Get exclusive member benefits & effect social change. Join Today
Vaginal cysts are closed pockets of air, fluid, or pus located on or under the vaginal lining. There are several types of vaginal cysts, which can be caused by injury during childbirth, fluid buildup in your glands, or benign (noncancerous) tumors within the vagina.
The cysts typically don’t cause any symptoms, but they can sometimes cause discomfort. Vaginal cysts typically remain small and often don’t require treatment. However, different types of cysts may become enlarged and lead to pain, itching, or an increased risk of infection.
There are many types of vaginal cysts. The most common types include vaginal inclusion cysts, Gartner’s duct cysts, and Bartholin’s cysts.
Vaginal inclusion cysts are the most common type of vaginal cysts. These may occur during the birth of a baby or after a surgery. This type of cyst is caused by an injury to the wall of the vagina.
The Gartner’s duct develops when a woman is pregnant. The duct usually disappears after giving birth. However, if the duct remains after giving birth, it can accumulate fluid and later can develop into a cyst on the walls of the vagina.
The Bartholin’s gland is located near the opening of the vagina on the vaginal lips, or labia. If a flap of skin grows over this gland, fluid can back up into the gland and form a cyst. The cyst is usually painless. If this cyst becomes infected, it can cause an abscess. An abscess is a collection of pus.
Benign tumors in the vagina are also usually made up of cysts.
There are typically no symptoms associated with vaginal cysts. You may notice a small lump protruding from the wall of the vagina or have pain or discomfort during sex or while inserting a tampon. Call your doctor if you notice a lump inside the vagina or if you develop bulging from the vagina.
During a routine pelvic exam, your gynecologist may feel the mass on the vaginal wall. They may also review your medical history and ask what symptoms you may be having. Your doctor may also wish to perform additional tests to rule out certain conditions. These include:
Vaginal cysts should be monitored for growth during routine exams. If the cyst grows larger or causes severe symptoms, surgery to remove the cyst may be performed. If the cyst causes an infection or abscess, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
Complications due to vaginal cysts are rare. However, cysts may grow over time, which can lead to increased pain and discomfort and can also increase the risk of infection. Surgery to remove a cyst may carry a risk of infection or other complications at the excision site.
The outlook is generally very good. Cysts are usually benign and often remain small. Cysts that are surgically removed usually will not occur again.
Written by: Jacquelyn Cafasso
Medically reviewed on: Feb 10, 2016: Debra Sullivan, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, COI
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.
From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.
Members save 10% on the monthly service charge of qualified AT&T wireless plans.
Members pay $9.50 for Regal ePremiere Tickets purchased online.
Members earn points on select Walgreens-brand health and wellness products.
Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.