Nabothian cysts occur on the exterior part of the cervix, mainly to women of the reproductive age.
Alternative terms for this are – epithelial cysts and cervical cysts. These are cysts that are filled with mucus secreted from cervical glands which get blocked due to tissue growth. Nowadays these are quite common and are non-cancerous. They cause basically due to the overlapping of the stratified squamous epithelium of the ectocervix over the simple columnar epithelium of the endocervix. Nabothian cysts can be found more in women who have had children and also can be seen in menopausal women whose skin of the cervical area is thin in comparative. It is related to chronic cervicitis which is a long-term cervix infection.
Nabothian Cyst Signs and Symptoms
This kind of cysts forms tiny crypt-like structures on your outer cervical wall. Their diameter varies between 2 – 10 millimeters. They are yellow or pale yellow in color and have a smooth surface. However, they can even form bigger shapes like 3 – 4 centimeters in diameters. They do not really affect your health or body and therefore do not require any treatment as well. In case the diameter of the cysts grows to be more than 8 centimeters, there are chances of it being a uterine tumor or cervical cancer. The cysts are neither painful nor itchy.
Hence, only while examining your pelvic girdle can the doctor finds these out. The serious symptoms include irregular periods, unusual discharge and pain in the pelvis. As these cysts are asymptomatic but sometimes in the case of females if she haves abnormal vaginal bleeding except menstrual periods or pain in the pelvic area or vaginal discharge then she should as soon as go and get checked up by any gynecologist.
What causes Nabothian Cyst?
- Childbirth often causes cysts like this due to the trapping of the mucus in the skin cells that grow in excess.
- While on the recovery phase of cervicitis, physical trauma around the outer line of the cervix can often lead to the temporary formation of cysts.
- Excess tissue may generate due to any other physical trauma and during the reviving period mucus gets trapped in them causing cysts.
- Even sometimes after a mild injury, there remains a chance to its formation.
- It forms when the glands which produce mucous in our cervix are coated with cells and becomes clogged by it.
- Sometimes the cysts show any symptoms until it is very large.
Risks associated with Nabothian Cyst
As mentioned earlier, these cysts are prone to happen to women belonging to the reproductive age, mostly during pregnancy and childbirth. However, the risk continues as long as the time of menopause, i.e. the late 40s to 50s. There are several other factors also which can lead to these, such as – adenoma malignum. In such state, another complication called neoplasia may arise which also affects the production of mucus in the cervix. If the cysts happen to form inflammations, there can be chances of cancer or tumor in which case one should immediately consult a doctor.
How is the diagnosis of Nabothian cysts done?
Generally, these cysts do not require any treatment, because they appear and disappear on their own. Many times it even neglects the victim’s eye if they happen to be very small. For some, these cysts appear only when a woman is on her periods, and then disappear after the periods get over. However, if you are unsure if it’s a cyst or any other serious thing, pay a visit to your doctor for confirmation. The cysts become clearly visible as lumps during a screening and examination of the pelvic area. Often if they are not sure of normal checking, they opt for MRI or pelvic ultrasound.
Even if after all these, the confusion remains as to whether they are Nabothian cysts or any other form of a cyst, the doctor suggests colposcopy, which is to check the cervix area minutely with a magnifying glass and confirm. In rare cases, a biopsy is done to check if the cysts are cancerous or not. Although apparently harmless these cysts often need to be removed before they can cause any further complication in the body. The two processes by which that can be done are cryofreezing and electrocautery. The physician will choose between these two as per the stage of the cysts.
Treatment of Nabothian Cyst
Being benign, these cysts recover on their own. But to be on the safer side, a routine checkup is must to keep a constant watch on the shape and size of the lumps. Gradually, they cease being prominently visible. Nonetheless, removal of them is possible by surgery, but the further risk of their appearance always stays. But if the cyst size becomes big then it can affect the shape of the cervix to some extent and which makes it difficult for a physician to inspect the cervix normally.
In these cases, removal of the cyst becomes necessary so that the cervix can be seen entirely. As visual inspection of the cervix is important for any tests for knowing the reproductive health of any female. Nabothian cysts can be removed normal excision of the cysts with a scalpel but the physician or by an electrocautery ablation. In this process, the heat is generated by an electric current which is used to remove the cyst.
Nabothian cysts aren’t related to miscarriages or cervix cancer and they don’t bleed also. So don’t worry about these things.
Nabothian Cyst Pictures