Ovarian cysts

Ovarian cysts are small fluid-filled bubbles that develop in a woman’s ovaries.

In most cases, cysts are harmless, but sometimes they can cause problems such as rupture, bleeding or pain.

In addition, sometimes surgical removal of the cysts is necessary. On the ultrasound image, the cysts resemble bubbles.

They contain only liquid and are surrounded by a very thin wall. In this case, the cyst is referred to as functional.

If a dominant follicle does not rupture and release an egg, fluid remains and a cyst may form in the ovary. Small cysts a little over 1 cm in size can also form during follicular maturation.

Cysts affect women of all ages. In most cases, they are considered functional /physiological/. This means that their appearance is normal and is not part of a disease-causing process.

Most often, cysts are benign and very often go away on their own within a few weeks without treatment, usually with the menstrual cycle. Cysts most often develop during the childbearing years of women.

What are the symptoms

Cysts usually do not cause symptoms and are most often found during a physical exam or seen on an ultrasound for other reasons.

However, complaints may occur, especially with larger cysts. The following symptoms are most common:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis that may come on suddenly and also suddenly go away. The pain may be sharp and severe.
  • Irregular menstrual cycle;
  • Chronic pain in the pelvis during menstruation, which may also be felt in the lower back.

Pelvic pain after prolonged physical exertion or during sexual intercourse.

  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Vaginal pain or slight reddish spotting from the vagina;
  • Infertility;

What are the risk factors

  • Previous ovarian cysts;
  • Irregular menstrual cycle;
  • Accumulation of extra fat in the upper body;
  • Early onset of menstrual cycles – at age 11 or earlier;
  • Infertility;
  • Treatment of sterility with medications that control gonadotropin levels;
  • Hypothyroidism;
  • Tamoxifen therapy to treat breast cancer;
  • Smoking increases the risk of functional ovarian cysts;
  • Oral contraceptives reduce the risk of developing cysts because they prevent the release of eggs during ovulation;

Treatment of ovarian cysts

  • Oral contraceptives – birth control pills can be helpful in regulating the menstrual cycle by preventing the maturation of follicles that can develop into cysts and helping to eventually reduce the size of an existing cyst.
  • Pain relievers – medications that are used against inflammatory processes such as ibuprofen help reduce pain in the pelvis. If the pain is too strong, opioid analgesics can also be prescribed.

When you need to seek medical help

You need to seek medical help if the following occur symptoms:

  • Increased body temperature;
  • Nausea or vomiting;
  • Muscle weakness, dizziness or fainting;
  • Pale or anemia due to possible blood loss;
  • Abnormally heavy or irregular menstruation;
  • Increased facial hair characteristic of men;
  • Unexplained weight loss;
  • Abdominal swelling or abnormal increase in waist circumference;
  • Excessive thirst and frequent urination;
  • High blood pressure or low blood pressure due to certain medications;

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