Posted by MRK on 6th May 2014

Vulvar Cysts During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms & Home Remedies

Vulvar cysts are fluid filled sac like structures that are present around the vulva and the vagina. These cysts may be filled with fluid, pus or occasionally blood. While most of these types are cysts are harmless, there are different treatment options for the management of these cysts.

This article provides information about the symptoms and treatment options for the management of different types of vulvar cysts and associated causes.

Vulva is the lower part of the female reproductive system. Vulvar cysts are fluid filled sacs that are found around the labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, vaginal orifice and the hymen.

These cysts are usually sebaceous glands that get obstructed.

While most of the vulvar cysts are harmless, they may often be associated with certain distressing symptoms. Especially when the cyst develops during pregnancy it is a cause of worry for many women. Fortunately in majority of cases, vulvar cyst can be treated with antibiotics and home remedies and it does not cause a hindrance in normal vaginal delivery.

Types And Causes Of Vulvar Cysts

There are different types of vulvar cysts depending upon the location of the cyst. Some of the common types of cysts include,

  • Bartholin’s Cyst: These are cystic lesions found around the labia (i.e. the opening of the vagina), which may occur due to obstruction of the sebaceous glands that secrete sebum to keep the vulva moist.
  • Skene Gland Cysts: These are tiny cysts observed along the urethral meatus or opening. These  glands produce fluid to keep the vagina lubricated and obstruction of these glands may lead to cystic lesions
  • Epidermal inclusion Cysts: These are most common types of vulvar cysts which are caused due to obstruction of the sebaceous glands.
  • Gartner Duct Cysts: These are relatively less common vulvar cysts and are associated with developmental remnants.

Some of the common causes for formation of vulvar cysts include,

  • Bacterial infections including gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
  • Menopausal women may also be at higher risk of cysts especially bartholin’s cysts.
  • Hormonal changes taking place during menstrual periods, peri-menopause or during pregnancy are also linked with formation of cystic lesions.
  • Some cysts may be associated with developmental remnants especially the gartner duct cysts.
  • Previous surgery or episiotomy cuts are also associated with risk of formation of epidermal cysts.

Vulvar Cysts Symptoms

Symptoms of vulvar cysts include the following,

  • Presence of non-tender but firm nodules which are usually asymptomatic.
  • It may be a small swelling or as large as ping pong ball.
  • Occasional pain and itching, especially if the cysts are infected.
  • Problems during sexual intercourse or while walking and sitting.
  • With infection there may be additional symptoms such as fever, chills, headache etc.
  • There may be discharge of pus if the infected cyst bursts.

Home Remedies For Vulvar Cyst During Pregnancy

In most cases no treatment may be required and the cysts tend to resolve on their own. Seldom does it cause any trouble during the birth of fetus. However some types of cysts, especially larger cysts or cysts associated with symptoms like pain may need treatment.

  • Sitz Bath is considered to be very useful. Sit in a tub of warm water and add few drops of antiseptic solution to the water. Let your genitals soak. This helps deal with infected cysts. Alternatively one can add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water.
  • Some women may find sitz bath uncomfortable during the later stage of pregnancy due to enlarged size of uterus. In such cases warm compresses few times in a day will encourage the cyst to rupture and drain.
  • Antibiotics are useful in case of infected vulvar cyst. However, since some antibiotics are contraindicated during pregnancy, it should be taken only after consulting the physician.
  • Vagina hygiene plays a vital role in avoiding recurrence of these cysts. Splash some water on your vagina after urination or during bath.

If the symptoms continue to be distressing, consult your gynecologist. A small surgical incision will enable the collected fluid to drain from the cyst. The procedure is performed in aseptic environment with local anesthetic to numb the area.

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