Ovarian cysts

Ovaries are a part of the female reproductive system and ovarian cyst are fluid-filled sacs on the ovaries. Women have two ovaries on either side of the uterus below the fallopian tubes. 

Ovarian cysts are a common condition in women and do not suffer unless there is any discomfort. Most of the time, it disappears on its own. The ovarian cyst does not cause much discomfort and is harmless. Most of the ovarian cysts disappear on their own in a few months.

Ovarian cysts can be a discomfort when the cyst ruptures and causes tremendous pain. In that case, it needs to be operated immediately.

What are Ovarian cysts?


Ovaries are a part of the female reproductive system and ovarian cyst are fluid-filled sacs on the ovaries.

Women have two ovaries on either side of the uterus below the fallopian tubes. Every month during the menstrual cycle the ovaries release ova (eggs) into the fallopian tubes that pass through the fallopian tubes into the uterus.

When these ova are released, certain hormones are also released in the process, like estrogen and progesterone that aid in conception.

Ovarian cysts are a common condition in women and do not surface unless there is any discomfort. Most of the time, it disappears on its own. The ovarian cyst does not cause much discomfort and is harmless. Most of the ovarian cysts disappear on their own in a few months.

Ovarian cysts can be a discomfort when the cyst ruptures and causes tremendous pain. In that case, it needs to be operated immediately.


What are the causes for Ovarian Cysts?


While most cysts do not show any symptoms and disappear altogether there are some types of symptoms that show prominent symptoms like –

  • Pelvic pain

  • Sharp or recurring pain in the lower abdomen towards the ovary with the cyst.

  • Bloating and heaviness in the abdomen.

When to see you’re a doctor?

The patient should seek immediate consultation in case of –

  • Sharp and severe pain in the abdomen or pelvic region.

  • Pain accompanied by fever and vomiting.


What are the Types of Cysts?


Cysts are developed as a part of the menstrual cycle and are also called functional cysts and the others are less common.

Functional cysts

The ovaries grow small follicles every month as the women ovulate producing hormones like estrogen and progesterone and release eggs.

Ovarian Cysts are classified based on -

Follicular cyst

Amid the menstrual cycle the follicle bursts and releases an egg that moves through the fallopian tube. In case, the follicle does not burst, it develops into follicle cyst and grows further.

Corpus luteum cyst

When the follicle bursts and egg leaves, the follicle is empty and sometimes fluid accumulates in the follicle, and this condition is termed as corpus luteum cyst.

These cysts are usually not painful and disappear on their own.

Other cysts

Other cysts that are not related to the menstrual cycle are:

Dermoid cysts

These are unusual cysts formed by embryonic cells and contain tissues, hair, teeth or skin. They are non-malignant.

Cystadenoma

These cysts are formed outside the ovary and usually filled with water or mucous.

Endometriomas

These are the cells formed inside the uterus and sometimes grow outside the uterus (endometriosis) often extending to ovaries to form a cyst.

The critical condition called ovarian torsion happens when cysts like cystadenomas and dermoids grow large and twist the ovary, moving it away from its usual position. This condition might also block the blood supply and thus causing a lot of pain.


What are the complications with Ovarian Cysts?


Some of the extensions of a cyst are complicated conditions that can be malignant and life-threatening. It is therefore recommended to have a check-up done from time to time.

Some of the extended complications with cysts are-

Ovarian torsion:

This condition can twist the ovary and stop the blood flow causing severe pelvic pain and nausea and needs to be immediately attended.

Rupture:

When a cyst grows too big, it can rupture due to severe activity in the pelvic region that could be because of intercourse too.

Once the cyst ruptures it causes severe pain as well as bleeding and needs immediate surgical attention.


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