How to Know if I Have Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are kind of bags containing liquid therein and they form on the surface or within one or both of your ovaries. Many women may have ovarian cysts at some point during their lives. In most cases ovarian cysts do not present a serious health problem and tend to disappear spontaneously after a while. However, it is important to see a gynaecologist if you experience any symptoms to rule out that these are at risk of problems or are a direct result of some kind of disorder in ovulation. In this OneHowTo article we explain how to know if you have ovarian cysts and we show its causes, symptoms and treatment forms.
Causes of ovarian cysts
One can distinguish between various types of ovarian cysts, but in most cases these are part of a normal process of the menstrual cycle. When this happens, the cysts are called functional cysts. In a normal cycle, the ovaries increase in size and inside of them grows a follicle which releases the ovum at ovulation. However, when the follicle continues to grow, a functional cyst develops and of that there are two types:
- Follicular cysts: these happen when the follicle ruptures and fails to release the egg, causing a fluid-filled cyst. Usually, these disappear after 2 or 3 menstrual cycles.
- Corpus luteum cysts: these occur once the egg is released, closing the opening where this has come out and accumulating fluid within the follicle. Although these usually go away in a few weeks, they may happen to grow more, which causes bleeding or twisting in the ovary.
It is important to clarify that functional cysts should be differentiated from tumours in the ovary. Cysts result from some type of condition associated with hormonal imbalances, such as the case of polycystic ovary syndrome, or other diseases such as endometriosis.
Symptoms of ovarian cysts
If you want to know more about cysts, it's important to know that they can be very small and they do not usually cause major problems. You may not be aware, but there could be a cyst growing inside you right now. That's why it is important to have checks done from time to time.
An ovarian cyst creates symptoms as it gets bigger and bigger. It may burst, cause haemorrhaging, move around during sexual intercourse or cause some damage to your fallopian tubes. When symptoms do appear, the symptoms of an ovarian cyst could be the following:
- Constant abdominal pain, which can spread to other parts like the back or legs.
- Abdominal swelling and feeling of heaviness.
- Pelvic pain during menstruation.
- Menstrual irregularities.
- Pain during intercourse.
- Breast tenderness.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Rectal pressure in the zone or in the bladder.
When should I run to see a doctor?
If you experience the above symptoms, it is recommended that you consult your doctor as soon as possible. You should immediately visit your doctor if you notice any severe pain accompanied with any of these symptoms:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Increased respiratory rate
- Weight loss for no apparent reason
To diagnose ovarian cysts the specialist will perform a pelvic physical examination and they also may request to conduct various tests to see what kind of cyst it is and what is the most appropriate treatment. Normally, the test used to confirm the diagnosis is ultrasound, but this also can be complimented by others such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging or flow studies. There?s also necessary blood tests to check for the possibility of ovarian cancer.
Treating ovarian cysts
The treatment of ovarian cysts can be very different from one woman to another, and it is to be determined based on the age of the patient, the size and characteristics of the cyst and the cause of the symptoms.
Generally, functional cysts which we discussed in the first section do not require specific treatment because they tend to disappear spontaneously after a few weeks (8 to 12). Of course, a medical follow-up will be necessary to verify that the cyst does not grow and so it finally disappears. For those women who do have ovarian cysts often, your doctor may recommend taking oral contraceptives in order to prevent the emergence of new ones, although this method does not reduce the size of existing cysts.
When an ovary cyst is not functional or it grows considerably after 2 or 3 menstrual cycles the specialist will consider the option of surgery to remove the cyst permanently. The techniques that can be employed for this are laparoscopy and laparotomy.
It's very important to go to the gynaecologist regularly and that you perform all necessary examinations. That way the ovarian cysts will not cause symptoms and you avoid the risk of developing cancer in that delicate part of the body.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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