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Vaginal Sores and Lumps

A very common cause of a single lump at the entrance to the vagina is a cyst called a Bartholin's gland cyst. It is likely that this is your diagnosis.

The Bartholin's gland makes the fluid that lubricates the vagina. If the gland gets blocked, the fluid can get trapped inside and form a cyst. This is usually not painful. If the cyst gets infected, it is called an abscess and it can be very painful.

Usually, a Bartholin's gland cyst creates a smooth bulge or swelling. The lump is sometimes as large as an inch across or larger. This bulge can appear on one side of the entrance to the vagina, where the soft moist pink tissue begins, or it can cause swelling of the skin-covered portion of the labia (the vulva) on one side. This bulge may be painless, or it may be tender.

Cysts usually heal on their own. Abscesses may need to be drained by a health care provider. Warm compresses can help open up the cysts and let the fluid drain out.

If you have a painful Bartholin's gland cyst or a swelling that doesn't go away on its own after several days, see your doctor for evaluation and treatment.


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