What Are Ovarian Cysts?
At some point, most people with ovaries will have an Ovarian Cyst. But what exactly are they? These cysts are sacs filled with fluid that develop in or on the surface of an ovary. The ovaries are located on both sides of the uterus and produce eggs as well as the estrogen and progesterone hormones. Many times, cysts develop and have no symptoms. The majority of them go away on their own and don’t require treatment. These common cysts are called functional cysts and they usually form during the menstrual cycle.
There are several different types of ovarian cysts. Sometimes larger cysts develop and can cause pelvic pain, a feeling of heaviness or bloating in the abdomen, and/or changes in your menstrual cycle. One type of these is the Dermoid cysts, they form from embryonic cells and can contain tissue, such as hair, skin or teeth. Another type that can cause painful ovarian cyst symptoms and become large in size is the Cystadenomas. These cysts develop on the surface of an ovary and are sometimes filled with a watery or mucous material. Endometriosis, a condition in which uterine endometrial cells grow outside of the uterus, causes Endometriomas cysts to develop. Oftentimes, those with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) will have small cysts on the ovaries as a result of the condition’s hormonal imbalance.
A cyst can be found during a pelvic exam with your doctor and if further information is needed an ultrasound will be performed to identify the cyst’s location and what exactly the cyst is filled with. In some cases, surgery is done to remove the cyst or even the entire ovary. While ovarian cysts cannot be prevented sometimes a hormonal birth control pill can reduce the likelihood of more developing.
Menstrual health and overall health are very connected. Keep track of any painful periods, pain during sex, and any other irregularities and discomfort to discuss with your doctor for a correct diagnosis and proper treatment plan to find ovarian cyst relief.