A review of the management of diseases of the Bartholin's gland

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2008 Feb;28(2):161-5. doi: 10.1080/01443610801912865.


Bartholin's abscess and cyst account for 2% of all gynaecological visits per annum. This article reviews the anatomy, epidemiology and pathophysiology of the Bartholin's gland. The management of Bartholin's abscess including antibiotic use in the early stage of the condition together with options for surgical intervention are discussed and in so doing the variation of clinical practice in other countries is considered. The use of the word catheter, carbon dioxide laser are compared with traditional surgical techniques of incision and drainage and marsupialisation. The outcomes of treatment particularly the high recurrence rate (2-25%) and the associated morbidity are reviewed. Finally the issue of cancerous pathology as an aetiology is highlighted in the postmenopausal age group.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnosis*
  • Abscess / epidemiology
  • Abscess / therapy*
  • Bartholin's Glands*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans