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Vagina boils vs cysts

Updated: May 11, 2022

What's the difference? What does it mean?

A vaginal boil or cyst is an inflammation of cells in the body. It is believed that it's an energetic cyst, encapsulated with chaotic energy that the body walls off in an attempt to keep it separate from the rest of the tissue. The encapsulated energy can be from a myriad of sources, including physical, mental, or emotional stress. Although both look similar and hold similar energy, they have differences. Understanding the difference can be beneficial to how best to approach treatment.



Bacterial infection.

Not an infection.

Red, swollen and painful.

Usually painless.

Large and grow quickly.

May be smaller and slower growing.

Filled with white-yellow pus.

Filled with fluid or other material.

The main difference between a cyst and a boil is that a boil is a bacterial or fungal infection. Most cysts are slow-growing and benign (noncancerous), and they aren't contagious. Boils, on the other hand, can spread bacteria or fungi on contact.

Vaginal boils are inflamed bumps filled with pus that form under the skin of your vagina. These bumps can develop on the outside of the vagina, in the pubic area, or can develop on the labia. While a vaginal cyst is a closed pocket that occurs on or under the lining of the vagina. It can be filled with air, fluid, pus, or other material.

There are 3 types of Vaginal Cysts.

  1. Vaginal inclusion cysts are the most common type of vaginal cysts. This type of cyst is caused by an injury to the wall of the vagina and may occur during childbirth or after a surgery

  2. The Gartner’s duct is a remnant organ in the female pelvis from a women’s fetal development. It can sometimes accumulate fluid and later develop into a cyst on the walls of the vagina.

  3. The Bartholin’s gland is located near the opening of the vagina on the vaginal lips (labia). If a flap of skin grows over this gland, fluid can back up into the gland and form a cyst, This cyst is usually painless. If the cyst becomes infected, it can become an abscess.

Bartholin's cyst might feel like a lump or mass near your vaginal opening. Although a cyst is usually painless. If the cyst becomes infected, you may experience:

  • Discomfort while walking or sitting

  • Pain during intercourse

  • Fever

Vaginal boils can rupture. They usually start small but can grow as big as a golf ball. If a group of boils forms it is called a carbuncle. Most will clear up on their own within a few weeks.

Some of the risk factors that lead to boil:

  • friction or rubbing from tight clothes

  • ingrown hairs from shaving

  • staph infection

You should never squeeze or pop a boil. This can cause the infection to spread. It will also make the pain and inflammation worse.

Why do keep getting boils in my private area?

Some women are simply prone to getting vaginal boils. If you shave change your razor often. An old or dull razor can harbor bacteria and cause ingrown hairs.

Vaginal boil and pregnancy

Pregnancy does not cause boils, but certain hormonal and immune system changes could contribute to boils during pregnancy. In most cases, you will still follow at-home treatment. Apply a warm compress to the area several times a day to encourage the boil to drain.

Sex and boil

If you have a boil near your vagina, it is best to avoid having sex. Since a boil is an infection, it could spread to your partner during sexual contact. Friction from sex can also irritate your boil.

As such how do you begin to treat a vaginal boil or vaginal cyst? For one, both can go away within weeks but if not, a vaginal cyst can be treated with a sitz bath. Vaginal boils can be treated by applying a warm, moist compress (like a damp washcloth) to the area three to four times per day. This helps draw the pus to the surface and encourages the boil to drain. Use a new washcloth each time. In addition, both can benefit from herbal steam and/or a herbal clay mask.

Reference: Mayo Clinic

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