Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are fluid filled sacs that grow inside or on top of one or both ovaries and are usually asymptomatic but pain in the abdomen or pelvis is common .

The ovaries are reproductive organs in women that are located on the pelvis.They produce eggs and female hormones , estrogen and progesterone .

Sometimes a follicle does not release an egg during ovulation and instead it continues to fill with fluid inside the ovary. This is called follicular cyst.

There are two types of functional cysts:

  • Follicular cyst This cyst begins when the follicle doesn't rupture or release its egg but continues to grow.
  • Corpus luteum cyst When a follicle releases its egg and begins producing estrogen and progesterone, it's called the corpus luteum. Sometimes fluid accumulates inside the follicle, causing the corpus luteum to grow into a cyst

Often, ovarian cysts don't cause any symptoms. In fact, it may not be known an ovarian cyst is present until it's discovered by your doctor during a routine pelvic exam. In some cases, some or all of the following symptoms may be experienced:

  • Pelvic pain
  • pain during sex
  • a frequent need to urinate
  • heavy periods, irregular periods or lighter periods than normal
  • bloating and a swollen tummy
  • feeling very full after only eating a little
  • difficulty getting pregnant – although fertility is usually unaffected by ovarian cysts

Many ovarian cysts disappear on their own. A follow-up ultrasound scan may be used to confirm this.

If you are postmenopausal, there is a slightly higher risk of ovarian cancer. Regular ultrasound scans and blood tests are usually recommended over the course of a year to monitor the cysts.

Surgical treatment to remove the cysts may be needed if they're large, causing symptoms or potentially cancerous.

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