What are ovarian cysts?

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Just like periods the ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. They’re located in the lower abdomen on both sides of the uterus. Women have two ovaries that produce eggs as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Sometimes, a fluid-filled sac called a cyst will develop on one of the ovaries. Many women will develop at least one cyst during their lifetime. In most cases, cysts are painless and cause no symptom. One type of harmless cyst called a functional cyst or Follicle cyst occurs due to the normal function of the menstrual cycle which tend to last 60 days or less.


Causes and Types of Ovarian Cysts

Here are the types of ovarian cysts that are as followed –

Dermoid cysts: These cysts are formed from the cells that produce human eggs. They may contain tissue such as hair, skin, or fat. In some rare cases, they can be cancerous. These cysts can grow so large that they cause your ovary to twist or move out of its usual position. This is called ovarian torsion.

 Cystadenomas: Ovarian tissues develop these cysts and may be filled with a watery liquid or a mucous material. They can grow to be large.

• Endometriomas: These cysts are caused by the condition endometriosis, in which uterine cells grow outside your uterus and can form a growth on your ovary.


Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts -

Usually the smaller ovarian cysts tend to cause no symptoms.


Larger cysts can cause:

• Pelvic pain or a dull ache in your lower back and thighs

• Pelvic pain before your menstrual cycle begins, or just before it ends

• Pain during sexual intercourse

• Pressure on your bowels, or pain during bowel movements

• A feeling of fullness or heaviness in your lower abdomen

• The urge to urinate frequently

• Nausea, vomiting, or breast tenderness

• Cysts that rupture (break open) can cause serious symptoms.

• Typically, an ovarian cyst is found during a routine pelvic exam.

• When a gynaecologist suspects the presence of an ovarian cyst, he or she may request an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create images of internal organs.


Treatment of Ovarian Cysts

Most functional ovarian cysts disappear within a few months without treatment. In some cases, the doctor might suggest the following –


• Birth control pills

If you have recurrent ovarian cysts, your doctor can prescribe oral contraceptives to stop ovulation and prevent the development of new cysts. Oral contraceptives can also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. The risk of ovarian cancer is higher in postmenopausal women.


• Laparoscopy

In case of small cyst and results from an imaging test to rule out cancer, laparoscopy can be performed by your doctor to surgically remove the cyst. The procedure involves your doctor making a tiny incision near your navel and then inserting a small instrument into your abdomen to remove the cyst.


• Laparotomy

In case of a large cyst, your doctor will perform laparotomy to surgically remove the cyst through a large incision in your abdomen. They’ll conduct an immediate biopsy, and if they determine that the cyst is cancerous, they may perform a hysterectomy to remove your ovaries and uterus.

Also there are certain cases where surgery may be necessary to remove a cyst. So keep a watch and consult a doctor in case you face a problem!


Written by -

Shivani Sharma