Tag Archives: infection

Bartholin Cyst

What is a Bartholin gland cyst? 

— A Bartholin gland cyst is a small sac of fluid that forms when the opening of a Bartholin gland is blocked. All women and girls have 2 Bartholin glands just below the opening of the vagina.

The Bartholin glands make small amounts of fluid. The fluid helps keep the vulva moist. (The vulva is the area around the opening of the vagina that includes the labia.) If something blocks the opening of a Bartholin gland, fluid can build up and form a cyst. This usually happens in just one gland, not both at once.

What are the symptoms of a Bartholin gland cyst? 

— Most women notice a lump in the vulva, but Bartholin gland cysts often do not cause any other symptoms. If they do, the main symptoms are pain or discomfort when a woman walks, sits, or has sex.

If a Bartholin gland cyst gets infected, it can form an abscess. An abscess is a pocket of pus that can cause a lump to form on the vulva. Symptoms of an abscess include:

●Severe pain – It might be painful to walk. You also might not be able to sit or have sex.

●Swelling

●Redness

Should I see a doctor or nurse? 

— See your doctor or nurse if:

●You see or feel a lump in the vulva.

●It is painful to walk, sit, or have sex.

Will I need tests? 

— Maybe. If you have an abscess, the doctor or nurse will send a small sample of the pus to a lab for testing. This can show what type of germ caused the infection. You might need antibiotics for an infection caused by certain germs.

If you are older than 40, the doctor or nurse might do a test called a “biopsy” to check for cancer. (Cancer in a Bartholin gland is rare, but it can happen.) In this test, the doctor takes a small sample of tissue from the area. Then he or she sends the tissue to a lab. Another doctor looks at it under a microscope to check for cancer.

How is a Bartholin gland cyst treated?

— Treatment depends on your age and whether the cyst is causing symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, you might not need any treatment. Otherwise, treatments can include:

Draining the cyst or abscess

– In this procedure, the doctor cuts a small hole to let fluid or pus out. Then he or she puts a tiny balloon in the hole to keep it from closing completely. The balloon is connected to a tiny tube called a “catheter” that helps fluid drain from the Bartholin gland. The doctor takes the balloon out in about 1 month. It leaves a small opening where fluid can drain. This procedure is often done in a doctor’s office. But if you have a large or deep abscess, you might need treatment in the hospital.

Antibiotics are usually not needed. But you might get them in some cases, like if you have had an abscess before or are at high risk of the infection spreading.

●Surgery – Doctors can do this if draining fluid and putting in a balloon does not work well. A doctor can make a new opening to help the Bartholin gland drain fluid. Or he or she can remove the gland and any cyst or abscess. But surgery has a higher risk of side effects than other treatments, so doctors don’t do it as often.

Sepsis

What is sepsis? 

Sepsis is a serious illness that happens when an infection travels through the whole body. Sepsis can happen in anyone, but it is more likely to happen in people who:

●Are older or bedridden

●Are staying in the hospital or have had recent surgery

●Have thin tubes such as catheters or IVs in their body

●Have a weak infection-fighting system (for example because they are being treated for cancer)

Sepsis can come from an infection in any part of the body, but it is most often linked to infections in the:

●Lungs (called pneumonia)

●Kidneys (called urinary tract infection)

●Skin (called cellulitis)

●Bowel (called colitis) – Sepsis caused by colitis is especially likely after a course of antibiotics.

Sepsis needs to be treated quickly. If it is not treated, it can become severe. When this happens, it is called “septic shock.” Septic shock is life-threatening.

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

 — Symptoms of sepsis can include:

●A fever – But some people get a low body temperature instead of a fever.

●Chills

●Breathing that is very fast

●A heartbeat that is very fast

Symptoms of severe sepsis can include:

●Acting confused or feeling light-headed

●Trouble breathing

●Cool clammy skin or red flushed skin

●Poor appetite

●Urinating much less than usual

●Different types of skin rashes – One type is a lacy, purple rash that is usually on the legs, but can also be on the arms. Another rash looks like red or purple spots on the skin that do not go away when touched. These spots are usually on the chest and legs, but can also be in other areas.

●Other problems with the heart, kidneys, or brain

People who have septic shock have many of the symptoms listed above, plus their blood pressure gets low and they sometimes pass out.

Should I see the doctor or nurse? 

— Yes, as soon as possible. Sepsis can develop when you are at home or in the hospital. In either case, you (or the person with you) should call the doctor or nurse if you:

●Have a fever and chills, and have any of the symptoms above or look very sick

●Have had a recent surgery or hospital stay, and now are sick or have an infection

If your doctor or nurse is unable to see you immediately, or you can’t reach him or her, you should go to the nearest emergency room.

Will I have tests? 

— Probably. Your doctor will learn about your symptoms and do an exam. He or she will likely do tests to look for an infection, see if the infection has spread to your blood, and see how serious your condition is. These tests can include:

●Blood tests, including tests called “blood cultures”

●Urine tests

●Lab tests – For example, if you are coughing up mucus, your doctor can test your mucus for bacteria.

●X-rays or other imaging tests – Imaging tests create pictures of the inside of your body. These might include a test to look at your heart, called an echocardiogram (or “echo” for short).

How is sepsis treated? 

— Sepsis and septic shock are usually treated in the hospital with:

●Antibiotics that go in your vein through a thin tube called an “IV”

●Fluids that go in your vein through an IV

●Other medicines to treat your condition – For example, if your blood pressure is too low, your doctor can give you medicine to raise it.

If an IV or catheter in your body is causing your sepsis, your doctor might take the IV or catheter out.

Some people are also treated with surgery. If you have a severe infection of the skin or tissue under the skin, your doctor might do surgery to remove the infected areas.

Some people with severe septic shock might need a blood transfusion. A blood transfusion is when a person gets blood that was given (donated) by another person. But this is rare.

Can sepsis be prevented? 

— You can help prevent sepsis by:

●Getting treated right away if you get an infection

●Avoiding infections – One way to avoid infections is to get the vaccines your doctor recommends. Vaccines can prevent serious or deadly infections. If you have a child, make sure he or she gets the recommended vaccines, too.

Urinary Tract Infection – UTI

What is the urinary tract? 

— The urinary tract is the group of organs in the body that handle urine. The urinary tract includes the:

Kidneys, 2 bean-shaped organs that filter the blood to make urine

Bladder, a balloon-shaped organ that stores urine

Ureters, 2 tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder

Urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body

What are urinary tract infections? 

— Urinary tract infections, also called “UTIs,” are infections that affect either the bladder or the kidneys:

Bladder infections are more common than kidney infections. They happen when bacteria get into the urethra and travel up into the bladder. The medical term for bladder infection is “cystitis.”

Kidney infections happen when the bacteria travel even higher, up into the kidneys. The medical term for kidney infection is “pyelonephritis.”

Both bladder and kidney infections are more common in women than men.

What are the symptoms of a bladder infection? 

— The symptoms include:

Pain or a burning feeling when you urinate

The need to urinate often

The need to urinate suddenly or in a hurry

Blood in the urine

What are the symptoms of a kidney infection?

The symptoms of a kidney infection can include the symptoms of a bladder infection, but kidney infections can also cause:

Fever

Back pain

Nausea or vomiting

How do I find out if I have a urinary tract infection? 

— Call your doctor or nurse. Sometimes, he or she can tell if you have a urinary tract infection just by learning about your symptoms.

Your doctor or nurse might do a simple urine test. If he or she thinks you might have a kidney infection or is unsure what you have, he or she might also do a more involved urine test to check for bacteria.

How are urinary tract infections treated? 

— Most urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotic pills. These pills work by killing the germs that cause the infection.

If you have a bladder infection, you will probably need to take antibiotics for 3 to 7 days. If you have a kidney infection, you will probably need to take antibiotics for longer – maybe for up to 2 weeks. If you have a kidney infection, it’s also possible you will need to be treated in the hospital. Your symptoms should begin to improve within a day of starting antibiotics. But you should finish all the antibiotic pills you get. Otherwise your infection might come back. If needed, you can also take a medicine to numb your bladder. This medicine eases the pain caused by urinary tract infections. It also reduces the need to urinate.

What if I get bladder infections a lot? 

— First, check with your doctor or nurse to make sure that you are really having bladder infections. The symptoms of bladder infection can be caused by other things. Your doctor or nurse will want to see if those problems might be causing your symptoms.

But if you are really dealing with repeated infections, there are things you can do to keep from getting more infections. These include:

Avoiding spermicides (sperm-killing creams) – Spermicide is a form of birth control. It seems to increase the risk of bladder infections in some women, especially when used with a diaphragm. If you use spermicide and get a lot of bladder infections, you might want to try switching to a different form of birth control.

Drinking more fluid – This can help prevent bladder infections.

Urinating right after sex – Some doctors think this helps, because it helps flush out germs that might get into the bladder during sex. There is no proof it works, but it also cannot hurt.

Vaginal estrogen – If you are a woman who has already been through menopause, your doctor might suggest this. Vaginal estrogen comes in a cream or a flexible ring that you put into your vagina. It can help prevent bladder infections.

Antibiotics – If you get a lot of bladder infections, and the above methods have not helped, your doctor might give you antibiotics to help prevent infection. But taking antibiotics has downsides, so doctors usually suggest trying other things first.

Can cranberry juice or other cranberry products prevent bladder infections? 

— The studies suggesting that cranberry products prevent bladder infections are not very good. Other studies suggest that cranberry products do not prevent bladder infections. But if you want to try cranberry products for this purpose, there is probably not much harm in doing so.

Dr. Carlo Oller Board Certified Emergency Physician Please visit my website, www.DrER.tv make sure you subscribe, comment, and share! That is the best way to show your support.