Ovarian Cyst

An Ovarian Cyst is a fluid-filled sac that forms in or on the ovaries. They can be benign, premalignant, or cancerous.

There are various types of benign ovarian cysts:

  • Dermoid cysts: formed by embryonic cells that contain hair, skin, or teeth tissue, or other tissue
  • Cystadenoma: a fluid filled cyst that develops on the ovary
  • Endometrioma: endometrial tissue that attaches to the ovary and forms a cyst
  • Polycystic cysts: related to PCOS, where the ovaries contain a large number of cysts

What are the symptoms of an Ovarian Cyst?

You may have an ovarian cyst and feel no symptoms at all. However, the most common symptom is pain or pressure on the lower side of your body where the cyst is located.
Other less common symptoms include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Frequent urination
  • Heavy bleeding between periods
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pelvic pain
  • Bloating
  • Unexplained weight gain

In extreme cases, an ovarian cyst may twist or rupture which will necessitate a visit to the emergency room.

A ruptured or twisted ovarian cyst is generally characterized by the sudden onset of severe abdominal pain, possibly accompanied by fever or vomiting. A ruptured or twisted ovarian cyst can generally be treated with IV pain medication and fluids and rarely requires surgical intervention.

How is an Ovarian Cyst diagnosed?

Patients often present with pelvic pain, pressure, or any of the above symptoms and their doctor will order a transvaginal ultrasound. Additionally, an ovarian cyst may be identified on a physical exam.

How is an Ovarian Cyst treated?

Most cysts will disappear without any medical intervention. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 5% to 10% of women are required to have surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. Of those that are operated on, less than 20% have cancerous cysts.

If the cyst is painful or growing in size, treatment options include:

  • Birth control such as the pill, vaginal ring or patch for hormone regulation
  • Watchful waiting to monitor the cyst at regular intervals
  • Laparoscopy to remove smaller benign cysts through a tiny incision near the belly button
  • Laparotomy to remove cancerous cysts through a larger incision in the abdomen

Do Ovarian Cysts cause infertility?

Most ovarian cysts do not affect your chances of getting pregnant.

Ovarian Cysts are not preventable. But they can be effectively treated.

Our doctors at The Center for Gynecologic Oncology specialize in diagnosing and treating ovarian cysts. As gynecologist oncologists, our goal is to offer you the most up-to-date treatments for the best possible outcomes.

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