Women fundamentally have two ovaries, which are part of their reproductive systems and responsible for producing reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone. Each woman might develop a fluid-filled sac within the membrane of the ovary at some point. These are usually the painless cysts that go away on their own without causing any harm to your ovaries or reproductive health.
However, if the size of a cyst is greater than 5 cm in diameter, they need to be taken out surgically. A majority of ovarian cyst cases occur in women in their reproductive age, but women of any age can get this fluid build-up within the inner membrane of one or both ovaries.
Types and Causes of Ovarian Cysts
The causes of ovarian cysts are:
● Pelvic inflammation
● Complicated pregnancy
● Hormonal imbalance
There are two types of ovarian cysts:
1) Functional Cysts: These are mostly the small pea-size cysts that occur during the menstrual cycle and are harmless in most cases. This occurs when the follicle that releases the egg from your ovary does not break open during your menstrual cycle. It forms a temporary cyst, which is short-lived.
2) Pathological Cyst: These cysts begin to develop in your ovaries. They can be benign or cancerous, although malignancy in ovarian cysts is quite rare. Either way, if the size of the cyst is large enough to cause pain, bleeding, nausea, bloating, and other serious symptoms, surgical removal of the cyst is necessary. You can consult the laparoscopic gynae surgeon for cyst removal surgery.
Signs and Symptoms
Ovarian cysts are mostly symptomless and if symptoms occur, they are confused for endometriosis and pelvic inflammation. You must watch for abnormal symptoms closely. Here’s what you might experience with an ovarian cyst.
● Abdominal pain, swelling and bloating
● Painful bowel movements
● Tender breasts
● Pain during the intercourse
● Lower back pain
● Urinary issues
● Excess pain during the menstrual cycle
● Heavy bleeding during menstruation
The pathological cysts can rupture if they are not removed. Get medical help immediately if you experience sharp pelvic pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Note that a ruptured or torn ovarian cyst is a life-threatening condition.
How is Ovarian Cyst Diagnosed?
A gynecologist can detect the presence of an ovarian cyst during the routine pelvic exam. The swelling in the ovaries is a common sign of a fluid-filled sac. The doctor might order an ultrasound to identify the size, shape, and position of the cyst.
Since ovarian cysts are highly likely to disappear automatically within a few weeks or months, the doctors don’t suggest treatment immediately. They will ask you to take another ultrasound in a few weeks to see if the cyst has grown or disappeared.
The treatment depends on the type and size of the cyst. A gynecologist can perform laparoscopic surgery to remove small, non-cancerous cysts. An invasive surgical procedure is needed for the large cysts.
The doctor might also perform a biopsy if they suspect the cyst is cancerous. They may remove the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes if the cyst is cancerous.
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