Department of

Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Ovarian Cysts

Department of

Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian Cysts

An ovarian cyst is a sac that grows on or within one or both of your ovaries and is filled with fluid or semisolid substances. The ovaries are tiny glands in your pelvis that contain egg cells and produce hormones like oestrogen and progesterone.

There are various forms of ovarian cysts, the majority of which are painless and harmless (benign). Ovarian cysts rarely cause symptoms. You won’t know unless your doctor discovers one during a normal pelvic exam or imaging treatment.

Ovarian cysts can occasionally create difficulties. Regular pelvic checks and communicating with your doctor about any symptoms you may be experiencing can help prevent cyst concerns.

What are the different types of Ovarian Cysts?

The majority of ovarian cysts are functioning cysts. They form in response to changes in your body during your menstrual cycle. Ovarian cysts can occur for reasons other than menstruation.

  • Functional Cysts : Functional cysts are the most frequent type of ovarian cyst and are not associated with any disease. They are caused by ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). These cysts may indicate that your ovaries are functioning normally. Without particular therapy, functional cysts usually decrease with time, usually within 60 days.
  • Cysts of the follicle : Each month, a little sac in your ovary called a follicle releases an egg as part of your menstrual cycle. When a follicle fails to release an egg, a follicular cyst occurs. Instead, the follicle fills with fluid and expands.
  • Cysts of the corpus luteum : The corpus luteum is a hormone-producing clump of cells formed after the follicle releases an egg.

Other cysts include:

Not all ovarian cysts develop as a result of your menstrual cycle. They aren’t usually symptoms of disease, but your doctor may want to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t lead to issues. They are as follows:

  • Cystadenomas : They are cysts that develop on the surface of your ovary. They might be filled with thin, watery fluid or thicker, mucus-like fluid.
  • Cysts of the dermis (teratomas) : Dermoid cysts are made up of cells that make up every form of tissue in the human body, including skin, hair, teeth, and even brain tissue.
  • Endometriomas : They are cysts filled with endometrial tissue, the same tissue from which you bleed every month during your period.
  • Cancer of the ovaries : In contrast to the previous disorders, ovarian cancer cysts (tumours) are solid masses of cancer cells.

Who are the people who are impacted by ovarian cysts?

An ovarian cyst can occur in anyone who has ovaries. Your odds improve as a result of:

  • Age – If you haven’t gone through menopause, ovarian cysts are more common.
  • Pregnancy – Cysts are more likely to form and persist during pregnancy.
  • Ovarian cyst history – If you’ve had one previously, you’re more likely to get another.
  • Current medical conditions – You are more prone to develop an ovarian cyst if you have endometriosis, hormone disorders, or are taking ovulation-inducing drugs such as clomiphene (Clomid).

Are ovarian cysts common?

Ovarian cysts are fairly frequent, particularly if you have not yet reached menopause. The most frequent type of ovarian cyst is a functional cyst.

Are ovarian cysts dangerous?

No, usually. Most ovarian cysts are innocuous, and they usually fade away on their own. Some cysts are more prone to develop malignancy or cause difficulties, but this is uncommon. Cancerous ovarian cysts account for less than 1% of all cases. In addition, your provider can constantly monitor any suspicious cysts to limit your risk of problems.

What is the cause of an ovarian cyst?

Ovulation is the most common cause of ovarian cysts. Other factors include:

  • Atypical cell reproduction – It can result in the formation of cysts such as dermoids and cystadenomas.
  • Endometriosis – In the latter phases of endometriosis, these cysts frequently occur on the ovary.
  • PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)– Severe pelvic infections can travel to your ovaries and cause cysts.

What are the symptoms and indicators of an ovarian cyst?

Some smaller cysts are asymptomatic. In many circumstances, you may be unaware that you have a cyst. Larger cysts may result in:

  • Pelvic discomfort or a dull soreness in your back.
  • A sensation of fullness (bloating) in your lower abdomen that may be more pronounced on one side of your body.
  • Intercourse discomfort (dyspareunia).

If these symptoms persist, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes irregular periods and other hormone-related issues such as obesity and infertility. Other symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome include hirsutism (excessive body hair growth) and weight loss problems.

What does it feel like to have an ovarian cyst?

The symptoms of an ovarian cyst differ from person to person. You may experience:

  • Less or no pain.
  • Mild discomfort or a sense of being stuffed.
  • Pain that can be described as either sharp or dull.
  • Pain or discomfort that comes and goes without explanation.

Can you gain weight if you have an ovarian cyst?

Yes. Bloating caused by cysts might contribute to weight gain. Some cysts produce hormones that might promote weight gain.

What are the risks of an ovarian cyst?

  • Cyst cancer – After menopause ovarian cysts are more likely to be malignant than cysts that originate before menopause.
  • Ovarian cyst rupture – Functional cysts frequently explode without presenting any symptoms. A ruptured cyst, on the other hand, can cause considerable pain and swelling in your abdomen. The larger it is, the more likely it is to break.
  • Torsion of the ovaries – Cysts can develop so large that they deform the curvature of your ovary, increasing the chances of it twisting.

How is an ovarian cyst identified?

Your doctor will first rule out pregnancy as a possible cause of your symptoms. The following tests may then be used to diagnose an ovarian cyst:

  • Pelvic Exam – A pelvic exam will be performed in which your physician will feel inside your pelvis for any lumps or changes.
  • Ultrasound imaging – This creates images of your body’s internal organs by using sound waves. It can detect cysts on your ovaries, as well as their location and whether they are mostly fluid or solid.
  • Laparoscopy – This is a surgical technique that takes place in an operating room. Through an incision (cut) in your belly, your physician inserts a camera to observe your reproductive organs and pelvic cavity. If your provider detects a cyst at this time, it can be removed.

Ovarian cyst removal surgery

If a cyst is causing symptoms and growing in size, it may require surgery to be removed. The type of surgery is determined by the size of the cyst and its appearance on an ultrasound. Among the various procedures employed are:

  • Laparoscopy: This is a technique in which your physician puts a small camera into your belly through a small incision. They use the equipment to examine your reproductive organs and pelvic cavity. The ovarian cyst can be removed with little incisions (ovarian cystectomy).
  • Laparotomy: If the cyst is particularly large or if there are other issues, your provider may conduct this operation.

If your doctor detects cancer, she or he may consult with a cancer specialist, sometimes known as a gynaecological oncologist, about your best treatment options.

Is it possible to avoid ovarian cysts?

Taking hormone-containing drugs (such as birth control tablets) will prevent ovulation. According to certain research, the tablet lowers the recurrence of some cysts.

Ovarian cysts are usually innocuous enough that prophylaxis is unnecessary. Instead, make a note of any symptoms that may indicate a cyst and notify your clinician. Schedule regular pelvic exams so your doctor can detect any cysts that need to be treated.

What should I do if I have an ovarian cyst?

The majority of cysts are functioning and will likely disappear within a few months. Follow-up imaging may be required to ensure that a cyst is not expanding. If your provider notices a cyst that could create difficulties in the future, listen to their advice carefully. Your doctor may advise you to wait it out, prescribe medicine, or a combination of the two. Surgery may be required for more serious cysts.

When should I worry about an ovarian cyst?

Cysts that cause symptoms and continue to increase in size require more frequent monitoring than cysts that do not. Keep track of any symptoms you’re having so you may inform your healthcare physician. Follow their recommendations for how frequently you should schedule checkups to monitor any suspicious cysts.

When should I contact my physician?

If any of the following occur, contact your doctor:

  • Your menstrual cycles are irregular, late, or uncomfortable.
  • Your abdominal ache is not going away.
  • Your abdomen swells or becomes huge.
  • You are having difficulty urinating
  • You experience discomfort during intercourse.
  • You are experiencing abdominal fullness (bloating), pressure, or discomfort.
  • You shed weight for no apparent reason.
  • You are generally unwell.

If you detect any of the following symptoms of ovarian torsion, get immediate medical attention:

  • Severe stomach discomfort that occurs unexpectedly and is accompanied by vomiting or fever.
  • Feeling dizzy or faint, and breathing quickly.
  • Skin that’s cold and slimy.

Related Links