Nabothian cysts are small, harmless lumps on the cervix. They are also known as nabothian follicles, epithelial inclusion cysts, or mucinous retention cysts. Clear, pale yellow, or amber mucus fills the cysts. Women might have a single or many nabothian cysts.
Women may develop nabothian cysts during childbirth or menopause. These cysts are harmless and usually do not cause any severe symptoms. Additionally, nabothian cysts don’t indicate cervical cancer. In this article, we will tell you everything you should know about nabothian cysts.
Causes of nabothian cysts
Nabothian cysts arise when the mucus-producing glands in your cervix become blocked with skin cells. Skin cells clog the glands, causing mucus to collect. This results in the formation of a cyst on the cervix, which appears as a tiny, white lump.
In certain women, nabothian cysts can be caused by childbirth or physical damage to the cervix. Excess skin cells can develop on the mucus gland after labor and trap mucus, causing cysts to form.
Physical damage to the cervix can cause extra tissue to form on top of mucus glands during the healing process, trapping mucus and leading to cysts. Physical trauma-induced cysts often occur after recovery from chronic cervicitis, a condition in which cervix tissue is inflamed.
Symptoms of nabothian cysts
You are unlikely to be aware of a nabothian cyst unless your gynecologist detects it during a pelvic check. A nabothian cyst may occasionally create symptoms. They include mild pressure or a sense of fullness in your vagina, as well as pain before, during, or after intercourse.
If a nabothian cyst ruptures, you may have symptoms. When a cyst breaks, it expels mucus and tiny quantities of blood, which can be seen as vaginal discharge. The discharge might be unpleasant. These symptoms normally don’t persist long. A big cyst or many cysts may make it difficult for your doctor to collect cells during a Pap test.
Diagnosis of nabothian cysts
A routine pelvic exam, which includes a pap test, might reveal nabothian cysts. They might occur as singles or in clusters on the cervix’s surface. In some circumstances, your doctor may recommend a colposcopy to examine them closely. A colposcope is a magnifying lens-equipped tool that is used to perform a colposcopy.
Nabothian cysts can also be diagnosed with transvaginal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Endophytic and exophytic growth, as well as normal and pathological circumstances, may be distinguished using MRI. On MRI, the Nabothian cyst is distinguished by a high T2 signal intensity.
Your doctor may extract a sample of the fluid inside your cyst and send it to a lab for analysis. If the fluid is tested, your physician will be able to confirm that the bulge is not cancer. If cancer is suspected and an MRI cannot rule it out, biopsy, conization, and endocervical curettage are effective investigative techniques.
Treatment for nabothian cysts
Small nabothian cysts are usually not treated. A nabothian cyst can range in size from 2 to 10 millimeters (mm). Nabothian cysts normally go away on their own. Large nabothian cysts can grow to be 4 centimeters (cm) in diameter. According to some studies, women with nabothian cysts greater than 1 cm in diameter should consult a gynecologist.
If a big nabothian cyst is producing symptoms, it may require surgical removal. To remove a nabothian cyst, a doctor may use one of the following methods:
- Electrocautery is a procedure that includes using a tiny probe with an electric current to burn out the cyst
- Cryotherapy, which uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the cyst off
The bottom line
If you have no symptoms, your doctor will most likely not prescribe therapy or removal. Once your doctor has identified these cysts, you should continue to see your gynecologist for frequent check-ups to ensure that any nabothian cysts that may develop are treated before they create issues. If your cysts are big or causing pain, discomfort, or discharge, your doctor will recommend treatment or removal.