Ovaries are an important part of a woman’s reproductive system. Ovaries produce eggs that are in turn, fertilized by the male sperm, to form a fetus. In case there is no fertilization, the mature eggs (ova) get released in monthly cycles. This happens during the reproductive years. Moreover, ovaries are involved in the production of the female hormones progesterone and estrogen. At times, an ovary may be surrounded by a fluid-filled sac. This fluid-filled sac is known as a cyst.
Ovarian cysts are of different types, including endometrioma cysts and dermoid cysts. Nonetheless, functional cysts are by far the most common forms. Functional cysts are of two types, namely: corpus luteum and follicle cysts.
Both the ovaries can be affected by ovarian cysts simultaneously or only one of your ovaries gets affected. Cysts do not manifest any symptoms in the majority of the cases. Cysts are painless and the majority of them are harmless. Moreover, they are also likely to disappear on their own within a few months, and may not need any treatment.
On the other hand, ovarian cysts can cause serious symptoms, especially if they rapture. For the sake of your health and wellbeing, it is important that you undergo regular pelvic examinations by your healthcare provider. In this way, it becomes easier to identify symptoms with the potential for serious problems. You will then get the necessary medical attention in a timely manner, thus reducing the potential risks associated with ovarian cysts.
What are the possible causes of ovarian cyst?
The main underlying causes of ovarian cysts include:
- Hormonal imbalance: If you are suffering from hormonal imbalance, there is a higher likelihood that you might end up developing an ovarian cyst. Some of the factors that might trigger this hormonal imbalance include ongoing treatment for fertility. Other women may have underlying conditions that can interfere with their hormonal balance. Women who take the hormonal pill such as clomiphene to assist with ovulation, are also at a higher risk for cysts.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women are also at a higher risk of developing an ovarian cyst. In this case, the cysts develop during ovulation. It gets retained in the ovary after conception and remains in place throughout the pregnancy. On many occasions, the cyst will resolve on its own during the course of the pregnancy. This might also happen after delivery.
- Pelvic infection: A pelvic infection also increases the risk of ovarian cysts
- Past history of ovarian cyst: People who have had an ovarian cyst in the past are more likely to develop another ovarian cyst in future
- Endometriosis: This is a condition in which cells grow outside the uterus, as opposed to inside the uterus. When endometrial tissues get attached to the ovarian wall, the risk of developing a cyst increases.
- Previous cysts: Individuals who have suffered from an ovarian cyst in the past are more likely to develop one in the future, as compared to those that have not experienced the presence of an ovarian cyst.
Symptoms of an ovarian cyst
The only time when ovarian cysts manifest symptoms is if it has ruptured. Symptoms may also show up in case the cyst in question is very large. If the cysts hinder the supply of blood to the ovaries, symptoms of ovarian cysts will show up. Under such circumstances, you are likely to display the following symptoms:
Pelvic pain: This symptom is characterized by pain around your pelvic region. Such pain differs in intensity. For some, the pain is dull and for others, the pain is excruciating and severe.
Dyspareunia: This is a type of pelvic pain that one experiences while having sex. Some women report discomfort and pain in their abdomen following sexual intercourse
Urinary issues: Some women experience an urgent need to empty their bladder and this happens frequently. Others might have a problem urinating
Hormonal imbalance: In rare cases, an ovarian cyst might interfere with the production of female hormones. This can lead to changes in the growth of body hair and breasts
Bloated abdomen: Your abdomen feels bloated or full, even when you have not eaten anything. Your abdomen may also expand.
Early satiety: You are likely to feel full very fast, after eating a very small portion of food
Other symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Irregular or heavy menstrual cycle, other people experience lighter than normal periods
- Difficulty in passing stool
- Difficulty in conceiving; however, ovarian cysts do not compromise fertility
Some of the symptoms of ovarian cysts are similar to those of pregnancy, for instance, nausea, vomiting, and tender breasts. It is important that you receive a proper diagnosis to receive proper treatment.
How is an ovarian cyst diagnosed?
A routine pelvic exam by your doctor is sufficient to make a diagnosis for ovarian cysts. However, based on the type of cyst in question, your doctor may also deem it necessary to order additional tests. For example, your doctor might notice that one of your ovaries is swollen. Some of the potential tests that your doctor is likely to recommend include:
Ultrasonography: This is an imaging test that helps to produce an image of the internal organs. The ultrasound test relies on high-frequency sound waves. Such a test is very useful in terms of determining the location and size of a cyst. Additionally, your doctor can establish the composition and shape of a cyst from the ultrasound test. The results help chart out an appropriate treatment plan.
Some of the imaging tools that are widely applied in the diagnosis of ovarian cysts are:
MRI: This is a test that provides detailed images of the internal organs. It makes use of magnetic fields
CT scan: This tool develops cross-sectional images of the internal organs
Ultrasound device: This is a tool that is also used in imaging and assists in the visualization of the ovary
As most cysts usually resolve on their own within a matter of a few weeks, your doctor may be hesitant to recommend any treatment plan. your doctor may decide to redo the ultrasound test after several weeks to further determine your condition. In case the cyst has grown in size during this period, or your condition has not improved, your doctors can order further tests to establish the other likely causes of your symptoms.
Some of these tests include:
- Pregnancy test to ascertain that you are not pregnant
- Hormone levels test to determine hormone-related problems like too much progesterone or estrogen
- CA-125 blood test to screen for ovarian cancer
Treatment options for an ovarian cyst
The best cure for any medical condition is prevention. In the case of an ovarian cyst, however, prevention is not an option. Nonetheless, it is recommended that you undergo a routine gynecological examination as this will aid in the early detection of ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts are benign, meaning they are not cancerous. However, ovarian cysts present similar symptoms to those of ovarian cancer. Therefore, you are advised to make frequent visits to your gynecologist in order to make a correct diagnosis. In case the cyst fails to resolve on its own, your doctor might recommend a treatment plan with a goal to remove or shrink the cyst.
Birth control pills
For patients who have a recurrent ovarian cyst, oral contraceptives might be recommended. This will help stop ovulation. Additionally, oral contraceptives ensure that new cysts do not grow. Moreover, birth control pills are essential in terms of minimizing the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
This is a surgical procedure that involves the surgical removal of cysts. Your doctors might recommend a laparoscopy in case the diagnostic tests reveal that the cyst is small. Additionally, if the cyst is not cancerous, as confirmed by tests, then laparoscopy is an effective treatment procedure. The procure is administered under general anesthesia. The surgeon has to make a small incision near your anal region. Your surgeon will insert an instrument known as a laparoscope to assist in identifying the cysts. Once located, the doctors make one or two additional incisions. The cyst is then removed surgically.
The procedure is minimally invasive while the risks involved are low. Recovery time is also faster in comparison with open surgery. Some of the possible complications associated with this procedure include infections, blood clots, and bleeding.
In case the cyst in question is large, your surgeon will need to make a large incision to assist with the removal of such a cyst. This incision is made in your abdomen. A laparotomy is thus a form of open surgery. Thereafter, the surgeon needs to undertake an immediate biopsy to establish whether the cyst is cancerous, or not. The surgeon then closes the incision using staples or stitches. A laparotomy might necessitate that you stay in hospital for several days post-operation. It is also more invasive than a laparoscopy. Therefore, the healing process is slower.
It is now possible to treat ovarian cysts faster, safely, and more effectively using laser surgery. Laser surgery uses laser energy. It has a higher penetrating depth, thus protecting such structures as intestines and the bladder that lies deep in the abdomen from potential damage. Additionally, laser surgery is associated with quicker recovery post-operation.
Post-op care and diet
If you have had laparoscopic surgery or a laparotomy to treat ovarian cysts, it is important to keep the abdominal incision clear by taking a bath using plain water. Avoid applying any ointments or creams to the incision without the surgeon’s directive.
- You are likely to feel discomfort or pain following the surgical procedure. However, this will improve with time. Your surgeon might prescribe pain medication to help you cope with the pain.
- You can also reduce post-op pain by avoiding uncomfortable activities or sitting positions. While resting, use a pillow or folded blanket to support your abdomen. In this case, you can place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen.
- The resumption of daily activities depends on the kind of procedure that you have undergone. In the case of laser surgery, you can resume daily activities within a few days after surgery. In case of a laparotomy or laparoscopic surgery, this might take a few weeks.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects as these will increase pressure on the healing tissues. Bathe by taking a shower as opposed to tub baths. You should only have a tab bath with your doctor’s recommendation.
- A diet rich in fiber is recommended as this helps to prevent constipation. Examples of such foods include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Our medical team is always available for your assistance in case you develop any complications post-surgery. You are also free to get in touch with us for any questions that you might have regarding care after the procedure.
Women can develop fluid-like sacs in their ovaries. These are known as ovarian cysts. Many of these ovarian cysts may develop and disappear after some time. However, if it is causing physical problems and symptoms like pain and discomfort, you may need medical intervention.
Bangalore is the center for many reputed hospitals where they provide treatment for cysts. If you are looking for some of the best doctors in Bangalore, you may contact us at goficure. We have the topmost gynecologists in Bangalore.
- At goficure, we offer a range of services including patient consultation, medical supervision, treatment, surgery, hospital booking, and postoperative care.
- Once you contact us, our team will offer a list of reputed hospitals and medical practitioners in Bangalore.
- Once you have finalized, they will book an appointment with your doctor
- For diagnostic tests, we can connect you to some of the top diagnostic centers in Bangalore.
- If you have any concerns regarding the surgery or about your medical condition and need some counseling, our online counselors are ready to help
- We have a range of specialist counselors in some of the best hospitals in Bangalore.
- Before the surgery, you can talk to our healthcare provider who will take a brief history of your medications, diagnostic tests, and can give guidance regarding the cyst-removal procedure.
If you have any queries, please call us or you can directly chat with our online representatives.
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A dedicated Medi-Pal is assigned to you. Your Medi-Pal will be your one point contact throughout the treatment and post-op period. They will always be available for you
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Your Medi-Pal would ensure quick recovery. This includes booking your follow up consultations and helping you with doctor-recommended steps for diet & exercise
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