Home treatments for Bartholin’s cyst include soaking in a sitz bath of warm water four times a day for several days, which can not only provide pain relief but can also allow the abscess to open and drain on its own. Unfortunately, the opening is small, so the abscess often returns.
Surgical drainage is another option. A small, surgical cut can drain the abscess and provide quick recovery. This procedure can be performed under local anesthesia at a doctor’s office. In addition, your doctor may insert a catheter and leave it there for four to six weeks to allow for continued draining; you should then begin soaking in warm water a day or two later, but do not have sexual intercourse until the catheter is removed. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics, though they tend to be unnecessary if the abscess is properly drained.
Treatment options for women who have repeated abscesses include a minor surgical procedure called marsupialization, which involves the creation of a small, permanent opening that allows the gland to drain too. This procedure too can be done under local anesthesia in a hospital, and again, you should begin soaking in a sitz bath a day or two later, but cannot have sex for four weeks after the surgery. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication, and the cysts keep returning, you may want to talk to your doctor about have the glands removed completely.