A cyst is a closed sac or bubble like structure that contains fluid, gas or semi solid substance. It is usually round and separated from the surrounding region by a thin outer covering. They may be found in any part of the body or within any organ. Such structure found within the ovary is known as an ovarian cyst and it may vary in size, number and location.
Causes of Ovarian Cyst
The main cause of Ovarian cyst is hormonal imbalance, leading to problems with ovulation. This may also run in families. A woman with a relative having ovarian cyst has a higher chance of acquiring the disease during her reproductive years.
Functional Ovarian Cysts
One egg is released per menstrual cycle. This egg waits for it to be fertilized by sperm. If this egg is not fertilized by a sperm, it breaks and forms an yellowish product called corpus luteum. Due to hormonal imbalance, instead of the unfertilized egg breaking down, it grows bigger and accumulates fluid or blood, forming an Ovarian cysts.
This is the type of cyst that runs in families. Due to a genetic abnormality, cysts develop from the cells which make eggs in the ovary. An egg has the ability to develop into any type of cell in the body. So, these cysts can make different types of tissue. That is why Dermoid cysts can be easily identified by the presence of odd contents such as hair, parts of teeth or bone, fatty tissue, etc.
In women who suffer from Endometriosis, the womb tissue sometimes converts into cystic structures, filled with blood. Due to presence of clotted blood within these cysts, we sometimes refer to it as Chocolate Cysts.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Presence of multiple cysts within the ovary is called Polycystic Ovary. These cysts develop due to presence of higher blood levels of the male hormone, testosterone. This in turn leads to ovulation problems and cyst formation. Presence of increased testosterone levels, is also associated with other symptoms like reduced fertility, excessive hair growth, obesity, and acne. Presence of these, along with multiple ovarian cysts is called “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome”.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cyst
- Pain present in the lower abdomen. The pain can either be constant, or can occur intermittently. It can also be sudden and very severe. Sudden onset of severe abdominal pain can be due to twisting or bursting of a large cyst.
- Pain while having sex.
- Irregular Periods.
- Severe abdominal pain during periods.
- Swelling might be noted over the abdomen in case the cyst is very large.
Diagnosing Ovarian Cyst
This is the easiest, most painless and lest invasive technique to effectively confirm the presence of cysts. MORE…
MRI or CT scan
These are additional tests that can be done for additional confirmation of the cyst. Or in cases where rupture of cyst is suspected.
Treatments for Ovarian Cyst
Treatment of Ovarian cyst depends on the size of the cyst and the symptoms. In case the cysts are small and have no symptoms, it is best to wait and observe. Because these may resolve themselves without any treatment.
In case the Ovarian cysts cause symptoms, the following is recommended:
Birth control pills or Hormone treatment. This regulates ovarian cycle and helps in reduction of cyst size.
Cysts that are large in size and persistently cause symptoms for 2 or 3 menstrual cycles, need Surgical management. Surgical management of cyst includes Laparoscopic Ovarian Cystectomy.
Prevention of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts cannot be prevented in susceptible women. However routine gynecological examinations help detect cysts at an early stage.
2nd case in World: Ovarian Torsion with contralateral Ectopic pregnancy.
Lap Ovarian Cystectomy Specialists
Dr. Deepa Ganesh
Advance Laparoscopic Gynecologist, Robotic Surgeon & Cosmetic Gynecologist Surgeon
Obstetrician and gynaecologist, Infertility specialist and Laparoscopic surgeon