Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix

Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix

Sexual Health
Women's Health
Contributed byKrish Tangella MD, MBADec 03, 2018

What are the other Names for this Condition? (Also known as/Synonyms)

  • Cervical Epithelial Cyst
  • Mucinous Retention Cyst of Uterine Cervix
  • Nabothian Cyst of Cervix

What is Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix? (Definition/Background Information)

  • Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix is a benign, mucus-filled cyst that is present on the cervical wall. It is common tumor found mostly in middle-aged and older women who have had multiple pregnancies
  • There are no clearly established risk factors for Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix. It is caused when the endocervical glands are obstructed due to various reasons
  • Cervical Nabothian Cyst appears as single or multiple cysts on the surface of the cervical walls. No significant signs and symptoms or complications are generally noted; however, some women may present with abnormal vaginal (mucus) discharge
  • Treatment course includes close observation of the cystic tumor in asymptomatic cases and surgical management, if necessary. In general, the prognosis of Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix is excellent with suitable treatment

Who gets Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix? (Age and Sex Distribution)

  • Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix is generally observed in adult women who have had multiple pregnancies (multiparous women)
  • There is no known ethnic or racial preference

What are the Risk Factors for Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix? (Predisposing Factors)

  • No definitive risk factors have been identified for Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix
  • Most of the cysts are associated with multiparity in women (having borne many children)

It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases ones chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.

Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.

What are the Causes of Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix? (Etiology)

Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix form when the glands within the cervix (the endocervical glands) are obstructed, due to various reasons, and fill with mucus to form cysts.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix?

The following signs and symptoms of Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix may be noted:

  • The condition can cause a discharge of mucus (abnormal vaginal discharge)
  • Solitary or numerous cysts may be seen that vary in size between 2-10 cm
  • Most of the lesions are present on the surface of the cervical canal, but some may be found deep within the uterine cervix
  • Most of the lesions are asymptomatic and present no significant signs and symptoms

How is Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix may involve the following steps:

  • Evaluation of the individual’s medical history and a thorough physical (pelvic) examination
  • Ultrasound scan of the abdomen
  • CT or CAT scan with contrast of the abdomen and pelvis may show a well-defined mass. This radiological procedure creates detailed 3-dimensional images of structures inside the body
  • MRI scans of the abdomen and pelvis: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field to create high-quality pictures of certain parts of the body, such as tissues, muscles, nerves, and bones. These high-quality pictures may reveal the presence of the tumor
  • Colposcopy: The cervix is examined with an instrument, called a colposcope. This helps the physician get a magnified view of the cervix

Cervical biopsy: It is the process of removing tissue for examination. In the case of nabothian cyst, a complete excision and removal of the tumor can help in the process of a biopsy, as well as be a means for treating the condition.

A pathologist looks at the tissue sample under a microscope, to detect any evidence of cancer. Types of cervical biopsies include:

  • Colposcopic biopsy: The abnormal areas of the cervix are visualized with a colposcope. After numbing the cervix with a local anesthetic, an instrument, called a biopsy forceps, is used to get a tissue sample.  Mild cramps, pain, and some light bleeding, may occur following the procedure
  • Endocervical curettage (endocervical scraping): The curette is an instrument that can be used to scrape out tissue. Using a curette, cells are scraped out from the endocervix (the inner part of the cervix, close to the uterus/womb) and examined under a microscope. Mild pain and bleeding maybe present following the procedure.

Note: If nabothian cysts are located deep inside the cervix, then the condition may raise a suspicion of a malignancy or a precancer.

Many clinical conditions may have similar signs and symptoms. Your healthcare provider may perform additional tests to rule out other clinical conditions to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.

What are the possible Complications of Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix?

Significant complications from Nabothian Cyst of Cervix are generally not noted, because it is a benign condition. However, the following may be observed in some cases:

  • Stress due to a concern for cervical cancer
  • Nabothian cysts are known to result in chronic cervicitis, which is chronic or persistent inflammation of the cervix
  • Damage to the muscles, vital nerves, and blood vessels, during surgery
  • Post-surgical infection at the wound site is a potential complication

How is Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix Treated?

Treatment measures for Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix may include the following:

  • If there are no symptoms, then the healthcare provider may advise a ‘wait and watch’ approach, once a diagnosis of the benign tumor is established
  • Surgical intervention with complete excision can result in a complete cure
  • Post-operative care is important: Minimum activity level is to be ensured until the surgical wound heals
  • Follow-up care with regular screening and check-ups are important

How can Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix be Prevented?

  • Current medical research has not established a way of preventing Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix
  • Medical screening at regular intervals with scans and physical examinations are advised

What is the Prognosis of Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix? (Outcomes/Resolutions)

The prognosis of Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix is excellent with surgical intervention and complete removal, since it is a benign tumor.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information for Nabothian Cyst of Uterine Cervix:

Please visit our Women’s Health center for more physician-approved health information:

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Krish Tangella MD, MBA

Pathology, Medical Editorial Board, DoveMed Team


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