Your message was posted a long time ago but I felt I should do my part and input my experience for...
Your message was posted a long time ago but I felt I should do my part and input my experience for everyone since I've been through the struggle and know how much info I wanted on a bartholin abscess...
I'm 22 and I've had 3 bartholin abscesses and I've felt a few small cysts here and there but none last more than two days.
I had my first abscess when I was 21. I had intercourse with no condom (not smart, yall) and went boating the next day. I didn't have much time to shower so I rinsed, went to the lake, and bam. Got my first bartholin abscess. I was at this lake for a solid week and had no service, no idea what was going on, and I was in agonizing pain and had no adult i felt comfortable confiding in, so I toughed it out and tried to stay positive. One week later I desperately studied what was wrong with me on my way home(by this point the pain was so bad I asked to lay in the trunk on the way home and said it was cause I had terrible cramps lol it was a 4 hr drive but it was better than sitting up in the middle seat between two boys). When I got home I immediately started salt baths (didn't have epson salt so I used regular salt and ran the water as hot as I could handle up to my waist. I did salt baths 3x a day and hot compress in between (i didn't own a legitimate one so I took a cloth, soaked it in water, put it in a plastic baggy, and heated it for 50 sec. Don't heat it with the bag closed, close it after you've heated it and try to get as much air out). It popped on its own on the second day after I got out of the tub and the feeling of relief was amazing and immediate. You will know when it has popped, trust me. After that for recovery I just showered twice a day (I usually don't lol) and made sure to wash my downstairs with my hands, no soap for a week.
My second abscess..about 5 months later I had sex with a guy and once again didn't properly wash my downstairs cause I had to leave to catch a flight and travelled the whole day. I could feel the same symptoms creeping during my flight. Chills, feverish, my vagina was starting to get tender. When I got to my destination I immediately showered and lo and behold I was given my second bartholin abscess. This one was pretty bad, lasted a week and I was back in school and didn't have a tub so I couldn't take care of myself as well as I could before at home. So I bought a big bowl, brought it with me in my shower, filled it with the hottest water I could tolerate, and generously poured salt in that sucker. As I would squat in this bowl I would gently massage it and kinda gently rub where the skin was the thinnest. I would do this once in the morning before class and 2x if I could at night and did the same type of heat compressions as well. Oh, did I mention that I was on my period during this? Yea. And I'm stubborn and don't like to spend money so I still used the tampons I already had instead of buying pads. Ridiculous pain. Finally by I wanna say the 5th day after a long day of heat compressions, and salt bowls in the shower, I went to go to the bathroom and gave out a huge sneeze. I almost blacked out from the pressure it forced on my abscess but I could immediately feel that same relieving feeling and looked and saw it burst. I'm not a religious person but this had me thanking the good lord out loud and crying with joy. I know my roommates heard me but I did not care. There is no feeling more relieving as a bursting, draining bartholin abscess.
Now for my third! At this point I've had two on my left gland and one on my right. I named the ones that showed up on my left, Lucinda and the one that showed up on my right, roxy. Just to lighten the mood. Cause this one made me cry. A lot. This one, as you would probably guess, I had sex. At this point I've learned my lesson enough I was very clean, the only thing that was different was he tried to go in while I was dry. It hurt at first but it worked out and I didn't think anything of it. The next day I was sore but no symptoms showed. The next day it was getting more sore but no fever feeling or chills. The next day I went swimming with my friends in a large river and the rest you can probably guess.. that night I was in so much pain (this was two days ago, mind you) I went home and wanted to punch myself so bad for being such an idiot knowing the pain I was about to endure. Took a salt bath, did the compression that night. Woke up the next morning not surprised to see it bigger than the night before. I have work and taking it off is not an option. I took 800 mg ibuprofen which hardly helped. I was limping everywhere I walked in the office. My coworkers gave me hell (they're all men) but they're cool enough (and I don't care) for me to tell them 'I'm on my period and have terrible back aches.' That night I did the same thing. Hot salt bath, compression, more ibuprofen. Then today happened. This abscess was the biggest and most painful one I had yet on my left gland aka Lucinda. It swelled up so big you could see it hanging. It literally looked like I had a small penis tucked between my legs. I was crying in the shower wondering how I was going to tough it out and go to work. I texted my boss and told him I was going to have to come in late until my ibuprofen kicked in for my 'back aches.' Luckily, his kids were graduating and he wasn't gonna be in work anyways so that meant I had the day off. Hallelujah! I took hot bath after hot bath, the heat compressions hurt like hell but kept trying to do that. Rubbed some olive oil, baking soda, and salt on the abscess and did more heat compressions. Nothing. No burst, didn't even feel like it was going to. Finally, I reached my most desperate point. I do not recommend anyone else to do this but this is what I did. I asked my sister to poke a hole where the skin was thinnest (at the far end of the abscess from my clitoris). I realize how crazy and idiotic this sounds but I was desperate. Which I'm sure you are too, Reader, if you're reading this now. Which is also why I'm not apologizing for any 'TMIs' because I know how desperate I was for every detail and info I could get to treat this terrible pain. Anyways, my little sister was excited for the task, she's a pimple popper fanatic. I'm not. She got her best pocket knife, sterilized it, I got in a hot shower to try and relax my abscess. I laid down on my bed with towels underneath me, a cloth in my mouth to bite, and she went ahead and poked one hole in and guck immediately came oozing out. The only thing was I wasn't feeling that glorious relieving feeling I felt the previous times with Lucinda (left gland) and Roxy (right gland). I asked her to take a picture of the cut and I could see it was much smaller compared to when my abscesses burst on their own. So I gird my loins and told her to do it again but this time poke the same hole but perpendicular to the last cut so it looked like an 'X.' This way the hole was bigger and she didn't have to slice, just poke. Let me mention real quick, the pokes weren't nearly as painful as they were scary to me. As soon as she made that second poke I started feeling relief. She gently pressed around until it was as empty as she could get it. The more gunk that oozed out the less painful it was when she would press on it. I immediately took a shower to quickly wash off all the gunk that oozed all over my downstairs then hopped in the tub and took a hot salt bath for 15 min. I feel so much better now just so completely drained from all the stress and pain that has passed. Luckily, i had some antibiotics left over from a previous dentist visit I had and popped some of that to prevent infection. I'm gonna keep a close eye on it from here for recovery. No sex, no working out, just taking it easy. Shower in the morning, bath at night. Hopefully a week from now I'll be good as new. Oh yea and special shoutout to my sis. You the real MVP..
So. I understand the pain you're going through and the depression and hopelessness that follows it. It's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. What's shameful is that there is no or not enough research (at least that I've heard of) going into this excruciating yet common illness. It nearly breaks my heart but mostly enrages me reading about how many women were turned away by doctors. Or the procedures they had to go through without any anesthesia. I've read multiple women say it before and I'll say it myself; if a man or men had an excruciating cyst or abscess growing off their peepee you bet your ass they're going to want some damn anesthesia for the pain and procedure to remove it and to be honest, I think they'd have a better chance of getting it. Hypothetically speaking of course. I couldn't believe some women wouldn't get any pain relief. Which is why I never bothered going to the hospital despite the pain I had to endure (and again cause I don't like to spend money unless I absolutely have to. I'm a poor college student okay). So keep your head up and fight the pain like a girl cause we all know no man could endure pain like this. Hope this helps, I've never commented on any of these. Just read each and every one of them lol. Thank you to the women that told their experiences and remedies. The least I could do is return the favor. Hopefully this is useful information for someone. Good luck y'all.