The fluid-filled sac, which usually develops on the surface of an ovary, is a problem that affects many women. This is also called the ovarian cyst, and there are known a lot of different types, depending on the cause that provoked them. These ovarian cysts can show no symptoms at all, or they can cause serious health problems.
Situated on either side of the uterus, the ovaries have a walnut-size, and are nestled under the fringed ends of the fallopian or uterine tubes. During the menstrual cycle, an egg will be developed and matured by an ovary, and when the ovulation takes place, the egg is released and it travels through the uterine tubes to reach the center of the uterus.
Most of the ovarian cysts aren’t dangerous, they are the so called functional cysts. Studies revealed that between 4% and 10% of the childbearing age women develop polycystic ovarian syndrome. The effects of that syndrome are infertility, increased risk of diabetes, uterine or breast cancer, excessive body hair, persistent acne, and other.
Ovarian cysts may cause pelvic pain, they may burst, bleed, or twist the ovary. Especially if the pain is associated with fever and vomiting, visiting the doctor is a necessary fact.
There are some ovarian cysts that can become cancerous. They appear especially at women who are in their fifth decade of life. It is known that cancerous cysts are not painful unless they are very big in size. It is recommended that women take annual pelvic exams, so they can detect cancer in early stages.
It is quite difficult to know if you have cysts or not, because many cysts don’t have symptoms, and very often, vague abdominal symptoms may suggest other problems. For example, intestinal inflammation or obstruction, kidney stone, gall bladder disease or appendicitis develop similar symptoms to painful ovarian cysts. There are some gynecologic problems with those symptoms too: endometriosis, ectopic or tubal pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and also mittleschmirtz.
Generally, a few symptoms that can be associated to the ovarian cysts are: pelvic pain during intercourse, feeling of pressure on your bladder or rectum, menstrual irregularities, breast tenderness, nausea, pelvic pain just before your period begins or just after it ends, continuous, creamy or clear-like-eggwhite vaginal discharge that persists unchanged for a month or more. If you have any of these symptoms, especially associated with fever, signs of shock, or vomiting, medical assistance is needed.
Functional cysts compile the more usual category of cysts, they are non-pathogenic, and usually they disappear after ovulation. Sometimes, there is a blemish and the cyst may stay a little longer.
There are two types of functional cysts: follicular, and corpus luteum cyst.
Usually, when the egg is matured, it is released from the follicle, and is traveling through the fallopian tube, where a sperm cell might fertilize it .If the follicle doesn’t rupture, it will grow, becoming a cyst. These cysts usually do not cause pain, and disappear in two or three menstrual cycles.
When the pituitary gland is increasing the luteinizing hormone, and the egg is released, the follicle becomes a temporary secretory gland called the corpus luteum. It might happen the corpus luteum to enlarge as a cause of certain accumulations, and become a cyst, but it will disappear after a few weeks. In very rare situations, a corpus luteum cyst can reach the size of three or four inches in diameter and twist your ovary or bleed into itself, causing abdominal pain.
Dermoid cysts are small, and they usually do not cause symptoms. They can contain different tissues, but mostly are fat .Becoming large, causing rupture and pain is a rare thing at these cysts.
Endometrioma appears when the ovary is invaded by the endometrial tissue. This cyst fills with blood, and has a dark, reddish-brown color. It is also called chocolate cyst. It doesn’t show any symptoms usually, but it can be sometimes painful, especially during intercourse, or during your period.
The cysts that form from cells on the surface of the ovary are called cystadenomas and are usual benign. Sometimes they can become large, and cause pain.
The polycystic ovary is particular to women who don’t ovulate on a regular basis. The ovaries contain many small cysts, and are enlarged. There are known many causes that can cause a woman not to ovulate and develop polycystic ovaries.
Ovarian cysts can be discovered by taking some medical examinations. A pelvic exam supposes the doctor palpating your ovaries, and if there exists the suspicion of a cyst, you will have next a pelvic ultrasound exam. During that exam, sound waves are transmitted to your pelvic area, and on a video screen appears the image of your ovaries. The doctor is analyzing that imagine, trying to determine the nature of the cyst.
The doctor can also perform laparoscopy, which is a surgical procedure consisting in a small cut, through which is inserted a thin, lighted telescope into your abdomen. This method can be used for diagnosis and for treatment also.