Paratubal Cyst

Definition - What does Paratubal Cyst mean?

Paratubal cysts are fluid-filled enclosed structures, located in the ligament between the fallopian tubes and the ovary. They are called paratubal if they lie close to the fallopian tube and paraovarian if close to the ovary. These cysts do not have any known or significant effects on the fertility of a woman. However, in rare cases they can increase in size and create issues that complicate fertility.

FertilitySmarts explains Paratubal Cyst

Paratubal cysts are found in approximately 4% of women. They commonly occur in those aged 30-40 years and are often found incidentally on imaging tests like an ultrasound done for other reasons or during surgery for other gynecologic reasons.

  • Often small in size, they are usually non-cancerous, and there are generally no symptoms experienced because of them.
  • Few women may experience pressure or pain.
  • In rare cases, if they start growing rapidly in size, they can cause the tubes or ovaries to twist, which can cause acute pain and infection.
  • Rupture of the cyst can occur if the twist is not managed in time.
  • During pregnancy, paratubal cysts can grow rapidly causing torsion.

They do not affect the fertility of a woman in any way. However, they are believed to originate from the remnants of embryonic development ducts, and studies are ongoing as to whether women with such cysts have an underlying subfertility (lower than average fertility). There are studies also regarding a possible association between the paratubal cysts in adolescents, and obesity and hyperandrogenism (an increase in male hormones). Also, they have to be differentiated from endometrioma, a condition that can have a similar location and does affect fertility.

Management is excision of the cyst, i.e. removal of the cyst with its wall. Just draining the fluid is inadequate treatment since it would almost certainly refill again. In the non-pregnant woman, a laparoscopic (key-hole) surgery for excision is preferably done.

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