Hearing you have ovarian cysts may make you fearful, but it is usually not a major cause for concern. Most cysts occur naturally, and are benign.
Types of Ovarian Cysts
There are several types of ovarian cysts. The most common, a folliclular cyst, occurs each month as part of a normal cycle. The cyst is where the egg develops that is normally released mid-cycle. Occasionally, the cyst does not release the egg, and it may continue to grow.
Another common type, a corpus luteum cyst, forms after the follicle breaks open and releases the egg. These cells become the corpus luteum that sometimes then becomes a cyst. Occasionally, bleeding into these cysts can cause pain.
Both of these types of cysts normally resolves within a few weeks and do not require treatment.
Additional types of benign ovarian cysts include endometriomas, dermoids and cystadenomas. Some women suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which many small cysts form througout the ovaries.
Signs and Symptoms to Watch For
Some signs that you may have ovarian cysts include bloating, swelling and pressure in the lower abdomen, with pain usually localized to the side of the body where the cyst is located. Pain may not be constant, but could come and go.
Sudden sever pain, often with nausea and vomiting, can be associated with ovarian torsion. This occurs when an ovary twists around its blood supply, which is most common with large cysts.
How Are Cysts Treated?
Your doctor may conduct a history, physical examination, and often ultrasound to determine the type and location of the cyst. Since most cysts go away without treatment, your doctor may recommend monitoring the cyst unless your symptoms are severe. You also may be prescribed medication, such as birth control pills, to help prevent ovulation and formation of new cysts.
Surgery may be required if symptoms are severe, if the cyst is large, if there is evidence of a torsion, or if cancer is a concern.
A professional diagnosis and physician’s recommendation can help you make an educated decision on the best treatment approach for you. Make an appointment today with Rocky Mountain Women’s Health Center if you have any of the signs or symptoms of ovarian cysts.