IT HAPPENED TO ME: I had a Bartholin's Gland Cyst (GUESS WHERE YOU GET THOSE)
I seldom get sick, and when I do I don’t take it very seriously, as it always seems to work itself out with the aid of garlic, ginger, and rest.
So when my new lover started to make the moves toward a roll in the sack the other day, I enthusiastically agreed despite my sore throat and sniffles. I performed oral sex on him before we had intercourse, a tawdry detail that will become relevant later.
We finished up, cuddled, and laughed, and then I gave him a ride home, which turned into a lengthy conversation with his roommate, which turned into me crawling into bed hours later, exhausted, without taking a shower.
I woke up uncharacteristically early and sat up in bed, my leg tucked under me. I immediately felt what I thought was a bruise between my legs and frantically scanned my memory for any fences I had tried unsuccessfully to hop, or horses I had recently rode, anything that might have bruised
I placed my hand there, gingerly, and DIED A MILLION TIMES when I felt AN EGG-SIZED LUMP high up in my crotch between the crease of my leg and the opening to my genitals.
With the help of my phone’s camera, I inspected this terrifying thing, but it didn’t LOOK like anything -- there was no rash, no pus, NOTHING except a little swelling to indicate what felt like a testicle rolling around under my skin.
It was painless, so I didn’t freak out TOO hard while I consulted Dr. Internet. Without much trouble, I determined that this motherlover was a Bartholin's Cyst.
Wanna learn about vaginas? Here’s something: There are two tiny glands on either side of the opening of the vagina (Bartholin Glands, for those who have not yet connected the dots). They dump a small amount of lubricant via extremely short, tiny ducts to ease the entry of whatever you enjoy putting in there.
Because the ducts are so close to the opening, they are quite susceptible to infection by errant bacteria. PARTICULARLY Streptococcus which, you guessed it, is the bacteria responsible for sore throats. Should this bacteria find its way to the opening of these eensy-weensy ducts, it can infect and clog them, thereby causing fluid to back up into the gland, which swells to the size of golf ball or worse.
God basically penalized (hehe) me for giving my date a bj while sick. You try to do anything nice.
So, since I am the type who takes garlic and ginger for a cold instead of Nyquil, I took a look at home remedies. Sitz baths, compresses, tea tree oil and witch hazel. Easy. I have all that stuff on hand.
The helpful stories of other women who have gone through this said encouraging things like, “Sat in the bath and it drained on its own! No weird smell or color, just the normal fluid that my body makes when I get wet.”
HOWEVER, just out of curiosity, I took a look at the conventional medical treatments, which include CUTTING OPEN MY FREAKING LABIA to get to the damn thing, and then LANCING IT and LEAVING A CATHETER to help it drain.
Most of the women were using phrases like, “I will take natural childbirth over going through that again any day” and “They needed three nurses to hold me down.”
So guess who has spent the past three days alternating between sitting in a bowl of steaming water and spread-eagled on the couch with a hot pack on my vagina?
It hasn’t done a thing yet. I called the gyno in my new town where I have no history with anyone, and the first appointment I could get was a week from now. I made it, but I have to admit that I hope this thing spontaneously drains on its own.
At least it can’t get any bigger. (Right, God???)
I will send in an update on how that all goes down, in the meantime, pray with me that it does NOT INCLUDE SURGERY ON MY VAGINAL GLANDS.
The other annoying thing about this is that I haven’t seen and have barely heard from my date since said bone sesh. And, believe me, it’s been AWESOME to be stuck on the couch for three days, with a runny nose and swollen vagina, and get to wonder through the endless hours of the day whether he’s still interested in me or not.
WELP, they say life won’t give you what you can’t handle, and I’ve learned that Louis Theroux documentaries and gelato make the time fly by.