The term “Ovarian Cyst” is not new to women around the world as they may have come across this health issue themselves or may have heard about it from family or friends. This is very common problem faced by women at some point of time in their lives and mostly it goes away on its own without giving any clear signals. In some cases, these cysts come to stay and this is where the medical science steps in!
Introduction to Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cyst is the type of cyst that is found near the ovary in female body. This cyst appears as fluid-filled sac and is usually not harmful. It is formed as a part of normal functions of ovary and has no major reason for its appearance. As per one study, at least one ovarian cyst would develop in most women during their lifetime but may go unnoticed due to the lack of symptoms. Out of the two ovaries, it is possible that only one may develop the cyst.
Though, these cysts are the part of female reproductive system, the problem arises when they rupture or enlarge to block the blood flow to the ovaries.
Different Forms of Ovarian Cysts
- Follicle Cyst – Follicle is the sac in ovary where the egg develops during each menstrual cycle. This sac, which is found inside the ovaries, would break open to release the egg. If this normal cycle of egg formation and release is disturbed due to any reason then the follicle won’t break open and hence the fluid inside this sac would take a form of cyst.
- Corpus Luteum Cyst – During each menstrual cycle, the follicle dissolves once the egg is released. Sometimes the follicle remains in its original form even after the egg is released. Its opening would get sealed retaining the fluid inside. The sac with the fluid in it will form a cyst known as Corpus Luteum Cyst.
- Cystadenomas –This grows on the outer surface of the ovary and it is non-cancerous in nature.
- Dermoid Cysts – These are the sacs that contain fat, tissues, and hair in it. Dermoid cysts are located on the outer surface of the ovary.
- Endometriomas –The tissues that usually grow inside the uterus would go beyond the uterus walls and get attached to the ovaries. These outgrown tissues will become ovarian cysts.
Apart from the above forms, the ovarian cysts can also be divided into two groups.
- Functional Ovarian Cysts – Functional cysts are very common as they occur as the part of female reproductive system and are usually developed at the time of menstrual cycle. The cysts falling in this group are very common and harmless.
- Pathological Ovarian Cysts –The cysts in this group are not very common and may develop because of abnormal cell growth.
When ovarian cysts are present in large number or in the cluster form then this condition is known as polycystic ovary syndrome. These cysts are many in number and small in size. They may cover large area in the ovary and make it grow in size. This condition calls for medical attention as it may result into infertility.
Ovarian Cysts would not be painful to large extent but when they are more in number or big in size then they may come up with certain signs and symptoms. Mostly these symptoms are experienced when these cysts rupture.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain and bloating experienced in abdomen due to swelling.
- Irregular bowel movement that will lead to painful emptying of bowel.
- Mild to severe pain experienced in pelvic area. The pain can be unbearable sometimes.
- Painful intercourse.
- Urge to urinate would rise substantially and the person suffering from this problem urinate frequently.
- Abnormal menstrual cycle. The flow during periods would be lighter or heavier than normal.
- Irregular periods would also cause pelvic pain.
- Bloated tummy will result into loss of appetite and you may feel full even after eating very little.
How are ovarian cysts diagnosed?
Ovarian cyst would be diagnosed by your medical practitioner during routine health checkup. The swelling on one of the ovaries would indicate the existence of cyst. To confirm it further, you will have to undergo ultrasound test. This test would bring out complete details like location, size, shape, and composition of the cyst. Generally, these cysts go away on their own and hence the doctor won’t come up with any immediate line of treatment. You will be asked to undergo another test after some days in order to check whether the cyst is melting or growing. If it is found to be growing or multiplying then there would be elaborate treatment plan recommended.
The treatment usually includes birth control pills and laparoscopy. The best way to prevent this condition from getting worse is to diagnose it in time via regular health checkups and noticing the initial symptoms.