What is an ovarian cyst?
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on or inside your ovary. Most women experience at least one ovarian cyst throughout their life. The majority of these cysts are harmless and disappear on their own without treatment.
There are several different types of cysts, including:
- Functional cysts that cause little to no symptoms and go away without treatment
- Teratomas, or dermoid cysts, that contain hair, skin, and other tissues
- Cystadenomas, which can grow very large
- Endometriomas, which develop as a result of endometriosis
In rare cases, an ovarian cyst may be cancerous (malignant). Some noncancerous cysts, such as teratomas and cystadenomas, can grow large enough to move your ovary out of position and cause pain.
How do I know if I have ovarian cysts?
Most cysts disappear before they cause symptoms. However, a large ovarian cyst may cause dull or sharp pelvic pain. If a cyst bursts (ruptures), bleeds, or causes your ovary to twist, you may experience sharp, severe pain that comes on suddenly. Some ruptured cysts may also cause heavy vaginal bleeding.
If you experience symptoms of a ruptured cyst, you should seek immediate medical attention.
How do you diagnose and treat ovarian cysts?
First, your OB-GYN at Lievano Perez Obstetrics and Gynecology of Miami performs a physical and pelvic exam, and reviews your symptoms and medical history. If they suspect you have an ovarian cyst, your provider may take tests to determine the type of cyst you have. Tests may include:
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Pregnancy test
- Hormone level tests
If you’re past menopause, they may also take at CA-125 blood test to measure the level of cancer-antigen in your blood.
Once they diagnose your ovarian cysts, the team at Lievano Perez Obstetrics and Gynecology of Miami creates a personalized treatment plan. Treatment may begin with watchful waiting. This involves monitoring your cyst with follow-up ultrasounds to see if it changes in size or appearance.
If your cyst is large, causes problems, ormay be cancerous, the team at Lievano Perez Obstetrics and Gynecology of Miami may recommend surgery.
The highly trained gynecologic surgeons offer minimally invasive procedures, such as laparoscopy, to remove ovarian cysts. Laparoscopy uses specialized instruments to treat your cyst through buttonhole-sized incisions in your abdomen.