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Golf ball size lump in groin
An_241681 posted:
I am 22 y/o female and I discovered a large, golf-ball size lump right to the opening of my vagina on one side. It is most prominent when I squat but I can still feel it when I stand. It is literally right next to the opening, not on the thigh or the outer edges of the pelvic region.

I have had this since at least the beginning of November. It causes me no pain at all, even when I press on it. It is not discolored and it is not warm. It is soft like pressing on my abdomen as oppose to pushing on muscle and it does not feel like it is fluid-filled like a blister would feel.

I had an abnormal pap in October and it was negative for the HPV they test for. I was told to follow up in six months. No biopsy planned at this time. I am negative for STDs. I do not know what cell types they found. I had the STD testing approximately a week or so after I had sex. We both tested negative for STDs in the past.

I usually do not run fevers, even when I have had significant food poisoning. I do shave down there and I have had in the past had infected hair follicles, but not recently that I remember, I do not know if lymph nodes can be golf-ball sized.

Another thing is could it be a hernia? I do a lot of very heavy lifting for my job, but I don't remember getting injured recently. I heard that femoral hernias are common in women and it sounds like it would be almost in the right location for one.

I last had sex in middle of October and have had 2 periods since then plus the pap. I have been on the patch to help regulate painful periods/ovarian cysts, but my periods have been lighter but longer than usual. About 7 days of pinkish red blood with light blood flow (but not spotting) with barely any clots compared to my normal of 5 days 3 of which were blackish-red blood filled with clots, heavy flow, and intense pain.

I was off the patch for November due to a mixup in getting my script to a new pharmacy. I was on the patch when I had sex and had a period about 2 weeks after. I do not think I am pregnant, but have not tested it and being pregnant should not be the cause of the lump. I am back on the patch now and I started this round of the patch the first day of my period.

No abnormal discharge.

I have had ovarian cysts last year. One was suspected because I had light bleeding for 30 days after an intense abdominal pain episode that lasted for about 8 minutes. The 2nd one was confirmed via a CT scan because I had abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting, but the nausea and vomiting was more likely related to eating a frozen sausage pizza cold and the abdominal pain was an injured muscle. I am not feeling pain and the 2nd cyst did not cause me pain to warrant having a follow up appointment despite the doctor calling me after the hospital forwarded the CT scan.

I am kind of leaning towards maybe a hernia due to the lack of pain and how it seems to go down when I stand up. I think I'd have more pain with a swollen gland, lymph node, or hair follicle.

I am going to arrange an appointment with the doctor in January.
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear An: It sounds like you are surmising correctly. It does not sounds like a follicular mass (which when they are really infected can enlarge to be a carbuncle), nor an STD. There are some other POSSIBILITIES:

1. Bartholin's gland cyst--these arise from an obstruction of the Bartholins gland, located near the bottom of the labia. These are soft, can be non-tender, and can expand to the size of a walnut--or even golf ball. Here is a link to more information and a picture:

2. Hernia of the labia--these are VERY uncommon with only a few reports in the medical literature. They are often an extension of an inguinal hernia.

3. Fibroma--this is a benign growth. Again very uncommon.

4. Varicose vein of the vulva---doubt this as they are usually dark colored like varicose veins of the leg.

5. Subcutaneous cyst

Bottom line, this is one that will have to be seen by your GYN. If it begins to expand in size or increase in pain you should probably be seen before January.

rhondamay responded:
It is possible that this is a Bartholin cyst. My sister had one when she was away at college and it was in the same area you described, adjacent to your vaginal opening. These cysts occur from a clogged duct and are not an STD. My sister went to the doctor and was told to soak in hot baths and after a few days the thing shrunk down and caused no further problems. I visit to the doctor would probably be the best course of action. I think the Bartholin glands provide the natural lubrication that appears when you are sexually aroused.

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