Ovarian cysts are very common in women of all ages. Some women experience symptoms while others don’t.
There are different types of ovarian cysts. The symptoms and treatment of these conditions may also differ for different women as well. Fortunately, most are benign and resolvable.
With tests and examinations during the annual gynecological exam, your gynecologist can easily determine if you have an ovarian cyst and what treatment is needed.
As such, feel free to contact Gynecology Services in Boca Raton & Boynton, FL, for advice. At Women’s Health Partners, you will find a way to solve the problem of ovarian cysts.
What Is an Ovarian Cyst?
The ovaries are part of every woman’s reproductive system. They produce eggs and the hormones estrogen and progesterone. There are two ovaries in the woman’s lower abdomen, one on each side of the uterus.
At least once in a woman’s life, a sac filled with fluid or other contents will appear on the ovary. This fluid-filled sac is called a cyst. Cysts can appear on one or both ovaries and be single or multiple. Also, you can have recurring ovarian cysts from time to time. The size of the ovarian cyst usually varies from half an inch to four inches
If you want to find out if you have ovarian cysts and control the condition of your ovaries, you can contact us and schedule your appointment with a gynecologist at Women’s Health Partners for exams and potential ovarian cyst treatment.
Types of Ovarian Cysts
There are different types of ovarian cysts:
- Functional cysts occur more often than others. These include:
- Follicle cysts: During the menstrual cycle, an egg cell grows in one of the follicles – the sac in the ovary. The follicle should rupture during ovulation and release the egg. If this does not happen, fluid accumulates inside the follicles and forms a cyst. This cyst is usually smaller. If it’s larger, you may feel pressure or pain in the lower part of the abdomen.
- Corpus luteum cysts: The follicle sac closes and withdraws after the egg is released. If this does not happen, the sac fills with fluid and forms a cyst. These cysts are small and recede spontaneously after some time.
- Hemorrhagic ovarian cysts: Hemorrhagic ovarian cysts occur after the follicle breaks open and the sac fills with blood. If a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst ruptures, it can release blood and fluid into the lower belly and pelvis. There may not be any symptoms of this type of ovarian cyst, but pain or some ahd mild blood loss may occur. 2. Other types of ovarian cysts or non-functional ovarian cysts are:
- Dermoid cysts: These are ovarian cysts that can also contain tissues such as hair, nails, and fat in the sac.
- Endometrioma cysts: These ovarian cysts have endometrial tissue that is normally found in the uterus. During the cycle, blood accumulates inside the cyst, which increases. The cyst can rupture and cause internal bleeding. These ovarian cysts can affect fertility.
- Cystadenomas: These are benign changes that form on the outer surface of the ovary.
Symptoms of a Cyst
Many women usually do not feel the symptoms of ovarian cysts. If they appear, they need to be treated. When the fluid in the cyst accumulates, the cyst grows, and then you mostly feel the symptoms.
The most common symptoms of ovarian cysts may be:
- bloating and abdominal pain
- nausea and vomiting
- painful menstrual cycles
- painful sexual intercourse
- lower back pain
- breast tenderness.
Occasionally there is a sharp pain in the pelvis, fever, rapid breathing, or fainting, and you should not ignore them.
Most often, there are no complications due to an ovarian cyst, and most of the symptoms go away on their own, without special treatment. However, more complicated conditions can occur.such as ovarian cancer, ovarian torsion, or a ruptured cyst. It is necessary to do additional analyzes and exams to find the right treatment and intervention.
Ways to Diagnose Ovarian Cysts
At the annual gynecological appointment, during the pelvic exam, the doctor will notice if there are ovarian cysts. If there is a suspicion of a them being present or you have a problem with the recurring ovarian cysts, the gynecologist will recommend a pelvic ultrasound test. This will determine the location and type of the cyst.
Ovarian cysts may be diagnosed using:
- CT scans – gives detailed images of internal organs
- MRIs – magnetic resonance imaging
- With the help of ultrasound devices – high-frequency sound waves create images of your internal organs.
The gynecologist may ask for more tests if the symptoms of the ovarian cyst worsen or are not typical. Then the doctor may suggest that you do a pregnancy test, a CA 125 blood test (cancer antigen 125), or a hormone test (primarily estrogen and progesterone) to see if there is something else.
Ovarian Cyst Treatment
Before menopause, a woman usually has no complications, but there may be a recurrence of ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome. Of course, these problems should be addressed.
The risk of complications is higher in postmenopausal women because the risk of cancer also increases. However, you should not be afraid: benign cysts on the ovaries, persistent, recurrent ovarian cysts or a larger number of them won’t probably become cancer.
Still, maligancies may also produce similar symptoms and your gynecologist will probably recommend more elaborate diagnostic tests if they suspect that there’s a tumor in the ovaries.
Treatment options for ovarian cysts are:
- Contraceptive pills – birth control pills prevent ovulation and the formation of new cysts. They are the most common treatment for recurring ovarian cysts, but they may also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Laparoscopy – This is a surgical procedure to remove cysts. It is performed with a laparoscope. With an attached camera, the surgeon enters the deivce at the abdomen through a small incision near the navel, reaches the cyst on the ovary, and removes it.
- Laparotomy – for large cysts on the ovary, a larger incision must be made in the abdomen to remove them. Tissue from this cyst is usually taken for a biopsy to see if it is cancerous.
Can We Prevent Ovarian Cysts?
Ovarian cysts appear in almost every woman and can’t be prevented. Women need to know her bodies and recognize the changes. That is why you need to tell your gynecologist at the appointment if you feel anything suspicios. This is important to properly diagnose the problem and find the right treatment for you.
Most often, there are only benign cysts on the ovary, but complications may also occur. Symptoms such as changes in the menstrual cycle, weight loss, loss of appetite, bloating, swelling, and abdominal pain should not be ignored as they may indicate serious conditions. Talk openly with your gynecologist to get the right diagnosis and treatment.
Ovarian cysts cannot be prevented, and they appear regardless of age, lifestyle, or genetics. Their symptoms should not be ignored – some types of ovarian cysts can cause infertility in women. Still. there are several treatment options for all types of ovarian cysts.
They resolve on their own, but sometimes, it is necessary to remove them surgically. An ovarian cyst will most likely not develop into cancer, but it may have similar symptoms. Gynecological examinations are the best way to keep things under control.
If you have more questions about this topic and want to schedule your appointment with a gynecologist, you can contact us at Women’s Health Partners in Boca Raton & Boynton, FL.