier of a contagious infection that can turn into a disease is said to have STI.

In simple words, STD is preceded by STI but not everyone having STI will have STD in the future.

According to the World Health Organization, across the world, over 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired daily. Hence, it is important to be aware of these infections and diseases to be able to treat and prevent them.

Which Sexually Transmitted Infections or Diseases can cause Bartholin’s cyst?

It is possible for STIs and STDs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, to cause the infections that create a Bartholin’s abscess. The result is swelling, redness, difficulty or discomfort in movement and a potential fever.

Gonorrhea is an STD that can be transmitted to and affects both men and women. Every year there are about 78 million reported cases of Gonorrhea across the world. Gonorrhea has the potential to cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat area.

It is a very common infection that is likely to affect younger women who are sexually active. Women can get gonorrhoea by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who is a carrier of the disease.

It can cause infected Bartholin’s cysts as well as have adverse effects on a baby if the woman is pregnant. Hence, if there is a likelihood that you may have Gonorrhea, it is important to talk to your doctor and get a check-up done.

Just like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia is another STD that can cause infections in Bartholin’s cysts. Chlamydia is causes by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis, which can infect both men and women. Every year there are around 131 million reported cases of Chlamydia, making it one of the most prevalent STD in the world.

Younger women who are sexually active, don’t consistently use a condom, or have multiple partners are at a higher risk of getting infected. Women can get chlamydia in the cervix, rectum, or throat.

In addition to other problems, it can cause serious damage to a woman’s reproductive system. Hence catching and treating it as early as possible is extremely important.

How do I prevent being infected?

Although there is no sure shot way of preventing the infection, there are a few precautions that you can take to reduce the chances of being infected.

Firstly, the key to keeping infections at bay is indulging in safe sex practices. It is advisable to use condoms to reduce your chances of being infected when it comes to STIs and STDs. Another precautionary measure is maintaining good hygiene. Good personal hygiene can not only prevent bacterial infections but also help Bartholin’s cyst heal faster.

Lastly it is important to be aware of your sexual health and get in touch with your doctor to ensure that you do not have any STIs or STDs, particularly if you are sexually active.

If you have any questions about sexual health, Bartholin’s cyst or STDs, feel free to get in touch with our doctors today and share your questions. At Your Doctor’s Online, we are committed ensuring that you always have a direct channel of communication with qualified physicians.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

About Richard Honaker M.D.

Dr. Richard Honaker has over 40 years of experience as a primary care physician specializing in several different areas of medicine. He is able to provide expert case review and analysis for insurance and workers compensation cases as well as providing online medical consultations as the Chief Medical Advisor for Your Doctors Online.

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