OVARIAN CYSTS: SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, AND TREATMENT
An ovarian cyst is an accumulation of fluid inside the ovary surrounded by a thin wall. Ovarian cysts can vary in size and shape.
In rare cases, an ovarian cyst may become very large. A cyst is a closed, bag-like structure containing a liquid, gaseous, or semi-solid substance. The vast majority of ovarian cysts are small and harmless and occur most often during the reproductive period of females.
However, these cysts can affect women of any age. There are usually no signs or symptoms, but in some cases, it can cause pain or bleeding. If the cyst is more than 5 cm in diameter, surgery may be required to remove it.
WHAT IS AN OVARIAN CYST?
As mentioned earlier, cysts can develop anywhere on the body and come in different sizes and shapes. Some cysts are very small and can only be seen under a microscope. However, some of them may be very large.
THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF OVARIAN CYSTS:
- Functional ovarian cyst: This type is most common type of ovarian cyst. This type of cyst is harmless, is part of a woman’s normal menstrual cycle, and is short-lived.
- Pathological cysts: These cysts grow in the ovaries and may be harmless or cancerous.
The cysts are separated by a membrane from the surrounding tissue. The outer part of the cyst is called the cyst wall. If the cyst is filled with pus, it is not called a cyst. This condition is called an abscess.
OVARIAN CYST SYMPTOMS:
Most cysts show no signs or symptoms, but if there are, they are not very helpful in diagnosing ovarian cysts. There are many other conditions that have the same signs and symptoms, including:
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- ectopic pregnancy
- ovarian cancer
- Irregular menstrual cycle: In these cases, painful menstrual periods become heavier or lighter than usual.
- Pelvic pain: This condition can cause constant pain or occasional pain that develops in the lower back and thighs. Pelvic pain appears just before the start or end of your period.
- Painful intercourse: Pelvic pain during intercourse can also be experienced.
- Intestinal problems: These problems include pain when defecation, pressure on the intestines, or the need for frequent bowel movements.
- Some signs of pregnancy: These symptoms include breast tenderness and nausea
- Abdominal problems such as bloating or heaviness in the abdomen
- Urinary problems: Difficulty emptying the bladder completely or feeling the urge to urinate frequently
- Hormonal disorders: In some rare cases, the body produces abnormal amounts of hormones, which can alter the growth of a person’s hair and breasts.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COMPLEX CYSTS:
- Torsion: The root of the ovary may deviate as the cyst grows on it, preventing blood from reaching the cyst. In such cases, severe pain occurs in the lower abdomen.
- Bursting : If the ovarian cyst ruptures, the patient will experience severe pain in the lower abdomen. If the cyst becomes infected , the pain gets worse. It can also cause bleeding
- Cancer: In rare cases, ovarian cysts may be the first sign of ovarian cancer .
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS FOR OVARIAN CYSTS?
THE MAIN FACTORS ARE:
- patient’s age
- Whether the patient is menstruating or in menopause
- What does it look like
- What is its size
- Presence or absence of signs
In some cases, conscious waiting, also known as observation, can be helpful for some people. This option is recommended for people with small functional bags. An ultrasound scan is done once to check for cyst loss.
To reduce the risk of developing new cysts, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills. These medications can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
If there is a presentation, the cyst is large and does not look like a functional cyst but rather grows and lasts for two to three menstrual cycles, your doctor may recommend surgery. Two types of surgery are used in this case:
- Laparoscopy: With the help of very small instruments, the surgeon can remove the cyst from the body through a small incision. In most cases, the patient can go home the same day. This type of surgery usually does not affect a person’s fertility and the recovery period is quick.
- Abdominal surgery: This is a more serious surgery and is only recommended if the cyst has become cancerous. Larger incisions are made along the top of the pubic hairline. The cyst is removed from the body and sent to a laboratory for further examination. The patient must stay in the hospital for at least two days.
If the cyst is cancerous, organs and tissues such as the uterus and ovaries must be removed.
HOW ARE OVARIAN CYSTS DIAGNOSED?
Because most cysts have no signs or symptoms, they are usually not diagnosed.In some cases, even without symptoms, a cyst can be diagnosed by a pelvic exam or ultrasound.In this case, the diagnosis will seek to find the following:
- What is the size
- What is the shape?
- Cyst formation
THE FOLLOWING TESTS MAY BE DESCRIBED:
- Ultrasound imaging
- blood test
- pregnancy test
PREVENTION OF OVARIAN CYSTS:
There is no specific way to prevent the growth of these cysts.However, regular pelvic exams can help prevent complications from such conditions.