Aunt Vadge: Bartholin abscess stitches still hurt

Hello Aunt Vadge, 

Several months ago I was diagnosed with a Bartholin abscess and it was very painful. It was of a size of a pea and the colour was whitish yellow. I was on medication for few days but the medications didn’t help to  heal it. And the pain was unbearable.

So I went through a minute surgery in which the doctors drained it off. Now it has been more than 6 months since I had any vaginal problems, but since 3-4 days, there is pain in those stitches. I’m scared that it may re-appear, because it is very painful.

What am I supposed to do? I do masturbate often, but is that the reason behind its regrowth?

Age: 18
Country: Sydney Australia

Dear Scared,

Because it has been so long since you had the Bartholin’s abscess, and there is new pain in that area, I suggest you go back and visit your doctor to be examined. There may be a build-up of something in there that needs clearing. This might be something you need to care for throughout your life, if for some reason you are susceptible to these types of cysts.

Frequent masturbating can create extra fluids that can become trapped in the Bartholin’s glands or ducts, resulting in the possibility of cysts developing again. This is because your Bartholin’s glands produce your slick wetness when you are turned on, providing easy entry to the entrance of the vagina by making it slippery.

But, if you need to masturbate, then you need to masturbate! Stopping masturbating is not the solution, but you may find that changing the way you masturbate could help. Talk to your gynaecologist about this. They will have some specific advice for you regarding your practices.

My advice is to be examined to see what is going on. Pain in old stitches is never a good sign, and it may indicate another cyst has developed.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge


Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
Read more about Jessica and My Vagina's origin story.
Jessica Lloyd - Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

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