Ovaries are parts of the female reproductive system. They’re found in the lower abdomen on each sides of the uterus.
Often times, a fluid-filled sac known as a cyst will grow on one of the ovaries. Many females will develop at least one cyst during their lifetime. In most cases, cysts are painless and have no symptoms.
There are many types of ovarian cysts, for example dermoid cysts and endometrioma cysts. However, functional cysts are the most popular type. The two kinds of functional cysts comprise of follicle and corpus luteum cysts.
At the time of a woman’s menstrual cycle, an egg forms in a sac called a follicle. This sac is found inside the ovaries. In most instances, this follicle or sac breaks open and discharges an egg. But if the follicle doesn’t break open, the fluid can form a cyst inside the follicle.
Corpus luteum cysts
Follicle sacs basically melt after releasing an egg. But if the sac doesn’t melt and the opening of the follicle seals, more fluid can develop inside the sac, and this accumulation of fluid leads to a corpus luteum cyst.
Other types of ovarian cysts include:
Dermoid cysts: Sac-like growths on the ovaries that can contain fat, hair and other tissue
Cystadenomas: noncancerous growths that can multiply on the outer surface of the ovaries
Endometriomas: tissues that usually grow inside the uterus can increase outside the uterus and join to the ovaries, lead to a cyst.
Some women may have a condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome. This condition implies the ovaries have a large number of small cysts. It can make the ovaries to enlarge. If left untreated, polycystic ovaries can lead to infertility.
Sometimes, ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms. However, symptoms can appear as the cyst develops. Symptoms may include:
Abdominal bloating or swelling
Pain in the lower back or thighs
Painful bowel movements
Pelvic ache before or during the menstrual cycle
Nausea and vomiting
Severe signs and symptoms of an ovarian cyst that need urgent medical attention include:
Severe or sharp pelvic pain
Faintness or dizziness
These symptoms can point out a ruptured cyst or an ovarian torsion. Both complications can have serious effects if not treated on time.
Your doctor can identify an ovarian cyst through a regular pelvic examination. They may observe swelling on one of your ovaries and order an ultrasound test to affirm the presence of a cyst. Ultrasound tests assist in knowing the size, location, shape, and composition (solid or fluid filled) of a cyst.
Imaging tools used to diagnose ovarian cysts include:
CT Scan: a body imaging device used to make cross-sectional images of internal organs
MRI: A test that uses magnetic fields to give in-depth images of internal organs
Ultrasound: An imaging device used to see the ovary
Due to the fact that the majority of cysts goes away after a few weeks or months, your doctor may as well not immediately recommend a treatment plan. Instead, they can also repeat the ultrasound test in a few weeks or months to your condition.
If there are not any changes in your condition or if the cyst grows in size, your doctor will suggest additional tests to ascertain other causes of your symptoms.
Pregnancy test to ensure you’re not pregnant
Hormone degree test to check for hormone-related issues, such as too much estrogen or progesterone
CA-125 blood test to diagnose for ovarian cancer
Your doctor may suggest treatment to shrink or remove the cyst if it doesn’t go away on its own or if it grows larger.
Birth control pills
If you have persistent ovarian cysts, your doctor can recommend oral contraceptives to end ovulation and avoid the development of new cysts. Oral contraceptives can also reduce your chance of ovarian cancer. The risk of ovarian cancer is more in postmenopausal women.
If your cyst is small and results from an imaging test to rule out cancer, your doctor can perform a laparoscopy to do a surgery to remove the cyst. The procedure entails your doctor making a tiny incision near your navel and then put in a small instrument into your abdomen to remove the cyst.
If you have a large cyst, your doctor can perform a surgical procedure on you to take away the cyst through a large incision in your abdomen. They’ll carry out an immediate biopsy, and if they know that the cyst is cancerous, they may carry out a hysterectomy to do away with your ovaries and uterus.
Ovarian cyst prevention
Ovarian cysts can not be prevented. However, regular gynecologic examinations can identify ovarian cysts on time. Benign ovarian cysts don’t become cancerous but symptoms of ovarian cancer can look like symptoms of an ovarian cyst. Thus, it’s important to visit your doctor and get an accurate diagnosis. Let your doctor know the symptoms that may point out a problem, such as:
Changes in your menstrual cycle
Ongoing pelvic pain
Unexplained weight loss
Loss of appetite
The outlook for pre-menopausal women with ovarian cysts is positive. Most cysts disappear within a few months. However, recurrent ovarian cysts can occur in premenopausal women and girls with hormone imbalances.
Although some doctors take a “wait and see” technique with ovarian cysts, your doctor may recommend surgery to eliminate and examine any cyst or growth that develops on the ovaries after menopause. This is because the risk of developing a cancerous cyst or ovarian cancer becomes more after menopause. Nevertheless, ovarian cysts don’t increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Some doctors will take away a cyst if it’s larger than 5 centimeters in diameter.
: The information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by Surjen.com.