Hi there Aunt Vadge,
I am 13 and I have been fingering myself for over a year. Today I noticed a small lump on the inside lip of my vagina. I read about this, and I think that it is a Bartholin’s cyst. I am worried and don’t know what to do. I want to know how to treat it without going to the doctors, as I am embarrassed to tell anyone. There is no pain but there appears to be blood inside it. Can you help?
Northern Ireland, Age 13
Thanks for writing. If it is a Bartholin’s duct cyst, and a small one, you can pop it open yourself, much like you would a pimple. Just make sure you keep it clean and dry, and make sure all the fluid is out of it. Use hot packs to draw the fluid out and soothe the flesh, then leave it alone to heal.
Make sure you keep the area clean and don’t irritate it, and make sure you get all the pus out. If the cyst is big, see a doctor for help. You don’t want to risk infection, and it might be an abscess, which just means the cyst is already infected. All they’ll be doing is cutting it open and draining it, so you can perform the same action yourself with your fingers so long as it seems doable. You be the judge of that! If it’s really painful, becomes infected (hot, inflamed, sore) after a few days, see a doctor. Otherwise, it should heal over the course of a few days.
The natural outcome of cysts is that they burst. If this is recurrent, you’ll need to figure out why this is happening to you – it’s abnormal (despite not being uncommon), and there is a reason behind it that you need to discover. Otherwise, it’s just a minor blockage, and no harm done.
It could also be…
It could also be an ingrown hair or a sebaceous cyst – either way, you can pop them yourself without too much concern. Hot packs help to draw the fluid out, as do hot baths.
If you get stuck on anything, let us know and we can provide more help.