Ovarian Cysts - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

The female reproductive system has two ovaries of almond size, each on the side of the uterus, located in the lower abdomen. Both the ovaries produce eggs each month in the child-bearing age and hormones estrogen and progesterone. Sometimes cysts- fluid-filled pockets may develop in it. Mostly they do not cause any pain and symptoms. Many women will develop at least one cyst in their whole lifetime. However, if left untreated it can get ruptured and cause serious symptoms. Therefore, you must get regular pelvic exams done to get an insight into it. 



Symptoms 


Usually, ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms. However, they may appear if as the cysts grow in size. They may show the following signs and symptoms. 


  • Abdominal bloating 

  • Abdominal swelling

  • Pain during bowel movements

  • Pelvic pain before the start of periods

  • Pelvic pain during the menstrual cycle

  • Painful intercourse- a condition known as dyspareunia

  • Pain in the lower back 

  • Pain in thighs

  • Breast tenderness

  • Nausea and vomiting


Ovarian cysts, when left untreated and unobserved, may rupture and cause severe symptoms like;


  • Sharp and severe pelvic pain

  • Fever- that indicates an infection 

  • Fainting or dizziness

  • Labored breathing

  • Nausea and vomiting 


If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult with the doctor as soon as possible. Do not delay, as doing that can become life-threatening. 



Types 


There are various types of cysts, but the most common of them is a functional cyst, which in turn has two types, namely as follicle cyst and corpus leuteum cyst. 


Follicle cyst 


Inside the ovary, there is a sac called a follicle, inside which the egg grows. After that, the follicle breaks and releases an egg. But, if due to some conditions, the follicle does not open and release an egg, the fluid inside the follicle can form a cyst. 


Corpus luteum cyst 


After releasing the egg, the follicles dissolve. If it does not happen, follicles can get sealed and more fluid can accumulate inside it, which eventually can cause a corpus leuteum cyst. 



Risk factors 


Factors that can put you at risk of developing ovarian cyst are;


Drugs 


Taking drugs like clomiphene that induces ovulation can cause cysts inturn. Therefore with its therapy, you need to monitor the ovaries through frequent ultrasounds. 


Pregnancy


Sometimes a cyst that occurred before pregnancy may remain there throughout. 


Endometriosis 


It is a condition in which tissue that grows inside the uterus grows outside of it. It can occur anywhere in the ovaries, fallopian tube, or even bowel. When endometriosis occurs outside the ovaries, it can cause cysts. 


Infection


  • Any pelvic infection that becomes severe and spreads to the ovaries can cause an ovarian cyst. 

  • Previous history 

  • Having a previous history of ovarian cyst increases the chances of having it again. 


Treatment 


Usually, the healthcare providers devise treatment depending upon the severity of your symptoms. Mostly they ask for waitful watching. When the symptoms become severe or it is on the verge of rupturing they may ask for surgery. For supportive treatment, they may prescribe contraceptives/birth control pills to prevent its recurrence.


Conclusion 


Sometimes cysts- fluid-filled pockets may develop in the ovary called ovarian cysts. Mostly they do not cause any pain and symptoms. Many women will have to develop at least one cyst in their whole lifetime. However, if left untreated it can get ruptured and cause serious symptoms. There are various types of cysts, but the most common of them is a functional cyst, which is, in turn, has two types namely as follicle cyst and corpus leuteum cyst.


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