Ovarian Cysts

Women’s health & fitness guide

Ovarian cysts can occur in women of all ages and they are very common, however they are more common in women who haven’t gone through menopause and women who have irregular periods are more at risk of developing them than women whose periods are regular.

What are ovarian cysts?

A cyst is a fluid filled sac like structure that develops on the ovaries, when ovarian cysts are first diagnosed it can be frightening however most cysts are benign, which means that they aren’t cancerous but harmless.

What is the cause of them?

During the women’s normal menstrual cycle the ovaries will develop small follicles on the surface, one of these will grow to around 2 to 3 cms, when mid cycle is reached the most dominant of these follicles will rupture and then the egg is released.

This follicle will then turn into what is called the corpus luteum and produces the pregnancy hormone progesterone if pregnancy is successful; if it isn’t then the corpus luteum shrivels up and will disappear. Cysts can then arise from either the corpus luteum or the follicle; this will depend chiefly on the stage during your period that this happens. The follicle cyst will occur when ovulation doesn’t occur and the follicle is left to grow.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cysts?

Unless there are complications then ovarian cysts will not normally show any symptoms, however symptoms that can arise include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen.
  • A feeling of bloating or fullness.
  • Pain when having sex.
  • The desire to urinate frequently.
  • Difficulty with bowel movements.
  • Irregular periods or spotting during the menstrual cycle.

What are the complications of ovarian cysts?

Sometimes the cysts might rupture, bleed or become infected, you will know of this were it to happen because they will cause severe pain and discomfort and usually vomiting or nausea. The most common cause of rupture of the cysts is sex, strenuous exercise or trauma to the area.

What treatment is given for ovarian cysts?

Treatment and care for ovarian cysts will depend on several factors such as the age, the size of the cyst and the type of the cyst. Ultrasound scans will normally determine the type of the cyst and usually if it is just a small simple cyst then no treatment will be given immediately.

Occasionally ovarian cysts will remedy themselves without any treatment so your doctor may simply advise keeping an eye on them with repeated scans. If the cysts are large then leaving them generally isn’t an option and your doctor may recommend surgery as the only option and in a few cases there is no option but to remove the ovary as well.

Here is a great site for Ovarian Cyst Cure.

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