Ovarian cysts occur more frequently than you suspect. Often, they resolve on their own without symptoms. But if you develop abdominal pain around your ovaries that natural treatment doesn’t fix, visit Century Medical and Dental Center for an exam by an experienced gynecologist. When you experience any undue gynecological pain, you need to be treated by a trusted professional who correctly assesses your condition and offers proven treatments. Call today for an appointment.
Pockets of fluid-filled sacs on one or both ovaries can develop into a condition called ovarian cysts. While it’s actually common to develop ovarian cysts, many women never know they exist because most disappear on their own without treatment. Occasionally, ovarian cysts develop more aggravating symptoms.
Since each of your ovaries is small, about the size of an almond, any cyst that grows to a significant size poses health problems and infertility risks. If you develop an overgrown ovarian cyst that ruptures, it can trigger more serious medical conditions, and more noticeable symptoms likely occur. To prevent complications, you need a Brooklyn gynecologist who knows what to look for and how to treat ovarian cysts.
Ovarian Cyst Symptoms
When a cyst grows large enough, the rest of your reproductive system may react. As a result, you may feel:
- A sense of heaviness or fullness in your stomach
- A general dull ache in your lower abdomen on the side that has developed a cyst
- Sharper and more uncomfortable pain, if a hemorrhagic cyst develops that leaks blood into your abdomen
If you develop severe pain, an accompanying fever or vomiting, you should immediately consult your gynecologist. Any signs of shock — such as trouble breathing, lightheadedness, weakness or fainting — also require immediate medical help. You’ll find all the help you need at Century Medical and Dental Center, a multi-disciplinary clinic with several offices in Brooklyn.
Types of Ovarian Cysts
Although a growth on your ovary may sound self-explanatory, different types of cysts signal distinctive underlying conditions and causes. Your symptoms and history help your Brooklyn specialist determine your best course of treatment. Types of ovarian cysts include:
- Functional ovarian cysts occur when normal monthly follicles don’t release the egg and accompanying hormones into your fallopian tubes. These cysts continue to grow into follicular cysts. If the fluid in the cyst doesn’t disperse, it accumulates inside the follicle and creates a corpus luteum cyst. This type of cyst rarely causes pain and usually disperses on its own within a month or two.
- Endometrioma cysts develop when endometrial cells, which should be inside your uterus, somehow begin growing outside your uterus in the abdominal cavity. This tissue can attach to your ovaries.
- Dermoid cysts, also called teratomas, contain tissue often found elsewhere in the body, such as in your teeth, hair or skin. They form from embryonic cells and are rarely cancerous.
- Cystadenomas form on the surface of an ovary. They resemble blisters, filled with mucous or a watery substance.
Risks of Ovarian Cysts
If any cyst grows abnormally large, it pushes your ovary out of position, resulting in a painful twisting called torsion. This result inhibits the normal cyclical action of releasing eggs and hormones into your fallopian tubes and produces greater discomfort. Severe torsion may result in reduced blood supply and subsequent death of an ovary.
You may be at greater risk for developing ovarian cysts if you are pregnant, fight endometriosis, develop a severe pelvic infection, have hormonal problems or experienced a previous ovarian cyst. Ruptured cysts cause bleeding in your abdominal cavity, which triggers noticeable pain. Occasionally, cystic ovarian masses occur due to a malignant or cancerous tumor.
Treating Cystic Ovaries
After diagnosing ovarian cysts with a pelvic exam and possible pelvic ultrasound, your Brooklyn doctor may order other tests, including pregnancy or blood tests. A positive result on a pregnancy test often indicates a corpus luteum cyst. Depending on your type of cyst, your gynecologist may recommend:
- A wait-and-see attitude, which includes careful monitoring, as many cysts like functional cysts resolve within a few months on their own
- Hormonal medications, such as birth control, to help prevent further cysts — but this treatment doesn’t shrink any existing cysts
- Surgery to remove a cyst that’s large enough to threaten the functions of your ovary
Complex Ovarian Cyst Treatment
Complex ovarian cysts develop if normal treatment options haven’t worked or the cyst grows into a large mass. To treat this kind of cyst, your gynecologist may recommend surgical options, such as a laparoscopy. The goal involves removing the cyst while keeping your ovary intact. This process involves:
- A thin tube with a camera and cutting instruments is inserted through a small abdominal incision.
- Your gynecologist observes your ovary and cyst and carefully removes any material causing pain, bleeding or torsion.
Ovarian cysts often remain hidden and unobtrusive, growing and resolving on their own. If a cyst grows too large and envelopes an ovary, your doctor may suggest removing that ovary, leaving the other one intact.
Rarely do ovarian cysts develop cancerous cells. If a cystic mass proves cancerous, you likely need to undergo cancer treatments. Your treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis, so trust your experienced Brooklyn physician to help you make the right treatment decision. Contact Century Medical and Dental Center for a consultation.