The Bartholin's glands also called Bartholin glands or greater vestibular glands are two pea sized compound alveolar glands  located slightly posterior and to the left and right of the opening of the vagina. They secrete mucus to lubricate the vagina and are homologous to bulbourethral glands in males. However, while Bartholin's glands are located in the superficial perineal pouch in females, bulbourethral glands are located in the deep perineal pouch in males.
A more recent article on Bartholin gland cyst and gland abscess is available. Bartholin's glands are located bilaterally at the posterior introitus and drain through ducts that empty into the vestibule at approximately the 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions. These normally pea-sized glands are palpable only if the duct becomes cystic or a gland abscess develops.
A cyst is a sac filled with liquid or semisolid material that forms under the skin or somewhere inside the body. The Bartholin's gland is one of two small glands on each side of the labia minora, just outside of the opening to the vagina. During sexual arousal, the Bartholin's gland releases a lubricating fluid.
The Bartholin's glands are located symmetrically at the posterior region of the vaginal opening and play an important role in the female reproductive system. These two pea-sized glands are involved in mucus secretion and vaginal lubrication. Cyst formation in the glands is common and results from mucus build-up in gland ducts.
Most women with vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia VIN have no symptoms at all. When a woman with VIN does have a symptom, it is most often itching that does not go away or get better. An area of VIN may look different from normal vulvar skin.
Bartholin gland cysts are mucus-filled sacs that can form when the glands located near the opening to the vagina are blocked. Cysts are usually painless, but if large, they can interfere with sitting, walking, and sexual intercourse. Doctors may create a permanent opening from the cyst to the outside or may surgically remove the cyst.
Back to Health A to Z. A Bartholin's cyst, also called a Bartholin's duct cyst, is a small fluid-filled sac just inside the opening of a woman's vagina. However, if the cyst grows very large, it can become noticeable and uncomfortable.