Patient: I have a dark purple lump that has formed on my labia on the inside. It is about the size of a green pea and is firm to the touch. It doesn’t hurt or cause much irritation except in severe hot weather. Can you tell me what this is and what has caused it. I have never had any type of std’s or anything like that. I am 60 years old.
Symptoms: No symptoms
Doctor: A firm to hard lump in labia may be a bartholin’s abscess or cyst as well. There are glands in the vaginal lips called B artholin’s glands. The Bartholin’s glands, also known as the major vestibular glands, are a pair of glands between the vagina and the vulva that produce lubrication (mucus-like fluid) when stimulated. Along with the lesser vestibular glands, they aid in sexual intercourse by reducing friction. The lubricating fluid goes from the Bartholin’s glands down tiny tubes (ducts) which are about 0.8 inches (2 cm) long into the lower part of the entrance to the vagina. If there is blockage in these ducts the lubricant accumulates, they expand and a cyst is formed – a Bartholin’s cyst. When the cyst is formed there is a risk of infection in the area, and a subsequent abscess. Thus, as explained, blockage in the main duct from the gland causes a cyst to develop. This is felt as a painless, hard swelling. However, at your age there is increased chances of other harmful and potentially serious problems, including cancers. Please take the condition seriously and consult your gynecologist to rest your mind at peace.