Last updated: May 20, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.
Primary Care Physician
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When your Bartholin’s ducts, the small openings that secrete the fluid produced by the Bartholin’s gland, get blocked, you are most likely to develop Bartholin’s cysts.
Small cysts usually clear up on their own, without medical intervention. However, if a cyst is infected, it turns into an abscess. This infection can be caused by a variety of different bacteria and sometimes these bacteria can be the ones that are responsible for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Though this is quite rare, it can happen. Hence, if you have been sexually active, it is important to know which STDs can be a cause of Bartholin’s cyst and what should be done to diagnose and treat them.
What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as the term suggests, are infections that one person can pass onto another person through any form of sexual contact. There are more than 20 types of STDs that can be caused by bacteria, parasites, yeast, and viruses.
STDs can create health issues for both men and women and if left untreated, they can increase a person’s risk of acquiring other diseases such as HIV. Also, it is important to diagnose and treat STDs as soon as possible because they can create serious health problems such as infertility and permanent organ damage.
Today, thanks to medical advancements, most STDs caused by bacteria and parasites can be treated through antibiotics.
Can STDs cause a Bartholin’s Abscess?
Yes, it is rare but possible. STDs can cause the Bartholin’s cyst to be infected leading to the formation of an abscess. The symptoms of a Bartholin’s abscess are usually more severe than those of an uninfected cyst.
When the cyst is infected, there is inflammation, swelling and discomfort in the vaginal area. Sometimes, you can also have a fever and experience difficulty in carrying out daily activities such as walking and sitting.
Which STDs cause Bartholin’s cyst infection?
The STDs that can cause infection are chlamydia or gonorrhea. These are also two of the most common sexually transmitted diseases caused by bacteria.
Bartholin’s cyst due to Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that can affect both men and women. The bacteria is transmitted through different forms of sexual contact and can infect the penis, anus, vagina, or the mouth.
The bacterial infection doesn’t only cause Bartholin’s abscess but can cause other more serious health issues, such as infertility, if not treated in time. Hence, it is important to get checked for Gonorrhea if you or your partner exhibit any symptoms.
The symptoms in women usually include increased or unusual vagina discharge, burning sensation while passing urine, vaginal bleeding in between periods and pelvic pain. While men may experience white or yellow discharge from the penis, painful bowl movements and/or burning sensation when passing urine as well as anal itching and soreness.
Bartholin’s cyst due to Chlamydia
Another cause of Bartholin’s abscess is a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is one of the most common STDs that exist today and it can affect both men and women.
Chlamydia can be passed on from one person to another through unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex. Many people may not be aware that they are infected because it takes about two to six weeks for symptoms to appear.
Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all. More than 70 percent of women and 50 percent of men infected with chlamydia exhibit no symptoms.
When symptoms do appear they are quite similar to those of Gonorrhea. Women can experience vaginal discharge, burning sensation when urinating, and bleeding between periods. Similarly, men may have a burning sensation when urinating, discharge from the penis and itchiness.
Am I infected – what should I do?
If you have been sexually active, have had unprotected sex, or had more than one partners, it is important to consult a doctor to gauge the likelihood of having an infection that is caused by STDs.
Your doctor can then perform tests and conduct a pelvic exam. If Gonorrhea or Chlamydia is present the doctor would then prescribe antibiotics that can help clear the infection and have you STD free.
Remember, it is crucial to treat STDs as soon as possible because they can cause life-long damage to your organs as well as lead to problems like infertility.
If you have any questions about your sexual health, particularly in relation to STDs, connect with our doctors today. Our doctors are available round the clock to help you understand your symptoms and provide medical advice.
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.
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