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Ovarian cysts

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sac-like structures in an ovary. Most cysts are harmless; however, a proper diagnosis has to be made and cysts have to be followed up closely.

What are the types of ovarian cysts?

The most common type of ovarian cysts is functional cysts. They grow during the menstrual cycle. They are of two types:

  • Corpus Luteum Cysts or Hemorrhagic Cysts-
  • Non-Functional Ovarian Cysts-

What are the symptoms of ovarian cysts?

Often, cysts are symptom-free. However, a huge ovarian cyst may result in:

  • Bloating or inflammation in the abdomen
  • Difficulty while passing urine
  • Pain: sharp pain in the lower abdominal area on the cyst side, Fullness or heavy sensation in the abdomen, Painful menses, and irregular bleeding, etc.

What are the risks associated with ovarian cysts?

  • Torsion of the cyst: when the ovary with the cyst turns around its own axis, then the blood supply can be interrupted, which will lead to severe acute pain in the lower abdomen
  • Rupture of the cyst with bleeding inside the abdomen
  • Endometriosis: There is a growth of uterine endometrial cells outside the uterus. Some tissue may get adhered to the ovary and result in growth.

How is an ovarian cyst diagnosed?

  • Many ovarian cysts are free of symptoms. They might be diagnosed during a routine examination. A physician may perform a pelvic examination and an ultrasound to confirm if cysts are present or not.
  • By an MRI or CT scan, which might be performed due to other reasons.

What is the treatment for ovarian cysts?

Treatment of ovarian cysts depends on the age, size, and type of cyst.

  • Careful Waiting: In most cases, treatment is not necessary. But if cysts fail to disappear, possible treatment alternatives can be discussed with the healthcare provider.
  • Medication: Birth control pills can be recommended. These may prevent the recurrence of ovarian cysts.
  • Surgical Treatment: Laparoscopy is suggested for removing the cysts. Rarely, Laparotomy can also be undertaken. However, the surgical approach should only be used if deemed necessary as surgery at the ovary will reduce the number of eggs (= ovarian reserve) in the ovary.


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