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Adnexal Cyst – Location, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Types

What is Adnexal cyst?

Adnexal cyst happens to women. Anatomically speaking, Adnexa lie adjacently to the woman’s uterus and it comprises the fallopian tubes and ovaries that are associated with ligaments, connective tissues, blood vessels and the like.

According to statistics, the Adnexal cyst can be found in women in variety of ages. They become malignant at a young age of 15 years old.  This kind of cysts is called functional cysts which disappear by their own. Occasionally, no treatment is given. This is a pathological case that affects the Adnexa which may start from the person’s retroperitoneum, bowel or uterus. Other research suggests that it may be brought about by a result of a disease that is metastatic in nature which may start from other body sites such as stomach or breast.

Adnexal cysts refer to cystic or solid collection that can come from the tubes or the ovaries. It is sometimes interchanged with Adnexal mass. A vast majority of the persons or women who are at the age 40 and above have a higher chance of leading into ovarian cancer.

Adnexal Cyst pictures

An Adnexal Cyst on the ovaries

Adnexal Cyst Symptoms

Some of the women who have Adnexal cyst encounter no symptoms. Most often, women do not even know that they have this kind of condition. They often accidentally find it out due to routine gynecological tests. Depending on the etiological reasons why Adnexal cysts happen, the symptoms that most women reports are as follows:

  • Distention of the abdominal region

The distention of the abdominal region happens when the person experiences a continual growth of the masses in her ovaries. What happens is that the cyst becomes large enough to move out of the person’s pelvis which leads to the distention in the mid and upper region of the person’s abdomen. When this happens, the cysts becomes noticeably seen and felt by the person herself.

  • Pain

Pain is felt from the benign kind of cyst which results from the increase size of the cyst itself. As the cysts become enlarge, the capsule of the ovaries becomes distended and when it distends it leads to stretching of the ovaries which will cause great pain on the woman herself. However, the rupture of the cysts occurs rarely but it can happen and it can also cause a great deal of pain.

  • Pressure in the pelvic region

Because of the growth of the cysts, it will push the pelvic structure down creating a sensation of pressure in the pelvic region which can be described as a dull pressure that is continuously felt in the lower back or pelvis.

  • Back pain

The woman will experience back pain as the cyst will grow out of the proportion.

  • Constipation

Due to the enlargement of the cyst, there is a possibility that the cyst will become large enough to block the passage of stool leading to constipation symptom.

  • Frequency in urination

The enlargement of the cyst will lead to the compression of the bladder which will lead to the frequency in urination episodes.

  • Irregularity in menstruation

Since the Adnexal cyst happens in the ovaries, the menstruation cycle is affected leading to the irregularity of the women’s menstruation.

  • Bleeding

This rarely happens but when it happens it is brought about by the rupture of the ovarian membranes which leads to the bleeding episodes.

Adnexal Cyst Types

  1. Adnexal Cyst Septated

It is a type of Adnexal cyst which have both liquid and solid matter. Women who have this type of Adnexal cyst should be aware that this is a dangerous cyst especially when it is not immediately treated with the right treatment. Those who have this type of cyst would usually report of discomfort and pain in the abdominal region. There are actually three types of Adnexal cyst Septated which are cystadenomas, endometrionoma and dermoid cysts.

  1. Adnexal Cyst Ovarian

This is another well known type of Adnexal cysts which occurs in the woman’s ovaries. The Adnexal cysts ovarian can either be cancerous or non cancerous in nature and it may either be benign or malignant. The risk factors of Adnexal cysts are women in their postmenopausal stage and those women who have ascites.

  1. Adnexal Cyst Complex

Adnexal cyst complex is another type of Adnexal cysts which have evolves from ovarian Adnexal cyst to complex structure. This type of Adnexal cyst does not have a clear kind of cyst but has a solid characteristics as well as excressances, septations or having a thicker fluid type which can be clearly described via the ultrasound.  The Adnexal cyst complex can be further classified into:

    • Endometriomas
    • Hemorrhagic cyst
    • Dermoid cyst
    • Mucinous and serous cyst
    • Mucinous and serous cystadeno fibroma
    • Low malignant potential tumors

Adnexal Cyst Diagnosis

In determining the etiological reasons of the symptoms, the physician will usually do the following diagnostic procedures for confirmation:

  • Physical examination in the pelvic region

The only way to distinguish if a woman has Adnexal cyst, is through the pelvic exam. During the pelvic exam, the physician will feel the woman’s vagina, ovaries, uterus, rectum and bladder. The physician will take note of any felt lump or any unusual things present. In doing this exam, the physician will use the speculum to make the vagina wide enough for inspection.

  • Medical Historical exam

Medical historical exam is done to determine if the woman has any family history of cancer related disease or if the woman has experience symptoms that are associated with Adnexal cyst syndrome.

  • Ultrasonography

This exam is usually done after pelvic exam or physical exam. This kind of exam uses ultrasound of the pelvic region to confirm if there is actually a cyst in the Adnexa region. With the use of the sound waves and special computer it will lead to the echo transformation which will create the necessary images to confirm the actual cyst.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging examination

This is another exam that uses the magnetic resonance imaging scan to be able to characterize the lesions in the ovaries. This is done if in the Ultrasonography exam cannot determine the actual state of the Adnexal cyst.

Adnexal Cyst Treatment

Basically, just like the baker’s cyst, there is no actual need to treat women who have Adnexal cyst. As mentioned earlier, it can resolve on its own even without treatment yet some women who have Adnexal cyst would require treatment. Hence, the following treatments are provided for them:

  • Medical treatment

According to studies the physician usually prescribes hormonal or oral contraceptive to treat and prevent the occurrence of Adnexal cyst. It shows that when women who have Adnexal cyst take a higher dose of oral contraceptives it will lead to the lower occurrence of Adnexal cysts.

  • Surgical treatment

When a woman is symptomatic or has a malignant kind of Adnexal cyst, there is a need for surgical treatment.  When the Adnexal cyst is severe or has been enlarged, it is best to removed it via surgical procedure to be able to prevent it from spreading and from growing much further to be able to prevent also from affecting other surrounding organs.

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