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I have the re-occurence of bartholing cyst for the past 7 years. I have undergone 4 surgeries including 'marsupilization', the word catheter was placed for draing.....Still no cure. The pain is horrible and I cant sit,stand or walk! I have the cyst right now. Even after I got it drained by my ob/gyn, since the cyst/pus did not drain fully as the incision made was closed, I got the 2nd cyst immediately.

Any help/pointers will be highly appreciated.
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First Helper CysterSledge

replied August 24th, 2006
I have been suffering fromt his problem for 6 years now. I have had around 9 procedures done. I've tried everything I can think of. My doctors just look at me like they don't understand. Is there any way to have this problem permanently solved. It is to the point that sitting, standing, walking and even having sex is painful and uncomfortable all the time now. The gland has been swollen to the size of a large orange every since the last procedure. All i'm told is come back when you need it lanced again.
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Thanks for your patience!

replied September 3rd, 2006
Reoccurring Cyst
Listen, I am sooo sick of this cyst issue. My first one happened in 1998 (at 22). I had not the slightest clue what was going on and I had just moved a couple of months before and had to use the city hospital in which it took 9 hours to be seen and get the problem rectified. I was told gonorreha or mucus build up from sexual lubrication was the culprit --which it happened to be mucus.

Today I know when it is going to happen because during arousal I can feel light sensations on the left side, like something fighting to get through.

Last year my 4th one resurfaced. I've been informing my mother --and like other family and friends, they don't know what the situation is neither. According to my grandmother, i'm not washing properly. Go figure! As a result of my mother's advise (she's also a nurse) I used benadine to help me with sitz baths. I didn't know why all of a sudden my labia started to enlarge over the next few days. So now I was dealing with a bartholin cyst and an enlarged, hard swollen, round ball the size of 4 chicken gizzards. I thought I had grown a testicle! My whole left side was gross and enflamed. It freaked my husband out. I couldn't move, and he had to help me use the bathroom and wash. At times I had a large plastic bowl as a bed pan because I couldn't walk. I used a hot water bottle on it, ice and I took so many over the counter pain relievers that I thought my kidneys would go into shock.

I thought of everything from detergent to soap, and diet. But last year the doctor said that I was allergic to benadine and the culprit for the cyst was e coli. She said that if it resurfaced that I could have it taken out surgically and to do it before I get pregnant. I only need one gland for lubrication. Well guess what? The cyst is back at age 31-- the left side as usual.

The second time I had it drained was in the er and I was put to sleep. The 4th time I almost kicked my doctor (not on purpose) because I have a fear of needles near my vagina.

So if there's someone who can tell me how to calm my nerves while on the table, i'm listening. Will they do local anesthesia if I go to the gyn's office? Tonight, taking 2 motrin and laying low has cut the discomfort tremendously. I couldn't stand and cook so i've eaten cereal until my husband was able to do it.
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replied December 5th, 2006
Bartholin Support Group
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replied April 29th, 2009
Bartholin's Problem
I have a blocked Bartholin's gland as well. I went to my gyno and we first tried the word catheter and that didn't work. We then tried surgery where she made an opening and sewed back the edges to try to keep the gland open so liquid could pass through. This worked for about a month, and it has just filled back up again. I am now in the process of trying to figure out an alternative method. Because it's a blockage, I'm thinking maybe I should see an accupunture person. I'm also trying to change my diet to be a vegan hoping that may help, I've stopped drinking coffee, and I'm going to see a homeopathist. I just started investigating this alternative method so I post back if it works.
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replied June 22nd, 2009
I had a bartholins cyst (left side) removed about three years ago and now I think I have another one but this time on the right side.
What are the chances of that?
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replied July 14th, 2009
Bartholin's cyst/ abscess
For those of you who don't want to read the entire passage, here are some pointers from my experiences.
1.)Do your own research using a filter for educational and governmental sites!
2.)If you suspect you have a cyst, make sure the doctors office carries the word catheter. You're better off going to an OBGYN.
2.) Make sure that a culture is taken, that way you'll be given the proper treatment.
3.) Write down any questions you have, don't let the doctor leave the room until they are answered!

There is no guarantee the cyst/blockage won't come back, but these pointers will keep you from unnecessary run around, waste of money and unnecessary pain! I feel like doctors don't know enough, I wish there was more information on preventative measures! The lancing gets old.. my experience with the Bartholin's cysts have made me depressed, anxious, frustrated, and a bit traumatized. I've never experienced anything more painful, awkward, and embarrassing than this. I feel the only way out is to get the gland removed. I fear that it will happen in the other gland too, and am so sorry for anyone that's happened to!!! One problem at a time, for this one problem will consume you!

Oh boy, where to start... I'm 23 years old and have had reoccurring flare ups and infections for the past two years. I believe I am on my 8th time around as of a couple days ago. The first two times I had the abscess, I was treated by antibiotic. I had an infection while in Mexico, and it was a horrific experience. My cyst was the size of a golf ball, and the medical practice in Mexico is not up to par, I even went to an "Ameri-med" clinic!

I went to a doctor as soon as I arrived back to South Carolina. The doctor examined me, and put me on an antibiotic and, "hot soaks". Excuse my sarcasm, I guess I've just been dealing with this for so long that the hot soak method seems like a joke to me. I have found that they seem to help while the cyst is still small though. Doctors didn't diagnose me with anything but a bacterial infection until the third time I had the abscess about 3 months later. This is the first time they actually lanced the abscess, and it was an experience that I'll regrettably never forget!!! I have a high tolerance for pain, and they had me crawling up the table, (to say the least.) Looking back now, I believe the tremendous pain was due to the severity of infection. They wanted to insert a word catheter, but didn't have them in stock so they used sterile strip gauze to keep the infection draining. It came back maybe a month or two later, so I did some research and went directly to a specialist. Keep in mind that I did not have health insurance, and supported myself while taking classes to get into nursing! I told the first doc I spoke with at the OBGYN about my previous experience, and that I wanted to be treated somewhere that was fully educated on the situation and who had the supplies, (word cath.) to care for it correctly. That office disregarded my request for the word catheter. They lanced me 3 different times in that office, once within a week of another!

The incisions were made on the inner wall of my canal, into my left labia majora where the infection was. It was not possible to spend enough time in the bath tub or with hot compresses, the incision would close over night. I mentioned the word catheter once more, and even just the use of sterile gauze, something to keep the site open to drain, and again my request dismissed!!! How frustrating.. Again the site closed, and the cyst continued to fill. While all of this is going on, they had me on the wrong antibiotic. I had to take the initiative to ask for a culture, finally they changed the antibiotic to metronidazole, (Flagyl). I called the office as frustrated as I think I have ever been, and asked them about the word catheter. I asked if they had them in stock, and she said yes. I lost it. I started bawling my eyes out, asking her why, why hasn't anyone used this on me, after my repeated request!!!? The office did not lance me again, instead they sent me to a hospital / woman's clinic where I could get charity health insurance.

During my first visit at St. Joseph Mercy Woman's Clinic, they inserted a word catheter. I kept this in for a week, and went back to the doc. They wanted to remove it, and I explained to the doctor that in my research I learned it was suppose to stay in for 2-6 weeks. He insisted that a week was long enough. It's been 4 months, and it's back Sad. I was told that I needed to have the gland removed, but it couldn't be done while there was infection. Not only did it have to be done while there was NO infection, but the gland had to be inflamed because it was too small to see. Anyone who's had this cyst knows how quickly the cyst fills and becomes infected, at least I think. When I confirmed the cyst was back, I went to the Emergency room because my OB office was closed. The doctor lanced it, but couldn't get anything out. He told me the infection was too deep and there was too much scar tissue. I'm on an antibiotic now, and bought myself a moist heating pad so I didn't have to be wrinkly from the tub or make tons of trips to the sink/microwave. I'm taking 2-3 showers a day to keep clean and for extra moist heat. I just want the gland removed, I don't care if I have to use KY jelly for the rest of my life... this cyst affects every aspect of my life when it comes around, and even when it doesn't. It affects my psychologically and emotionally. I am only 23, I should be in my prime!!!
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replied August 10th, 2009
Ms. Sunshine,

I just had my gland removed after 12 years of trouble. I suggest you wee a gynocologist/oncologist. They seem to have the most experience dealing with these things. Having this out is the best decision I have ever made. I am still recovering, but feel tons better than before surgery. Dr. said it would be 4 to 6 weeks before I should have sex. It is only 2 weeks and 4 days since the surgery and I will see the Dr on 8/21. Like you, I am more than happy to use the KY jelly just to not have to put up with this anymore. Best of luck to you.
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replied August 12th, 2009
This is the THIRD time this thing has abscessed in 2 1/2 months. I've decided to try to take this one on myself. The first two abscesses occurred May 26th and then again like June 2nd or so. I paid out about $400 out of pocket - that's WITH good insurance, mind you - to have it lanced twice at an urgent care clinic, where they also gave me THREE antibiotic shots and 2 broad spectrum antibiotic prescriptions to take concurrently. I followed up with a gynecologist, who wanted to wait 1 month to see if it would shrink more before taking the next step (which, at this point, I'm going to INSIST on removal of the gland, I don't care what he says). Well, I postponed my follow up, which I'm now regretting because this thing came back with a VENGEANCE. I noticed it this past weekend, about the size of an almond I guess, and has painfully grown every day since - tonight it's at the size of a small egg. I frankly don't have the money to go through the whole drainage/antibiotic shots and scripts thing this time around, as I had "life" happen and unexpected expenses have come up to where going to urgent care would mean not fixing the CV joint on my car and no transportation and eating ramen noodles every meal for the next month or longer. SO........I'm trying to get this thing to burst on it's own.

I've been doing hot sitz baths 2x daily since Sunday, adding epsom salts yesterday and starting with the hot/cold/hot/cold epsom-soaked compresses tonight. I'm taking 2 naproxen every two hours along with 2 tylenols every 4-6 hours (I checked with our center physician at my work, who said this was fine, but to not take more than the recommended dosages on either. She also said she'd write me an Rx for something stronger, but she no longer has a DEA number or something...she herself has never treated one, but said she's familiar with them and recommended the sitz baths/compresses. She said she couldn't predict how long it would take to start draining on it's own, but she made me promise if it got much bigger/any more painful that I would go have it lanced despite the financial burden).

My question specifically - how long can I expect to continue this "treatment" until this bursts??? Cuz honestly, if it's going to be more than 3 more days, I'm gonna suck it up and go get this thing lanced again. Also - how will I know when it's happening? I have felt some random but sharp stabby achy pains in the area as I was walking around WalMart tonight - is that a sign it's getting close??? I still can see no obvious "head", it's just all hard and big and starting to make it difficult to pee. I'm tempted to slice it open myself, to be quite honest. I understand how very dangerous it would be to do this, but I am curious - has anyone ever sliced or lanced their own cyst in desperation?

I just want to know when I can expect this to happen, and how will I know that it's coming or happening???

I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Hang in there, ladies!!!
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replied November 21st, 2009
please don't lance yourself. you can develop scar tissue and have further complications.

I know this is hell. I've been suffering for years but you really should not dare attempt any procedure on your own. My dr. told me the reason they don't like to operate/remove the gland is because dr.'s call it 'the little bloodiest' surgery. The gland is connected to lots of blood vessels and it's a very bloody and potentially harmful surgery.

Anyway, I am with everybody. This is by far the most painful experiences of my life.
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replied January 13th, 2010
These are so awful! Right now i'm on my 6th one in the past 3 years. 1 never became infected and went away on its own, 3 had to be lanced open, another one had ruptured on its own, and this one is beginning to rupture now (thank god).
I'm not sure if this is a solution for everyone, but this seemed to work for me the first time it ruptured. i actually ruptured it during sex. I think you have to be careful with this one, because it can either rupture it or make it alot worse.
I attempted to rupture the one i have now with sex and it was definitely not a pleasant experience.. plus you have to have an awesome partner who will actually do it and not be so weirded out. haha.
So, needless to say, that remedy definitely didn't work on the one i have now. But I refuse to go into the doctor to get it lanced open, I really don't feel like paying alot of money first off, and i'm not too fond of the joy of being sliced open down there for the fourth time. So i decided to try natural ways to do it. I went to acupuncture and they not only needled me up (painless) but also prescribed me herbs. One herb they gave me is "Long Dan Xie Gan Tang", they told me to take this in between meals twice a day. And they also mixed me up some herbs to put in the bath with me. I'm not sure what they mixed up in there, but I also threw in some other stuff that I found through a different site which was essential oils of lavendar, cypress, and juniperberry. I heard you can actually just throw these in a sitz bath along with some epson salts and it can work just as well.
Well I went to the acupuncturist yesterday and have done the bath once, and taking one dose of the pills, and fell asleep with a heating pad, and this morning i woke up to find some drainage and a little less tenderness. I can actually walk today! I hope im not getting ahead of myself, but it seems to be working. So i'll keep you all updated, and hopefully this might help another woman out so they don't have to deal with the pain of having them.
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replied February 4th, 2010
I had my first bartholins cyst when i was 19 (very painful) i went to the doctors and i'm not exactly sure what she did but she used a syringe to burst it as it had an abcess on it. I'am petrified of syringes but i knew this was the only thing that would make it better. Immediatly the relief took over me & i could walk and sit properly again!

To my dismay it came back again (now im 23)it blew up to the size of a golf ball. I took myself off to the doctors who told me it hadnt abcessed so there wasnt much she could do. She gave me penacillan (which im allergic to, but it was the only medication that would help she said). She also advised to to take 4 baths a day & use a cold compress on it, which i just used ice in a facewasher. The pain was excruciating, i couldnt walk i'd just waddle if i had to, and even sitting down wasnt fun. So i thought the best thing to do was lay in bed, where i read so many horror stories of lancing and surgery which scared the crap out of me!!

Finally im on day 4 of having this cyst, i got up this morning & lay in a hot bath with salt. I decided i would see what would happen if i squeezed it a bit, and surely enough stuff came out (sorry for the detail) but it was brown like pus. I kept squeezing (softly by the way)for a while & quite a bit has come out. After i got out of the bath i could walk again!!! Sitting is still a little painful but the relief is god sent! I can feel there is still quite a bit of pus inside the cyst but i will try squeeze it a little more later. I'm not sure if this will end up having a reverse reaction & just irritate it but so far so good!

The doctor has recommended i go for surgery to get the cyst removed completly to prevent it coming back, but after reading so many horror stories about it im not so sure i want to.

To all those women suffering out there, you're not alone! I know the excruciating pain & stress of having this terrible bartholin cyst. I hope my story will help you as well.
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replied March 14th, 2010
I'm 23 years old, and I first noticed a small bump on the left side of my labia months ago. It first I thought it was a small pimple or irritation but now it's the size of a pea or small marble. It's round, smooth, and very raised. If you were to look at it from a profile view it's very clearly sticking up as a bump.

I have started reading various things on the net about it as the size was beginning to disturb me, and at first I thought it was a kind of sebaceous or epidermal cyst of some kind, yet it's unique location keeps leading me to believe it's a bartholin cyst. I haven't seen a doctor about it yet, but I plan to. I have read that it's a good idea to take warm baths and see if you can get them to surface and pop and upon trying to squeeze/pop it I came to the conclusion that the layer of skin there was far too thick for me to try and burst it through.

The reason why I'm posting is quite simply this:

I have read these testimonials and many other stories around the net and I would like to kill this dreaded thing while it's still small(er). I feel like I can notice it getting bigger everyday and the the skin where it's at it starting to feel strained and itchy. Is my only option to wait until it gets painfully larger then lance it repeatedly? I sort of like being able to walk and go to the bathroom on my own...if there is any advice/way I can head this off at the pass before it gets too large it would be extremely appreciated..
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replied July 10th, 2010
fed up with repeat batholin's cyst/abcess
i got my first bartholin's abcess when i was 18. it ruptured on its own, and then it returned again when i was 23, at which time i had it lanced and a word catheter put in. I had another 2 within the year. I am 25 now, and am on my 7th. All infected, all excrutiating, all golf ball sized.
I've tried diet change, and a doctor actually said diet change wouldn't help as this has nothing to do with diet. Which really doesn't make sense to me because I'm sure there's a correlation between the flare ups and my consuming mushrooms (officially staying away now, but kind of hard to do as a vegetarian).

I have never requested a culture, but I am sure I will next time I am treated for one of these things. I'm hoping this one with burst on its own (aren't we always hoping for that???).

They are excrutiating and I'm sick of them interupting my life. I'm frustrated that so little is known about them. It's like shooting in the dark. I'm sure if this were something that men suffered with, more would have been done by now in the medical field to rectify the problem.

Here are a few things that I've tried that help even just a little:

-Wiping the area with witch hazel (make sure to not get inside the vagina, though I know this is difficult as the inflamation can be so bad that the inside of the vagina is actually exposed)

-Dabbing the area with tea tree oil. Just a little goes a long way. DON'T follow anything suggesting up to 1 tbsp of tea tree oil. That ammount is just ridiculous. It burns terribly and it takes forever for the smell to go away! I know because I tried it! Use just a little calamine lotion or A&D Ointment for soothing.

-And this one may sound weird but I've been led to lots of things in my desperation. Here goes: Use your vibrator to massage the area around the cyst. Do not put your vibe directly on it because that is far too painful. But the crevice where the thigh meets the groin is a great spot, as close to the cyst as possible. The massage is soothing and it helps increase blood flow to the area. If you feel nervous, like I did when I first tried this, close your eyes and visualize warm blood flowing to the area and feeling relief. You may get creative and find other places to put the toy that feel soothing to the cyst. As I said, I know it must sound crazy, but I've been led to lots of solutions in my desperation, and this one at the very least feels good. The body needs love, know what I'm saying?
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replied September 14th, 2010
Bartholin cyst problems
At 29 i never had any problems until I got a bartholin cyst that had no symptoms, just a lump that was never noticed until I went for my yearly pap. Even though it had no symptoms the gyno wanted to have it cut and stitched back to allow healing from the inside out...WORSE MISTAKE EVER.
now a year after my surgery i have had 16 cysts appear and burst on their own, and my whole life has changed. i now have to go back to get it "re-removed". i was told a little too late that cysts with no symptoms should not be touched!!!!!!!!! also fyi-dont try to squeeze them, they will only get bigger and more enflamed!! nothing will come out if it hasnt already ruptured on its own..
good luck to all of us!
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replied September 15th, 2010
My barthonlin cyst has been there off and on for 2 years, at times getting smaller or larger, but just caused discomfort with sex until yesterday where it got to the point where it was to painful to walk or anything, and rupured while I just so happen to be at the GYN office. The Dr want me to get the gland removed, yes yesterday was the worse pain in my life, but has anyone had the bartholins gland removed after the gland already ruptured? My gland is normal now that it rupurted,and I just unsure why get the gland removed now?
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replied September 23rd, 2010
reocurrant bartholin abcess
My daughter has had the bartholin gland removed because of reoccurent abcesss. She continues to get these abcess in the same area. She has also noticed that she gets tem right before her period. Not sure why they keep coming back?
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replied September 24th, 2010
She still get reoccurent abcess eventhough the bartholin gland has been removed? I thought that was the purpose of having that gland removed is that they will never come back.
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replied October 19th, 2010
Bartholin Cyst
I get these too, but I have found that if I use a wash rag with hot water and antibacterial soap (I use the white Dial bar soap), that it limits the amount of times I get these because you're getting rid of the skin cells/etc that are just building up down there, and the soap is helping to kill any bacteria that might result in a bacterial infection/cyst. I also make sure I wash down there AFTER I do all my other stuff in the shower because, with my thinking, I want to make sure that if any of my conditioner is on my skin down there from rinsing it out of my head, that I am going to wash it off completely.. so I do all this last in the shower. (I see that some people on here have been doing the hot/cold/hot/cold.. while I see the point of this as far as swelling and inflammation - I truly think it's the wrong way to go, in my experience.

Also - not sure if you guys are shaving down there, but if you use a razor with the moisturizing strip, like I just did (and I know better!) that you can get one. I'm regretting it now!

Also - I know when I'm sitting on my chair (that really doesn't have much padding/cushion) for long periods of time doing work on my laptop, I'm usually crossing my legs or sitting indian-style.. makes the skin down there sometimes push together and it causes one.

The best thing I've found when I have one is to use put a hot washcloth on it and surrounding area for about 15 mins.. 4 times per day. As much as you can, really! This will make the infection and white blood cells come together so it will make a center point - which will be where it will eventually drain. Don't force it to drain or you will be left with a hole that could get infected worse or won't want to heal properly. Once it drains on its own, that's when you can gently help it.

Hope this helps someone! I got my first one when I was 23, and I'm 30 now. Because this is what I've done since I got my first one, I haven't had another one until now.. just because I got lazy and took everything I learned and have been doing for granted. You have to keep up with it - or you get one of these painful cysts. Makes it hard to walk, sit and do anything at all. I have to tell the people at work that I have back problems, which I don't at all. Embarrassing!

Stay away from oils and anything moisturizing down in that area - you'll just add to the problem. I've had many close calls with almost getting more, but I've jumped on doing all of this stuff, and they all calmed down and nothing ever happened. It always seems to happen before or after my period. I don't have an acne problem with my face, but I will breakout around my period with a few zits that are just persistent. I then listened to a show about a book that was coming out, and remembered that they said that WHOLE GRAINS helped with zits, acne, blemishes, etc. So, I eat a generic raisin bran cereal every day to get my WHOLE grains in my body. My skin looks amazing, and I believe it certainly helps with 'down below'. I can't always eat raisin bran every day (I don't actually like it), so I just make sure I get whole grains in my system everyday. Diets can help - what you put into your body can affect your skin.. anywhere.

You can also get them by having underwear or pants that are too tight fitting. I recommend lightweight pants that won't AT ALL be binding anything down there - even when you're sitting. I have larger underwear for these times too.

If you're playing sports, working in some hot kitchen, at the beach - all things that will make things worse, so you have to give extra attention when anything you're doing causes heat, sweat, friction, etc. This includes sex!!! Wash up after wards with the antibacterial soap and hot washcloth!
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replied November 9th, 2010
Acupuncture as a remedy.
I've had about 4 occur this year alone. I posted earlier this year in regards to trying acupuncture. I have found that acupuncture works miracles for me! I tend to get the cysts after having sex. It's weird to say, but i've felt them even begin to build up during sex, sometimes even burst during as well. Mine are so bad that they seem to grow within a few hours. Well, each time i've gotten them this year i've gone to acupuncture to remedy it. Most of the times they're gone within a couple of days, one time it ruptured the following morning. Either way, the swelling and tenderness went down drastically by the following day. I figured the cyst is a blockage, and acupuncture helps to unblock. Besides, with health care being so expensive, even having to pay a fraction of the cost for medical procedures of lancing and draining the cyst is ridiculous in price. I pay 35 dollars (plus extra for herbs that help soothe and smell amazing most of the time) and see results in a more holistic and less expensive way. Places differ in prices for acupuncture, schools for holistic healing tend to be less expensive because their training using you, but they have instructors so they won't mess up on you.
Good luck ladies! Haven't had one in a few months, hoping not to have one for a while more!
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