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Ovarian Cysts: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

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Ovarian cysts are common outgrowths that appear in the ovary, both internally or externally. There are a couple of different kinds of cysts formed in Women’s bodies. The most common type is harmless, doesn’t produce symptoms, and will disappear with no treatment at all. Rarely, cystitis may lead to complications that need proper help and assistance.

Ovarian cysts are common occurrences in the reproductive systems of many females. These cysts are fluid-filled sacs that may form on or around the ovaries, which produce essential hormones like Estrogen and Progesterone. The size of these cysts may vary from small benign growths to large ones that must be treated.

However, while most ovarian cysts are benign and may be resolved on their own, it’s important to know the cause, recognize signs, or see a good doctor for proper diagnosis so that optimal reproductive health can be achieved. Ovarian cysts are very common, especially if you haven’t gone through menopause yet. The most commonly used type of ovarian cyst is functional cysts.

Types of Ovarian Cysts:-

types of ovarian cysts

Mostly these ovarian cysts are functional cysts as they are formed in response to your body’s changes during your menstrual cycle. Less commonly, ovarian cysts form for reasons unrelated to menstruation. Some of the common types of cysts are:-

Functional cysts: 

They are the most common type of ovarian cyst that doesn’t cause any harm to the body. They tend to occur as a result of ovulation. These cysts can be a sign that your ovaries are functioning as they should. Functional cysts generally shrink over time, usually within 60 days, without any treatment.

Follicle Cysts: 

During a woman’s menstrual cycle, a follicle releases an egg. But if the follicle doesn’t rupture to release the egg, it can develop into a cyst filled with fluid and get bigger in size.

Corpus Luteum Cysts:

After the egg is released, the follicle transforms into a structure called the corpus luteum. A cyst is formed when fluid gets filled in the corpus luteum as it seals off and grows in size. 

Endometriosis: 

Tissue that lines the uterus can grow outside it, attaching to the ovaries and forming cysts known as endometriomas. This majorly occurs during the bleeding phase of the menstrual cycle

Cystadenomas: 

These cysts develop on the surface of the ovaries and can be filled with fluid or mucus. They might grow to be quite large.

Seriousness of Ovarian Cysts:-

Generally, most ovarian cysts are benign, and often they go away on their own with time. Some types of cysts are more likely to become cancerous or cause complications, but this is a very rare case. There are less than 1% of ovarian cysts that are malignant. In order to minimize your risk of developing complications, your doctor may keep a close eye on any problematic cysts.

Causes of Ovarian Cysts:-

Here is the list of the most common causes of ovarian cysts in the body, including:-

  • Follicle Dysfunction: The release of eggs from the ovary follicle is associated with a menstrual cycle. In some cases, an egg cannot be broken and released from the follicle which causes it to form a follicular cyst. 
  • Hormonal Imbalance: Hormones play a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle and ovulation. Any disturbance in the hormones of our body, such as an excess of estrogen, can disrupt the normal ovulation process and mensuration and contribute to the development of cysts.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, often attaching to the ovaries. These growths, known as endometriomas, can cause the formation of cysts. The tissue responds to the menstrual cycle, leading to bleeding, inflammation, and the creation of cystic structures.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a hormonal disorder that occurs due to the formation of multiple small cysts on the ovaries. The underlying cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but it involves insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances, particularly elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) mainly testosterone.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the corpus luteum continues to produce progesterone until the placenta takes over hormone production. In some cases, a cyst called a corpus luteum cyst can form due to the persistence of the corpus luteum.
  • Ovulation Induction: Women undergoing fertility treatments, such as ovulation induction medications, may have a higher risk of developing ovarian cysts due to the stimulation of multiple follicles.

Symptoms of Having Ovarian Cyst:-

The symptoms of ovarian cysts can vary based on their size and whether they are causing complications or not. Common symptoms include:

  • Slow or sharp pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis, especially during periods of intercourse.
  • Feeling bloated or heavy in the lower abdomen.
  • Irregular periods, heavier or lighter bleeding than usual, or spotting between periods.
  • Pain or discomfort during sexual activity.
  • Increased urge to urinate or difficulty emptying the bladder completely.

Diagnosis of Ovarian Cysts:-

Diagnosis of Ovarian Cysts

If you experience persistent symptoms or have concerns, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional. Diagnosing ovarian cysts may involve:

  • Physical examination: In order to examine for irregularities, you should go to a doctor, so that he should carry out an exam of the abdomen.
  • Ultrasound: For the purpose of determining their size, shape, or composition, ultrasound may help visualize ovaries and cysts. This process uses sound waves to create images of your body’s internal organs. It can detect cysts on your ovaries, including their location and whether they’re primarily fluid or solid.
  • Blood tests: To exclude some diseases, hormone levels and tumor markers can be examined. 
  • MRI or CT Scans: More details of cysts can be obtained by the use of MRI or CT scans.
  • Laparoscopy: It is a surgical procedure that takes place in the operating room. Your provider inserts a camera through an incision (cut) in your abdomen and can view your reproductive organs and pelvic cavity. They may remove the cyst if your doctor diagnoses it at this time.

Treatment of Ovarian Cysts:-

The treatment of ovarian cysts depends on their size, type, and the symptoms they cause. Options include:-

  • Watchful Waiting: Small, non-threatening cysts might resolve on their own over a few menstrual cycles.
  • Taking Medication: Hormonal birth control pills can regulate hormones and prevent new cysts from forming.
  • Undergoing Surgery: If a cyst is large, causing severe pain, or not resolving, a surgical procedure might be recommended to remove the cyst while preserving the ovary.
  • Laparoscopy: A minimally invasive surgery where a small incision is made to remove or drain the cyst.
  • Hysterectomy: In severe cases, where cysts are recurring and causing significant discomfort, the removal of the ovaries might be considered.

Ovarian cysts are a common part of many women’s reproductive health experiences. Although some of these symptoms may not be serious and are resolved by themselves, it is essential to see a doctor if you have any concerns. Symptom relief, prevention of complications, and overall reproductive well-being can be helped with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Remember, there is a specific situation for each woman and it’s important to seek expert advice in order to choose the most appropriate course of action.

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FAQ:

How is an ovarian cyst treated?

Treatment will depend on factors like your age, your symptoms, and what’s likely causing your cyst.

Can ovarian cysts be prevented?

Taking medications that contain hormones (such as birth control pills) will stop ovulation. Some studies have suggested that this drug can reduce the occurrence of certain cysts. Ovarian cysts are normally benign, and there is no need to worry about prevention. Instead, note any symptoms that may be signs of a cyst and report them to your doctor. Schedule regular pelvic exams so that your provider can find any cysts that require treatment.

What can I expect if I have an ovarian cyst?

The majority of cysts have been functional and they are going to disappear in a few months. In order to make sure that the cyst doesn’t grow, it might be necessary to have follow-up imaging. If your provider sees a cyst that may lead to complications in the future, follow their advice carefully. Ovarian Cyst professionals in London can suggest a watchful waiting, prescribe medication, or advise on a combination of both. You may need surgery for more information on cysts.

Is it normal to have ovarian cysts?

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on an ovary. They’re very common and do not usually cause any symptoms. Most ovarian cysts occur naturally and go away in a few months without needing any treatment.

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