Definition: The Bartholin's glands are a pair of pea-sized glands on either side of the vaginal opening. They secret a small amount of fluid that moistens the area. (Contrary to speculation, they are probably not more active during sexual activity.) Sometimes the ducts draining these glands become clogged, creating a round cyst, which feels like a lump, and can become irritated, or even infected. This cyst is NOT cancerous. Unless it is causing uncomfortable symptoms, it is not usually treated.
Rarely, cancer can form in a Bartholin's gland. About 4% of vulvar cancer is of this type, and vulvar cancer as a whole is less than 1% of all the cancers a woman can get.
Pronunciation: BAR toe linz • (noun)
Common Misspellings: Bartolin's Barthollins Bartholans Bartholin
What is a Bartholin's Gland Cyst? from Amercian Family Physician
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