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Epsom salt bath for cysts: Bartholin Gland Cysts | Awarded Best OBGYN by Los Angeles…

Bartholin’s Gland Cyst: Causes & Treatment

What is a Bartholin’s gland cyst?

The Bartholin’s gland is a tiny organ on each of the labia (vaginal lips), near the opening of the vagina. If the vagina were the face of a clock, these glands would be found at about 4 and 8 o’clock. Normally they’re invisible. They make a small amount of fluid that lubricates the vaginal lips. If a flap of skin grows over the opening of one of the glands, the fluid backs up. It causes a round swelling called a cyst. The cyst can grow from the size of a penny to larger than an orange. Most don’t get bigger than a golf ball.

Symptoms of a Bartholin’s gland cyst

You may notice a round bulge on one of your vaginal lips, near the opening of the vagina. It may be painless or slightly tender. It may stay the same size or may slowly grow larger. Cysts that get infected are usually very tender. They usually appear quickly. In more severe cases, walking or sexual intercourse may be painful.

What causes a Bartholin’s gland cyst?

While most aren’t, some Bartholin’s gland cysts can be infected. Your doctor may want to check the fluid in the cyst. Most infected cysts (called abscesses) contain the normal bacteria (germs) found on your skin. Some are caused by bacteria that are transmitted sexually.

How is a Bartholin’s gland cyst diagnosed?

If your Bartholin’s gland cyst is small, you may not notice it. Once it grows large or becomes infected, you will notice symptoms. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the cyst by looking at it.

Can a Bartholin’s gland cyst be prevented or avoided?

There is no sure way to prevent a Bartholin’s gland cyst from forming. Good hygiene may play a role in prevention. However, sometimes the cysts appear no matter how good your personal hygiene. If you think you have one, tell your doctor right away. This way, you can get early and effective treatment.

Bartholin’s gland cyst treatment

Treatment depends on the size of the cyst, how painful it is, if it’s infected, and your age. You can often treat small cysts by soaking in a few inches of warm water (called a sitz bath) several times a day for 3 or 4 days. Adding Epsom salt or sitz salt can help even more. This allows the cyst to rupture and drain with little pain or discomfort.

In rare cases, the doctor can perform a minor procedure in the office. The doctor makes an incision and puts a small tube (called a catheter) into the cyst. The catheter stays in place for 4 to 6 weeks, draining the fluid. While the catheter is in, you can continue normal activity. However, ask your doctor if it’s safe to have sexual activity during this time. At the end of treatment, your doctor easily removes the catheter in his or her office.

Another procedure is when the doctor makes a small cut in the cyst to drain the fluid. He or she will place stitches at the edge of the cyst to allow a small opening to form. This procedure is called a marsupialization. You may have light discharge for a few weeks. Panty liners should be all you need to take care of this discharge.

Less common procedures involve using a laser or having surgery to remove the entire gland. Both of these are usually performed in a hospital as same-day surgery.

Living with a Bartholin’s gland cyst

It’s possible for Bartholin’s gland cysts to come back after treatment. This can happen even years later. If so, your doctor can treat the cyst again. Your doctor also may remove the Bartholin’s glands if cysts recur often.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • I have a bump on one of my vaginal lips. Could it be a Bartholin’s gland cyst?
  • Do I need any tests, such as tests for sexually transmitted infections?
  • How serious is the cyst? Is it infected?
  • What are my treatment options? What treatment do you recommend for me?
  • Is it safe for me to have sex?


National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus: Bartholin Cyst or Abscess

Copyright © American Academy of Family Physicians

This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.

Natural Remedies for Bartholin Cysts: Effective and Evidence-Base

Epsom Salt

Posted by Kim (Montreal, Canada) on 09/22/2021

I discovered I had a Bartholin cyst two weeks ago. It was the size of a grape. I read up on DIY home remedies and tried several things like applying a clay paste, apple cider vinegar compresses castor oil with tea tree essential oil massages and sitz baths. These seemed helpful at first because the swelling seemed to reduce during the night but suddenly, the cyst got really hard and painful. (Now I realize that it must have been in its way to bursting which is the goal) I did more research and decided to try epsom salt baths and magnesium sulfate paste application. That did the trick. After my first sitz bath with half a cup of epsom salt followed by an application of the paste, the cyst burst a couple of hours later. Then I took another bath to disinfect and applied more paste.

The cyst is gone but there is still some hardness or tension in that area. I’m not sure If it’s the gland or just ligaments. Hopefully, my gland will heal, the duct will be unclogged and the infection will subside.

Castor Oil

Posted by Charlotte (Uk) on 09/19/2017

Bartholin Cyst:

I used just castor oil not even on a pack. Just repeatedly applied it throughout the day maybe 4 times or more depending on when I went to the toilet. My cyst had got so big and infected it was going to need surgery to have it removed. It had gone solid. It couldn’t be drained. I took antibiotics the doctor gave me for 2 weeks and used garlic, tea tree and salt sits baths for 3 weeks with next to no change… but pain had lessended. then I decided I had 2 options… castor oil or cbd oil. I read that also works well.

The moment I got home from being told I needed surgery I started applying castor oil and stopped the other treatments. (I was trying everything too, Apple cider vinegar which burnt me. Turmeric packs, silica and raspberry leaves. As well as the sits baths and hot flannels) I also had to deal with thrush from antibiotics which I cured with creme and natural yogurt.

Within 3 days of starting the castor oil it went down dramatically and after a week it almost went. It still hasn’t completely returned to normal after but I’m in no pain and don’t need surgery anymore. It’s less then a pea now. Even if it stays like this it’s still 100 times better then the plum size it was before. I also noticed my emotional well being had a part to play in the healing process. When emotional or over whelmed it would be uncomfortable and seemed to be inflammed again or more. But when happier and in a good energy space I seemed to heal better and faster. I hope this helps in anyways or I hope you find a remedy that works for you. Xx


Posted by Suzanne (Norman, Ok) on 03/13/2017

Tumeric for Bartholin cyst

Take 1,000 mg turmeric capsules orally daily until swelling subsides. It took about 5 days for me and the cyst is almost gone.

Tea Tree Oil

Posted by Brooke U (New York) on 07/29/2016

Bartholin cyst: I had a marsupilzation done in November. After this terribly painful procedure I believed the cyst would not come back, it came back ten folds about four days ago. I did not want to go back to have this done again, so I googled natural cures and found Earth Clinic. This was the best thing I could have done!

I started with the tea tree oil rubbing it on the cyst with a cotton ball, then taking baths with Epsom salts. I stayed in the bath for about an hour due to the severe pain I was in. I put castor oil on a wash cloth, plastic over that( it did does stain) and boiling water in a water bottle, and propped my butt up on a pillow, applied the washcloth, then the plastic and then the water bottle to the cyst and went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I was in severe pain. I took another Epsom salt bath, and then rubbed the castor oil right on the cyst, and covered it with medicated white tape. I suggest letting this come off in the shower or bath. It’s quite painful to just rip it off.

That afternoon I was in so much pain I decided I had to go to the Dr, just as I was on my way out the door, the cyst started draining.I took a cotton ball and started pushing lightly all over my golf ball sized cyst, and it was instantly so much relief! I used the castor oil pack that night, and then again in the morning took another Epsom salt bath, only 20 minutes this time, and rubbed the castor oil right on it again. The cyst drained again. This was a miracle for me, way better then an awful procedure, at least 3 days of recovery, and in my case no sex for 5 weeks.

The natural cures took 3 days with none of the terrible after math. I do have a dr appointment in a few days just to make sure, but that’s just a safety precaution. If I had done this the first day I had noticed the cyst instead of when it was awful, I could have avoided all the pain. I am so happy this information is available, and I do not have to go through torture every time I get one.

Sitz Bath

Posted by Annas (Littleton) on 06/23/2016

Okay so I have had Bartholin cysts for about 10 years. One grew the size of a lemon because I didn’t have insurance to get it treated. The one I just currently resolved I did completely on my own.

First I took 2 sits baths each day for two days.

Second I used a lavender salt scrub on the affected area before the site baths. After all this is caused by a clogged duct. What do we do to our faces when we have clogged pores from makeup? Anyways it sounded logical to me.

After the bath I would pat dry and then applied tea tree oil to the affected area. After just 1/12 days ( or 3 treatments of each) the thing ruptured and completely drained itself. It was much less painful than enduring the cyst or having the procedure done. Hope it’s just as effective for you as it was for me. I also want to note that for two days after I rubbed tea tree oil on the site. Tea tree oil is a natural bacterial. The only side effect that I noticed from using it was a tingle down there.

Alkaline Diet

Posted by Susan (Columbus, Ohio) on 11/27/2014

The best cure for bartholin cysts is an alkaline diet. It is the ONLY thing that works for me and can take a golf ball sized cyst down to a pea in less than a week. No sitz baths or any topical treatment with this as that NEVER worked for me. When we get these nasty cysts it’s because our body is completely out of balance and needs oxygenating food to remove all the toxins. A bartholin’s cyst is our body’s way of trying to release toxins, so instead of just trying to cure the symptom, you have to fix the main problem and cure the source of the ailment. I will admit it is hard to stick to this diet, but it is sooooooo worth it when you see such quick results and can avoid being sliced and diced by the docs and a catheter rammed up there, no thanks! Never again! The long and short of it is you want to eat tons of leafy greens, drink lots of water with lemons and limes (I understand counter-intuitive, but these fruits have a powerfully alkalizing effect on the body), soaked raw almonds, sprouted seeds, EVOO & flax seed oil, and that’s about it for the first week. I’m also a very busy working mom, so I don’t have time to sit in a sitz bath 7 times a day, and all it ever did for me cause a yeast infection too. I’m a firm believer that this is an internal problem and needs an internal remedy. Applying anything externally is like having a mold infested house which a person keeps spraying the outside, hoping it solves the problem. You have to get in there and clean the house!!! Hope this helps, good luck to everyone and God bless!

Vitamin D3, Colloidal Silver

Posted by Jimmychinga (Honolulu, Hi) on 02/28/2013

My wife has been suffering from Bartholin Cyst for a couple of years. Flare ups that lasts for weeks multiple times a year.

Very very painful. Doctors only made things worse by cutting the cyst open then squeezing and cleaning. Followed by “just enough” anti-biotics for the cyst to flare up again in a few weeks. 4 operations and 3 doctors later… still the same. She couldn’t walk, move… It was horrible. Each flare up would last about a month.

Then we finally visited a Naturopathic doctor who suggested using Vitamin D3 (10,000 IU) and Colloidal Silver (I think it was like 15 drops under your tongue twice a day) and a couple of Unda Numbers.

The very next day, less than 12 hours, the cyst sorta blew it self up and disappeard within in a few days never to return.

Wow. Just simply wow. It’s been more than 3 years since and still cyst free.

Vitamin E

Posted by Crystal (Tracy, Ca) on 02/16/2013

Oh my goodness. I have suffered from Bartholin’s cyst for over 20 years. 15 years ago I had one reach the size of a grapefruit ended up in the emergency room with a marsupilization. I never had one again until about 2 years ago. The other side. Life is so cruel. 2 ruptured on own until I had enough. Another one. I called my OBGYN and told them I had an abscess. Unfortunatly it burst before I got there. When I arrived the on call student Dr. said she was concerned because it did not fully drain. She mentioned cancer. Saw my regular dr 2 weeks later she said not cancer keep an eye on it we will do surgery if needed. For one year I have had an uncomfortable not abcessed golf ball sized lump. Never went away. Dr. still insists surgury no cancer though. I am desperate feel like doctor knows less than I do about this.

I hit the internet. I have stuck tea bags in there bought essential oils epsom salt baths. You name it tried it. I found the post about vitamin e.

Only one of its kind no one has mentioned it. Poured vitamin E oil on it and the gland drained before my eyes. Not the usual burst but natural drain where the gland is. Meanwhile in the last two weeks I had a ganglion cyst (also an ailment) once again surface on my hand. I bought vitamin E capsules. Took them within 24 hours hand cyst gone. Bartholin gland 3/4 of size. Vitamin E!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU FOR POSTING!!!!!!!

MAGNESIUM BATH Aroma of the forest, 1100 gr (with extract)

Ingredients: magnesium sulfate (epsom salt), spirulina, essential oils of cedar, rosemary, tea tree, mint, eucalyptus.

Magnesium bath has an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect, stimulates recovery processes, and normalizes blood circulation. Such baths are a good way to cleanse the skin and relieve stress.

Magnesia (magnesium sulphate, magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt, or bitter salt) consists of magnesium cations and sulfate anions. From a chemical point of view, it belongs to the class of salts. It is one of the main salt components of sea water.

The benefits of a bath with magnesia on the body are due to local and general effects. Magnesium, like sodium, potassium and other ions, is not absorbed through the skin into the body. It penetrates no further than the epidermis. Therefore, all the effects that magnesia has when taken orally and parenterally are not achieved when taking a bath.

Salt baths conduct 1.5 times more heat into the body than ordinary fresh water baths. The resulting heat dilates the blood vessels in the skin, increasing blood flow. Mechanical irritation of the nerve endings with salt particles also leads to the filling of the skin vessels with blood. Increased salt water pressure affects the skin receptors, reducing the excitability and conductivity of nerve endings, which reduces tactile and pain sensitivity.

Magnesium is also important for the female body, as it supports fertility and promotes a favorable pregnancy. Also, this substance is necessary for libido and the formation of the correct menstrual cycle, preventing hypertension and depression. If the female body lacks this trace element, then pressure rises, puffiness appears and the aging process accelerates. Due to the peculiarities of female genetics in the fair sex, magnesium deficiency occurs 30% more often than in men. Therefore, it is important for women to take care of their health and prevent magnesium deficiency.

Children are very active, so the formation of abrasions and wounds on their skin is a common occurrence. For the speedy healing of injuries, you can use salt baths. Also, such procedures help children calm down before going to bed, get rid of nervousness and insomnia.

RESTRICTIONS (it is better to consult with your doctor):
all diseases in the acute stage – infectious, ENT, venereal, blood diseases, tuberculosis;
malignant tumors;
frequent bleeding;
normal pregnancy from the 26th week, and in the presence of pathology – at all times;
certain cardiovascular diseases – heart defects, hypertension, cerebral vascular sclerosis;
some diseases of the digestive system – acute stomach ulcer, intestines, polyps, attacks of cholelithiasis, cirrhosis of the liver, nervous – severe Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, respiratory system – bronchial asthma with severe attacks, purulent sputum;
certain diseases of bones, joints – polyarthritis with deformities;
some urological – chronic renal failure stage II and III and gynecological – ovarian cyst, bleeding erosion, cervical polyps disease;
severe forms of metabolic diseases;
skin diseases – all fungal diseases, scabies, psoriasis in the acute stage.

10 ways to use Epsom salts

1. Bath

Fill the tub with warm water.

The temperature of the water should be 36 – 38 degrees C.

This is how the beneficial substances are best absorbed into your body;

Add Epsom salts to bath (0.3-0.5 kg)

Stir until completely dissolved;

Drink a glass of water before taking a bath.

Take a bath in a sitting position, being in the water along the line of the heart.

Bath time – 15-20 minutes, after completion it is recommended to take a cool shower.

If you wrap your body in a blanket immediately after leaving the bathroom, you can extend the detoxification process through sweat for a couple more hours.

It is necessary to carry out the procedure before going to bed, preferably listening to soothing music and turning on soft light;

Face and body care

Bitter salt is useful for people with oily skin that is prone to acne.

2. Washing the face with magnesium water.

Wash your face morning and evening with a solution of magnesium sulfate diluted in a small amount of cold water.

3. Face and body scrub.

  1. Add salt to the shower gel, wash your body in the shower.
  2. Add some salt to the face wash and scrub your face

4. Magnesium salt in the bath

Apply Epsom salts to the body and sit in the steam room for a while.

Salt will quickly be absorbed and excess liquid will begin to actively leave the body.

This treatment cleanses the skin and assists in the overall detoxification of the body.

The skin becomes clear and elastic, its appearance improves.

Hair Care

For those who want healthy, strong hair, Epsom salts are indispensable.

There are several ways to use it:

5. To add shine to hair

Add salt to hair conditioner in a 1:1 ratio and leave on hair for 5 minutes.

6. For hair strengthening (against hair loss)

Add Epsom salt to the shampoo in a ratio of 1:1.

Apply this mixture to dry hair and leave for 2-3 minutes, rinse.

7. As dry shampoo

Rub dry Epsom salts into hair roots.

They will not become shiny and clean and will delay shampooing by a day.

If you carry out such procedures for a month or more, the interval between washing your hair will increase.

It is important to remember that magnesium sulfate, like dry shampoo, will crumble for some time, so after the procedure it is better to shake off the dry residue thoroughly.

Hand and foot care

8. Epsom salt foot bath

will quickly soothe and relax tired feet.

Soften calluses and corns on the feet.

Fill a foot bath with warm water.

Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salts to the water and mix with your feet.

Rub the salt on your feet to dissolve the salt and soothe the sore areas.

It is recommended to keep your feet in a bath with a magnesium solution for 15-30 minutes

To enhance the effect, you can add a few drops of essential oil to the water.

Tea tree essential oil will speed up the healing of wounds and skin lesions.

Essential oil of MINT will improve microcirculation.

Eucalyptus essential oil will reduce pain in the joints

9. Hand baths with Epsom salt

prevent the appearance of various age-related changes: dryness, sagging, fine wrinkles.

Add bitter salt to hand baths at the rate of 1 tsp. salt per 1 liter of water. Keep your hands in the solution for 15-20 minutes.

To achieve aristocratic hand grooming, you can add 1-3 drops of peppermint essential oil to the solution

To get the effect, do such procedures in a course, at least 10 baths

10. Baths for children

You can bathe children in Epsom salt baths from 1 month after the umbilical wound has completely healed.