An ovarian cyst is a sac that contains either a fluid or a fluid and solid mixture. They can grow either in the interior or on the outside surface of the ovary. While cysts can burst, hemorrhage or induce pain requiring surgery, most are harmless and will normally disappear on their own.
There are a large variety of ovarian cyst types and they have a broad range of growth sizes. Most are about the size of a pea but in some rare occasions they may measure over 40 inches in diameter and weigh about 100 pounds. There are a wide range of symptoms for ovarian cysts, from no symptoms to severe pain. Ovarian cysts have a lot of different causes, but most are a product of the ovulation cycle.
Usually, ovarian cysts happen during the reproductive years, but can also occur to post menopausal women. Roughly fifteen percent of all cases of ovarian cysts happen to women after their reproductive years. Post menopausal women are also more likely to have malignant cysts.
Ovarian cysts are usually of a benign type called functional cysts because they happen as a result of the ovulation cycle. There are other types of benign cysts including endometrial cysts, cystadenoma cysts, and dermoid cysts.
Often a person isn’t aware that she has a cyst until it’s discovered during a pelvic exam. Upon discovery of a cyst, a plan of treatment is formulated on the basis of the results of tests. These tests may include ultrasound to determine a cyst’s location, shape and size.
Ultrasound testing will also give information on whether the cyst is liquid, a solid, or a combination of liquid and solid. Hormone testing may be done to detect hormone related problems. A blood test may be used to check for cancerous cysts.
Your doctors diagnosis is the only way to be certain that you have them. Sometimes women with no apparent symptoms discover to their surprise that they have cysts after their checkup. Others find out that they have a completely different disorder even though they have painful abdominal symptoms.
The nature of a cyst as well as its type will decide its proper treatment. A cyst that’s small and painless, probably won’t require treatment. Birth control pills may be prescribed to repress ovarian cysts by stopping ovulation. They can also shrink down the diameter of an existing cyst.
The greatest concern of all with ovarian cysts is whether they’re benign or malignant. Even if benign, ovarian cysts may pose serious health risks if they continue to get larger, or rupture, or proliferate extensively. This is why it’s essential that they are monitored by your doctor on a regular basis.