I’ve been good to my female parts all of my life. I go to the doctor regularly and keep a tidy house. I’ve been in a monogamous relationship for over twenty years, and my lady garden has not received many visitors—either foreign or domestic. And because of my mother’s nightmare-inducing warnings about Toxic Shock Syndrome, I fastidiously clean “down there” and obsessively change all of my feminine hygiene products.
Recently, however, my vulva betrayed me. She allowed passage to a very unwelcome guest.
The uninvited jerk is a Bartholin’s cyst. If you dare, you can read about this type of cyst (and see a very NSFW picture), or you can just trust me when I tell you that it’s caused by a generally harmless blockage in the duct of the Bartholin’s gland. (We like this gland; it’s the one that provides some natural lubrication. Cue the sexy music…) Because of the location of this wondrous gland and the not-so-wondrous blockage, however, the cyst is on my labia.
ON. MY. FUCKING. LABIA.
Naturally, I named my cyst Bart.
The first time Bart showed up, I told a friend about him. She assumed Mr. Foxy had had an affair and had given me a sexually transmitted disease. (She’s not my friend anymore.)
Bart is not sexually transmitted. He is just another piece of fabulous female bullshit that we women have to deal with. Some Internet sites will tell you that Bart is common; some will tell you that he’s rare. (I’m confused—isn’t everything on the Internet true?) But even if it’s a rare medical condition, it seems to be more likely than not that I will get it. Along with my anosmia, my MTHFR mutation, and other random, “rare” maladies and reactions, I’ve heard, “Boy, I’ve NEVER seen this before,” from a doctor more times than Gwyneth Paltrow has attempted to convince us that she’s a common woman.
And much like Gwyneth loves her steamed vagina, Bart, it seems, loves my vulva. His initial visit was on my labia majora (the outer lips). This time, he’s having a party on my labia minora (the inner ones). (You didn’t know you were going to get an anatomy lesson today, did you?)
Since he is my constant companion, I find myself frequently talking to him:
Me: “Pssst. You’re an asshole.”
Me: “Hey, dickwad, when are you going to leave?”
Me: “You know what they say about seafood and houseguests, don’t cha, you little fucker?”
Don’t worry. He doesn’t talk back to me. That would just be weird.
Let me be explicit (because this story wasn’t enough already): Bart SUCKS. And clearly not in the good way. He is annoying, uncomfortable, and a little painful. Kind of like Roseanne’s rendition of the National Anthem.
My doctor suggested sitz baths to help ease the discomfort. You know, where you sit in a warm bath several times a day for four to five days. Seriously? I’m lucky if I shower a few times A WEEK. I don’t have time to soak my bare ass in the tub like a batch of rehydrating kidney beans.
Mr. Foxy has generously offered to help massage Bart and administer warm compresses. Uh huh. I’m certain my vaginal health is the top thing on his mind. And Bart needs to be nuked, not pampered.
Have I made it clear how much I hate Bart?
I realize that there are far worse ailments than Bart. You might even try to convince me that an episiotomy is more painful and more annoying. Having had my perineum slashed twice myself, I’d argue that Bart is 98237498375498745 times worse. I mean, with an episiotomy, you’re all messed up down there anyway—just spray, pat, and let it chill for a week or so. You’re recuperating from having a baby anyway, and you’re not even remotely interested in sex.
That there is the big rub. I’m not recuperating. I’m not post-partum. And I’m very interested in having sex. But Bart is a giant pain in my ass. Well, my labia. (You know what I mean.) With Bart hanging around, there will be no sex. NONE AT ALL.
Sorry about that, Mr. Foxy. Never mind the discomfort. I just don’t do threesomes.
Photo Credit: barabasa / 123RF Stock Photo