What Is a Nabothian Cyst?
Nabothian cysts are tiny cysts that
form on the surface of your cervix. Your cervix connects your vagina to your uterus.
It’s sometimes called “the cervical canal.”
Nabothian cysts are filled with mucus,
which is secreted by the cervical glands. Sometimes, the tiny bumps are also
called cervical cysts, mucinous retention cysts, or epithelial cysts. Nabothian
cysts are fairly common.
Nabothian cysts aren’t a threat to your
health, and they aren’t a sign of cervical cancer. Keep reading to learn what
causes these types of cysts, ways to identify them, and the treatment options
your doctor may recommend.
Causes of Nabothian Cysts
Nabothian cysts form when the
mucus-producing glands in your cervix are coated with skin cells and become
clogged. The skin cells plug the glands. This causes mucus to accumulate. The
result is a cyst on the cervix that looks like a small, white bump.
According to the journal Mayo
Clinic Proceedings, childbirth and physical trauma to
the cervix can cause nabothian cysts in some women.
Signs and Symptoms of Nabothian Cysts
Nabothian cysts can range in size from
just a few millimeters to 4 centimeters in diameter, according to Mayo
Clinic Proceedings. They appear white or yellow in color
and are smooth. Your doctor may notice one or more cysts during a routine
pelvic examination. Since these cysts don’t cause pain, discomfort, or other
symptoms, it’s most likely that your doctor will discover any cysts while
examining your cervix to look for other problems.
You should contact your doctor if you have
bleeding between your periods, unusual discharge, or pelvic pain. These
symptoms may indicate an infection or other abnormality that requires evaluation.
Diagnosing Nabothian Cysts
A pelvic examination is the only
screening test to diagnose nabothian cysts. After discovering these small,
white bumps on your cervix, your doctor may break a cyst to confirm the
Your doctor can also use a colposcopy
to make an accurate diagnosis. This involves magnifying the area to distinguish
nabothian cysts from other types of bumps.
Treatment for Nabothian Cysts
Nabothian cysts are benign and usually
don’t require treatment. In rare cases, the cysts may become large and distort
the shape and size of your cervix. If this is severe, it can make a routine
cervical examination difficult or impossible. In this situation, your doctor
may recommend removal of the cyst in order to examine your cervix.
It’s important that your doctor can
perform a complete examination of the cervix during routine visits. These
examinations can ensure your reproductive health and help your doctor identify
problems with your cervix early.
Nabothian cysts that need treatment
can be removed through an excision or through a process called “electrocautery
ablation.” During an excision, your doctor uses a scalpel or blade to remove
the growth. During electrocautery ablation, your doctor uses an electric
current to remove the cyst. The electric current produces heat that your doctor
runs back and forth over the cyst. In some cases, your doctor may drain fluid
from a cyst.
What Is the Long-Term Outlook for Nabothian Cysts?
The outlook for nabothian cysts is
extremely positive. These growths are benign and usually very small. They don't
pose a health threat. Unfortunately, there’s no known way to prevent nabothian