We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Uterine Cyst?

By Amanda Barnhart
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A uterine cyst, also called a uterine fibroid, myoma, or fibromyoma, is a growth in the uterus. These growths are very common and up to 75 percent of women at some point during their child-bearing years. Uterine cysts are usually not cancerous or cause for major concern, though they can cause pelvic pain, fertility problems, heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, and bladder problems. The cysts often require no treatment unless symptoms are severe, and many women are unaware they have a cyst until it shows up on an ultrasound or during a pelvic examination.

Uterine cysts that grow inside the uterus are known as submucosal fibroids. This type of cyst may cause heavy bleeding during the menstrual period and may make it difficult for women to get pregnant. Subserosal fibroids are cysts that develop outside the uterus. These cysts can press on the bladder or rectum, causing urinary incontinence or constipation. Subserosal fibroids occasionally cause back pain if they grow on the back of the uterus and press on the nerves surrounding the spinal cord.

The precise cause of cysts in the uterus is unknown, but genetic abnormalities, hormonal fluctuations, and a familial history of cysts can contribute to the condition. Women who experience menstrual problems, including abnormally heavy bleeding or bleeding for more than seven days, should see a doctor to determine if they have a uterine cyst. Severe pelvic pain, bowel, and bladder problems with no other apparent cause should also be evaluated.

Doctors diagnose these cysts with various imaging studies. The most common way to diagnose these fibroids is through an ultrasound, which allows the doctor to see an image of the uterus and identify any abnormal masses. In some cases, doctors insert a small, lighted instrument through the vaginal cavity and cervix to examine the uterus in a procedure called a hysteroscopy. This allows the physician to examine the openings of the fallopian tubes, which is helpful if a woman with a uterine cyst is having difficulties getting pregnant.

Most cysts in the uterus are not cancerous and may not require treatment. For patients whose symptoms do not improve, doctors often prescribe medications to shrink the fibroids and improve symptoms. These medications include androgens and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Intrauterine devices and hormonal contraceptives help control menstrual-related symptoms, though they do not shrink the actual cysts.

In severe cases where a cyst causes symptoms that cannot be controlled with medications, doctors may elect to remove the fibroid through a surgical procedure. Most of these procedures are minimally invasive and use a laparoscope, a small instrument with a camera and light on the end, to help the surgeon navigate around the cyst to cut it away, freeze it with liquid nitrogen, use an electric current to destroy fibroids inside the uterus, or inject chemicals or particles into the cyst to cut off the blood flow and force them to shrink. The only permanent solution for uterine cysts is a hysterectomy, which completely removes the uterus. This option is usually a last resort because it prevents the woman from having children and may initiate menopause if the ovaries are also removed.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon992634 — On Sep 21, 2015

Can cysts cause swelling next to the belly button?

By anon928722 — On Jan 29, 2014

A cyst is not the same as a fibroid. A cyst is a fluid filled sac/structure. A fibroid is solid tissue. They are distinctly different.

By Federlink — On Dec 09, 2013
My wife was diagnosed with uterine fibroids, which were treated with a combination of medications. While benign, the cysts do cause her quite a bit of pain on a periodic basis. I wish doctors gave more advice for how to cope with the ongoing pain of these cysts, as I hate to see her in pain.
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.