Ovarian Cysts: Types and Symptoms
Ignoring ovarian cysts could lead to more serious and extremely painful problems. That’s why it’s important to know what ovarian cysts are, what are the symptoms, and what you can do about them.
A cyst is just a fluid-filled sac that occurs on the ovaries. They are fairly common and many women don’t even know when they have them.
The most common type of cyst is called a functional cyst. This occurs only in menstruating women. Normally, a very small cyst carrying an egg forms on one or both of the ovaries once a month. When you ovulate, the cyst breaks and releases the egg. A functional cyst occurs when this cyst fails to break, or reseals itself after releasing the egg.
There are other, more rare forms of cysts. They include:
*Polycystic ovaries. This is where the eggs in the ovary fail to mature and break off causing numerous cysts inside the ovaries each month.
*Dermoid cysts. Because the ovaries contain genetic materials, they are capable of producing cysts that contain human tissue including hair and teeth.
*Cystadenoma. This is a cyst that forms on the outer surface of the ovary.
*Enometriomas. A cyst formed when the endometrial cells that normally line the uterus grow outside into the abdomen. This kind of cyst only forms in women with
endometriosis. However, many women with endometriosis are unaware that they have the condition.
Usually, the symptoms of cysts are mild and can be confused with other conditions. Because of this, many cysts go untreated. You should make an appointment with your doctor if you experience:
*Pain or fullness in the lower abdomen
*Aching back and thighs
*Pain during intercourse
*Unexplained weight gain
*Abnormal or unusually painful menstruation
You should see your doctor if you: have severe lower abdominal pain, feel faint or dizzy, have a fever, or are vomiting, and have rapid breathing. These are all signs that a cyst has ruptured and you require immediate medical attention
While cysts can be diagnosed from symptoms, they are more often found during a routine pelvic exam. That’s why it’s important to have these exams every year starting at the age of 18 or are sexually active.
After a cyst is found, your doctor will likely perform an ultrasound and other tests to ensure it does not appear cancerous or ruptured.
Generally, a cyst will go away on its own. If you don’t have symptoms of a ruptured cyst, your doctor will probably just monitor your condition to make sure it improves. If the cyst is still there several months later, it may be removed by surgery.
Because most ovarian cysts are caused by ovulation, birth control is the preferred form of treatment if cysts tend to reoccur. While this will not treat the cysts you have, it can prevent you from forming new ones.
However, birth control presents its own problems and you should be aware of the risk factors, such as smoking, before you start treatment.
If you take the proper precautions and treatment methods, you should be able to prevent serious problems from occurring.