One of the most important parts of a woman’s body is her ovaries that are located in the lower abdomen on both sides of the uterus. You all know that a woman has a total of two ovaries that produce hormones (estrogen & progesterone) as well as the eggs. Now, do you know what is a cyst? You all may have heard the term “cyst” once in your lifetime for sure. Well, sometimes, a cyst that is a fluid-filled sac develops on one of the ovaries. Most of the cases, these cysts are painless as well as cause no such symptoms. Keep reading to grasp every information about ovarian cysts!!
Types of Ovarian Cysts
There are many types of ovarian cysts like a dermoid cyst and an endometrioma cyst. But the most common type of ovarian cyst is the functional cysts. Let’s know the two main types of functional cysts namely follicle & corpus luteum cysts.
- Follicle Cyst
During your menstrual cycle, an egg is grown in a sac called follicle and this sac is situated inside your ovaries.
In some cases, this sac or follicle breaks and produces an egg. And if the follicle does not break, then the fluid inside your follicle can develop a cyst on your ovary.
- Corpus Luteum Cysts
Follicle sacs normally dissolve after producing an egg. However, in case your sac does not dissolve as well as the opening of your follicle seals, this can develop extra fluid inside your sac causing a corpus luteum cyst.
More types of ovarian cysts are as follows:
- Dermoid Cysts are sac-like tumor on the ovaries containing fat, hair and different tissues
- Cystadenomas are non-cancerous growths that form on the ovaries’ outer surface
- Endometriomas are tissues that typically form inside the uterus and sometimes outside the uterus as well. This attaches to the ovaries resulting in a cyst
Most women also experience a condition named polycystic ovary syndrome. In this condition, the ovaries are filled with a large number of small cysts causing the ovaries to enlarge. Polycystic ovaries can cause infertility if it is left untreated.
Symptoms of an Ovarian Cyst
Most ovarian cysts don’t show any symptoms. But one can experience the symptoms when the cyst starts growing. Following are some of the symptoms:
- Abdominal swelling or bloating
- Painful bowel movements
- Pelvic pain prior to or during your menstrual cycle
- Painful intercourse
- Pain in the thighs or lower back
- Breast tenderness
- Vomiting and nausea
Following are the severe symptoms of ovarian cysts that need immediate medical attention:
- Sharp or severe pelvic pain
- Dizziness or faintness
- Rapid breathing
Treatment for Ovarian Cysts
Take a look at some of the common treatments for ovarian cysts:
- Birth Control Pills
Most doctors prescribe an oral contraceptive to those with recurrent ovarian cysts to restrict ovulation & prevent the formation of new cysts.
Oral contraceptives reduce the risk of ovarian cancer as well.
Doctors perform a laparoscopy to remove the cyst. This surgical procedure includes making a small incision near the navel and then injecting a tiny instrument into the abdomen to take off the cyst.
In this procedure, the doctor surgically removes a cyst through a large incision in the abdomen.
They also conduct an immediate biopsy, if they find that the cyst is cancerous.
Note: if your doctor recommends you to remove or shrink your cyst, you should do it without a second thought.
Prevention of Ovarian Cyst
Yes, you can prevent ovarian cysts. However, routine gynecologic examinations can detect ovarian cysts early. Not all ovarian cysts become cancer. But always remember that symptoms of ovarian cancer can resemble symptoms of this. Hence, it is always recommended to visit a doctor and acquire a right diagnosis.
Let your physician know the symptoms that indicate an ovarian cyst, such as:
- Changes in the menstrual cycle
- Ongoing pelvic pain
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal fullness
Some cysts disappear on its own or within a few months.
However, recurrent ovarian cysts occur in both premenopausal women and women with hormone imbalances.
Keep in mind, if left untreated, most of these cysts can eventually decrease fertility.
Therefore, take the right steps at the right time!!!