Ovarian cysts are tiny fluid-filled sacs that grow in a woman's ovaries. The cysts look like bubbles because they are enclosed in a very thin membrane. They are often harmless, but there are some that could be quite alarming. Your ovaries have two fallopian tubes, which produce eggs every month. Each fallopian tube, in turn, has a follicle which releases these eggs. Ovarian cysts happen when the follicle refuses to release the egg, thus it stays inside and becomes a cyst. Ovarian cysts can be classified as benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). These cysts occur in the woman's reproductive stage. They fall into several kinds: follicular cysts, corpus luteum cysts, hemorrhagic cysts, dermoid cysts, etc.
Common symptoms would include pelvic pain, rupturing and bleeding. Functional cysts often just disappear after awhile so treatment for this type is no longer needed. It is best to obtain a pelvic exam to see if everything is well in the uterine area. The pelvic exams could be taken shortly after two menstrual period cycles.
- Medical Treatment. Ultrasonic observation/endovaginal ultrasound are two of the most commonly utilized tests to check on the growth of cysts. Medical treatment for polycystic ovaries is Clomid to help increase ovulation while Provera is used to bring back menstrual flow. In the case of endometrial cysts, doctors would advise surgery. There is ovarian cystectomy to remove the cyst or partial oophorectomy for the removal of cyst and ovary. Salpingo-oophorectomy can be done to remove the cyst, ovary and fallopian tubes. But for worst case scenarios, total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy for the removal of cysts, both ovaries, fallopian tubes and the uterus are removed.
- Medication. As most of these cysts do not grow into cancer, the best treatment is still to wait and see. If it has been confirmed, there are over the counter medicines to alleviate the pain and correct the menstrual patterns. Oral contraceptives (birth control) are given to control the menstrual cycle and lessen the growth of cysts. To prevent pain in the pelvic area, ibuprofen medications like Advil may be given. Narcotic pain medication could soothe the extreme pain, which is caused by ovarian cysts but check with your doctor for the correct dosage.
Women have a deep-rooted fear in the word cyst. This is perfectly understandable but what happens once you get it? With early detection, life with cyst can be manageable. Check with your doctor for unusual symptoms. Get a pap smear or a pelvic exam annually to check on your reproductive well-being. Prevention is still much better than cure.
Cysts cannot hinder your life unless you allow them to do so. Awareness and proper education can go a long way. Keep your mind and body healthy.