Cervical cysts, sometimes referred to as nabothian cysts, are described as small bumps that are usually found on the cervix. The cervix is a structure measuring approximately two centimeters long by four centimeters in diameter located at the internal end of the vaginal canal. Like ovarian cysts, cysts on cervical surfaces aren't usually harmful or malignant. For the most part, they do not have severe symptoms or require any treatment.
Cervical cysts most often look like tiny, mucous-filled pimples. Cervical cysts can form individually or in small clusters. Each cyst is generally between two and ten millimeters in diameter. Most cervical cysts are discovered during routine pelvic exams or gynecological exams, so having these regular checkups is very important.
Depending on their size, the average cervical cyst doesn't interfere with intercourse or pregnancy. However, some larger cysts may pose a problem in this area, causing the need for cervical cyst removal.
While cervical cysts may appear without reason or explanation in women, they are often associated with pregnancy and menopause. A cyst forming in the cervical area is most common during a woman's childbearing years.
After vaginal delivery of a baby, the tissue in the cervix grows, repairs and replenishes itself. This process often covers mucous glands, entrapping mucous and creating cervical cystic lesions.
When women reach menopause, the superficial mucosa of the vagina and cervix becomes thinner, putting them more at risk for cervical cysts. Women who have cervical infections are also more at risk for developing cervical cysts.
Many cervical cysts will not create any discomfort or symptoms, but some can grow enough in size, making them noticeable and uncomfortable.
Other symptoms can include:
If cervical cysts become symptomatic, a medical professional can perform a colposcopy for further management. This procedure is similar to a Pap smear, but the doctor uses a microscope to magnify the cervix. If a cervical cyst appears to be abnormal during the colposcopy, your doctor may perform a biopsy to see if the cervical cyst is benign or malignant. Cysts causing pain or discomfort will most likely also call for cervical cyst removal.
Similar to cervical cysts, uterine fibroids and uterine polyps are small growths that form inside the uterus. They can range from one to five centimeters in size. Uterine fibroids and uterine polyps can sometimes form when the endometrial layer in the uterus grows too much due to hormone imbalance.
Women become more at risk of developing uterine fibroids and uterine polyps as they age, usually in their 40s or 50s.
While uterine fibroids and uterine polyps are generally harmless, they can interfere with fertility and affect the lining of the uterus. They can cause spotting between menstrual periods, irregular bleeding and stomach cramps. Uterine fibroids and polyps are generally removed through surgery.
Gallenberg, M. (2009). Cervical cysts: Can they be cancerous? Retrieved February 14, 2010, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cervical-cysts/AN00123.
Shared Journey Staff. (2005). Uterine polyps and cysts. Retrieved June 21, 2007, from the Shared Journey Web site: http://www.sharedjourney.com/dx/polyps.html.
information on health-related topics, not medical advice, diagnosis or
treatment recommendations. Please consult your physician if you have questions