Bartholin Abscess



  • The Bartholin glands are located inferiorly on either side of vaginal opening at the 4 and 8 o'clock positions
  • These glands play an important role in the female reproductive system
  • Main function is to secrete mucus and provide lubrication
  • Ducts open on sides of labial vestibule
  • Obstruction of duct usually produces a cyst presenting as a painless lump:
    • Infection of these cysts result in abscess formation


Most common in women aged 20–30 yr of age


  • Polymicrobial including anaerobic and aerobic microflora normally found in vagina:
    • Escherichia coli – most common
    • Bacteroides species
    • Staphylococcus aureus
    • Group B strep
    • Enterococcus species
  • Occasionally Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis

Risk Factors

  • Previous history of Bartholin cyst
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Vulva trauma

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