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Benign Bartholin gland disorders
See also in: Anogenital
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Benign Bartholin gland disorders

See also in: Anogenital
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Contributors: David Foster MD, Mary Gail Mercurio MD, Lynne Margesson MD, Mitchell Linder MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

The Bartholin glands are paired pea-sized glands located at the base of the labia minora. They drain through ducts that empty into the lower one-third of the vulvar vestibule at the 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock positions. The Bartholin glands begin functioning at puberty and provide moisture for the vestibule. They are nonpalpable unless they become cystic or an abscess or tumor develops.

Bartholin gland duct cysts and abscesses are fairly common problems in women of reproductive age, and may occur in one or both of the glands. A duct may become obstructed secondary to inflammation or trauma, resulting in dilatation with glandular fluid and subsequent cyst formation. Infection of either a cyst or an otherwise healthy gland may result in an abscess or adenitis. These abscesses are commonly polymicrobial, although Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a common isolate. The patient will present with a tender, erythematous vulvar mass and may complain of dyspareunia or pain with walking or sitting. If left untreated, abscesses usually spontaneously rupture after 3-4 days. Bartholin gland duct cysts are often asymptomatic. If they cause discomfort, it is typically less severe than with an abscess. Bartholin gland adenitis refers to inflammation of the gland without abscess formation. Adenitis may be sterile or infectious in etiology.

Codes

ICD10CM:
N75.1 – Abscess of Bartholin's gland

SNOMEDCT:
299692008 – Disorder of Bartholin gland

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Last Reviewed: 06/20/2017
Last Updated: 06/21/2017
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Benign Bartholin gland disorders
See also in: Anogenital
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Benign Bartholin gland disorders : Cyst, Labia minora/vestibule
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