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Adnexal tumors

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The word ‘Adnexa’ stands for additional structures on organs. An Adnexal tumors is a mass growing on organs like the eyes, skin, and uterus. Typically, it describes tumors on the uterus and its adjacent structures.

Adnexal tumors are mass growing on organs and their surrounding connective tissues. Common Adnexal tumors of the uterus involve growth on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the connective tissues surrounding them. You can develop Adnexal tumors at any age.


The adnexal tumors are often benign. However, some tumors may be malignant (cancerous). The tumors are composed of fluid-filled or solid mass. Fluid-filled growths are usually self-limiting and can resolve over a menstrual cycle. Solid tumors (filled with blood and cells) are more concerning.

In rare circumstances, the tumors can enlarge and persist for longer durations. Such tumors are pathological masses and require extensive treatment.

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What are the causes of Adnexal tumors?

The Adnexal tumors is a broad term and includes various other types. Depending on the type of tumor, the cause varies. The pathology of different types of Adnexal tumors is still under research and not well understood.

  • Ovarian cysts: Ovarian cysts are the most common forms of Adnexal tumors occurring once every woman’s lifetime. Abnormal formation of the follicles is the likely cause of ovarian cysts.
  • Cystic Teratomas: Teratomas are a rare type of tumor. They contain mature, fully-grown cells. Experts believe the germ cells (eggs produced in women) proliferate abnormally to form mature cystic teratomas.
  • Ovarian cancer: Ovarian cancer is a common type of cancer in women. There are several theories regarding the cause of this cancer – ranging from abnormal formation to genetic variations. The ovarian tumors can grow and spread to the surrounding areas to produce various symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Adnexal tumors?

These tumors are often asymptomatic and diagnosed during a routine exam. Few cases of Adnexal tumors present symptoms. Symptoms of adnexal tumors vary depending on the type of tumor present. If you have Adnexal tumors, you may experience:

  • ● Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvic region
  • ● Menstrual irregularities
  • ● Bleeding internally, around the tumor
  • ● Involuntary urine leakage
  • ● Pain during urination
  • ● Constipation problem
  • ● Disorders of the intestinal tract, digestion problems

How is Adnexal tumors Diagnosed?

In the absence of symptoms, often the tumors remain undiagnosed. A routine physical exam may detect the tumor; it needs an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis.


If your doctor suspects a tumor, you may need to undergo additional tests. Imaging studies and lab tests may be necessary to ascertain the underlying cause of tumors. Based on your diagnosis, your doctor will then decide if your condition is a medical emergency.


Typically, adnexal tumors get detected during routine ultrasound scans for pregnancy. Ruling out an ectopic pregnancy is vital as it can cause a medical emergency. Your doctor will likely address the adnexal tumor before you can proceed with the pregnancy. It is to reduce the risk to both you and your baby.

How is Adnexal tumors Treated?

Often the Adnexal tumors are quite small and display no symptoms. Due to this fact, the tumors often remain undetected.

Most of these tumors resolve on their own and require no treatment. The tumor mass reduces with the changes during the menstrual cycle. If detected, your doctor will want to monitor the tumor to check for its status.

Adnexal tumors rarely require surgical treatment. Your doctor may advise you for surgical removal of the tumor only if:

  • ● It grows in size
  • ● It compresses the other structures and causes symptoms
  • ● It develops a solid mass

After the tumor removal, your doctor will send a sample to test for malignancy. If the tumor cells are malignant, you will need additional treatment to destroy all the malignant cells.

What is the outlook for Adnexal tumors?

Most cases of Adnexal tumors are asymptomatic and self-limiting. They are not harmful. As they resolve on their own, treatment is often unnecessary.

In a few cases, the adnexal tumors may be ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer, if non-spreading and treated on time, has a high survival rate.

What are the risks associated with Adnexal tumors Treatment?

Only a few Adnexal tumors require surgical treatment. If you undergo ovarian cancer surgery, you are at risk of developing clots in your lower body, especially your legs. These clots are easy to avoid with leg movements during the post-surgical period.

Other complications of the surgery include:

  • ● Severe blood loss
  • ● Risk of infection
  • ● Difficulty with bowel movements
  • ● Difficulty with urinating

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Are Adnexal Tumors Cancerous?

Adnexal tumors are growths present on the structures surrounding the uterus – ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the surrounding connective tissues. Although most of these tumors are benign, some may be cancerous.

Do all Adnexal Tumors Need to be Removed?

Most Adnexal tumors are noncancerous and self-limiting. Most women do not even experience symptoms. Adnexal tumors need surgical removal only if they produce symptoms and are increasing in size.

Are Adnexal Cysts Common?

Adnexal cysts are a common occurrence in premenstrual women. They are a result of variation in the formation of follicles in ovaries.

Are Ovarian Cysts the Same as Adnexal Tumors?

Adnexal tumors are growth present on the organs – commonly uterus, ovaries, and other surrounding structures. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled masses growing on ovaries. They are a type of Adnexal tumor.

How do I Know if I have Adnexal Tumors?

Adnexal tumors do not always display symptoms. If symptoms are present, they include abdominal pain, irregular menstrual cycle and flow, pelvic tenderness, difficulty emptying bowels, increased urine frequency, and abnormal vaginal bleeding. Diagnosis of Adnexal tumors is through a routine physical exam and imaging studies like ultrasound scans.

Can Adnexal Tumors Cause Back Pain?

Adnexal tumors are often small and asymptomatic. They may give rise to dull aching, intermittent pain. If the Adnexal tumors enlarge and compress other organs or rupture, you can experience sharp shooting pain along the lower abdomen and back.


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