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TCM and Bartholin Cysts

The bartholin’s glands lay at either side of the vagina opening. Their function is to lubricate the vagina. A cyst forms when one of the ducts gets blocked and the secretions build up inside. There are various reasons why the duct may become blocked, such as infection, friction or trauma to the area. Bartholin’s cyst may become infected and form an abscess.



Often the cyst will remain small and does not require any treatment, but if it grows larger and becomes uncomfortable or gets infected it will need treatment. If there are signs of abscess or severe pain, it is important to seek medical help right away.


Common Symptoms:

Bartholin’s Cyst: Enlarged swollen mass at the base of the vaginal opening Painless May be uncomfortable when walking or sitting

Bartholins Abscess: Enlarged swollen mass at the base of the vaginal opening Painful Redness Fever


Bartholin’s Cyst According to Chinese Medicine


Traditionally, bartholin’s cyst is considered one type of vaginal sore, called Yin Chuang, it is seen as heat which is located in the lower part of the body. Cysts themselves without inflammation or infection are more related to phlegm. Phlegm and heat often combine together to form phlegm heat.

Treatment of bartholin’s cyst with Chinese medicine is aimed at resolving the root of the problem, whether is be excessive heat or a buildup of phlegm.


Causes of Cysts in Chinese Medicine


Emotional strain: Emotional strain is the most common cause of masses. Anger, frustration and resentment, especially when repressed causes the Liver Qi to stagnate and not flow smoothly. This causes other fluids to accumulate and stagnate. The liver channel cirulates around the external genitals, exactly where a bartholin’s cyst forms.

Diet: Diet is another extremely important factor relating to the formation of cysts. Irregular eating, or the excessive consumption of cold, raw, greasy and fatty foods will damage the Spleen and the digestive system, leading to the formation of Dampness and Phlegm, which has a heavy quality and can settle in the lower half of the body.

External pathogens: External pathogens such as cold may enter the body when it is not protected properly, or during improper care during menstruation.


Treating Bartholin’s Cysts


The most successful treatment for this condition will involve a combination of internal and external herbal medicine in conjunction with acupuncture.


Home Remedy for Bartholin’s Cyst

Using a sitz bath, which is a shallow bath with epsom salts or baking soda (or both) may be enough for a very mild cyst. Use a sitz bath to soak the genital area for 15-20 minutes 2-3 times per day. Ingedients: 1-2 cups of baking soda and or epsom salts in a shallow hot bath

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