Ovarian cysts are sacs of fluid that grow on the ovaries. Ovarian cysts are quite common, and most women will experience them at some point in their lives. Most of the time, they do not cause any discomfort or complications. Most of them disappear without any treatment and are only present for a few months. Some women don’t even realize they have cysts. Cysts can become dangerous if they rupture. It is important to have regular gynecological exams to check for cysts and to ensure none have ruptured.
Cysts are caused by the body’s normal menstrual cycle. The follicle fills with fluid and produces the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which cause the body to release eggs. If these follicles continue to develop after the egg is released, they turn into cysts and continue to grow on the ovaries. They eventually stop growing and go away, or in severe cases, they continue to grow until they rupture.
The symptoms of ovarian cysts can vary from person to person. Some women have no symptoms and don’t even realize they have cysts until they are found by a gynecologist during a routine exam. Other people experience severe symptoms that can last for months. Some common symptoms include:
Most cysts are found during pelvic exams. The doctor will determine the size of the cyst, if it could possibly rupture, and if it is filled with fluid. The doctor or gynecologist might perform other tests, such as:
There are many different treatment options for women who have ovarian cysts. The type chosen depends on the size of the cyst, the age and health of the patient, and the severity of the symptoms. Some common treatment options include:
The prognosis for people who suffer from ovarian cysts is good. Most people who suffer from them will experience more in their lives. Pain and discomfort are to be expected, but in most cases, they are mild. The treatments are usually effective, and removing cysts and hormonal contraceptives can help reduce the chances of more cysts forming.
1. ACOG: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists