These are female reproductive organs responsible with the production of female hormones that determine the functioning of a woman’s body.
The ovaries also play a key role in pregnancy and the menstrual cycle. Ovarian cysts are sac like growths that develop inside the female gonad. The cyst is filled with liquid, gaseous or semi solid substances.
Causes of ovarian cyst
There is a variety of reasons behind the growth of ovarian cysts. The most common cyst is called the follicular cyst and it is as result of the growth of a follicle.
A follicle is the egg containing sac that is full of liquid. When this follicle enlarges and does not release the egg it becomes a cyst. This kind of cyst will normally disappear naturally in a matter of days or months. Sometimes they may contain blood that has resulted from injury of the blood tissues.
Corpus luteum cyst is another type of ovarian cyst. Once an egg has been released from the ovary there are some tissues that occur.
These are called corpus luteum and they normally breakdown and disappear if conception fails to take place. It may fill with blood or fluid and become a cyst. It usually occurs on one ovary and it displays no symptoms of ovarian cyst.
Symptoms of ovarian cyst
Most ovarian cysts come and go naturally without the women being aware of their presence. However there are cysts that tell of their presence in the form of pain in the pelvic or abdominal region. This pain is caused mainly by:
- Bursting of the cyst
- Increased growth & stretching
- Blood getting into the cyst
- Torsion – where the cyst twists around its blood supply
When the cyst has grown to a large size it distorts other anatomical structures. It might cause some of these symptoms of ovarian cyst.
- Bloated stomach
- Poor digestion
- Being satisfied with food after taking just a small portion
- Feeling the urge to move bowels
- Having difficulties in bowel movements
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Diagnosing ovarian cyst
Ovarian cysts can be detected by examining your pelvis bimanually. If such an examination unearths the presence of a cyst then imaging techniques should be employed. Ultrasound is the best of imaging techniques to detect ovarian cyst. It is harmless and painless. Beside ultrasound other imaging techniques that can be employed include MRI and CT scans.
Knowing if the cyst is dangerous
For women who still have not reached menopause, having ovarian cysts such as follicle and corpus luteum cysts is normal. These cysts usually disappear naturally. In younger women these cysts are monitored to ensure they are gone in subsequent menstrual periods. These cysts are not common in women in their menopause stage. Women who are on the pill should not settle for ordinary observation since the pills prevent ovulation.
An ultra sound of the pelvic will give better results. This test is able to tell the severity of the cyst. A cyst with liquid content is less likely to be malignant than one with semi-solid content.