A paratubal cyst, is a fluid-filled mass that develops in the adnexa of the uterus. The adnexa refers to the “appendages” of the uterus, meaning the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the supporting ligaments. Unlike some ovarian cysts, paratubal cysts do not have the potential to become cancerous.
Doctors believe that paratubal cysts arise from remnants of the Wolffian duct. The Wolffian duct is an embryonic structure that forms the male reproductive organs. All fetuses, regardless of sex, possess Wolffian ducts early in gestation, but in female embryos, the duct eventually shrinks to make way for female reproductive organs. In some female babies, however, pieces of this duct can remain and cause paratubal cysts.
Although most paratubal cysts develop as a single cyst (“simple”), in rare cases multiple cysts may arise in the same region.
Paratubal Cysts Symptoms
Most paratubal cysts cause no symptoms at all, and women who have them may not be aware of their presence. However, large cysts can cause pelvic pain. This is the most common symptom of a paratubal cyst.
Complications of Paratubal Cysts
Paratubal cysts, unlike true ovarian cysts, are benign, meaning they will not become cancerous. However, even if your paratubal cyst is asymptomatic, you should have it treated. Some women may experience complications from their cysts which could be painful and harmful to their health and fertility. The most common complications include:
- Hemorrhaging (bleeding)
- Rupture of the fallopian tube
- Ovarian torsion
Diagnosing Paratubal Cysts
Paratubal cysts can be usually be diagnosed with pelvic ultrasound or an MRI. If either of these two tests fail to diagnose the cyst, then blood tests may be issued to rule out cancerous cysts. A diagnostic laparoscopy or biopsy can also be helpful in difficult cases.
Paratubal Cyst Treatment
The treatment of your cyst depends upon a few factors.
Size of the Paratubal Cyst
Small cysts may resolve on their own. Generally, a cyst under 1cm in size won’t require much follow up from your doctor. However, cysts that measure larger than 7cm should probably be surgically removed.
For women in their reproductive years, your doctor will keep an eye on small cysts, but may not recommend any aggressive treatment. Women who have undergone menopause, however, may need more intensive care regardless of the size of the cyst.
Treatment options include:
Birth control pills
Birth control pills can prevent the growth of cysts and can often relieve pain associated with cysts.
This is a surgical procedure in which a tiny insertable camera is used to guide the removal of cysts through a small abdominal incision.
Salpingectomy or Oophorectomy
In rare cases, the affected fallopian tube or ovary may need to be surgically removed to prevent or treat severe complications.
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of, or suffering from Paratubal Cyst, or have questions about it, please see your doctor.
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