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Startling Truths About Ovarian Cysts: Little Known Facts
May 17, 2023
Are you curious about ovarian cysts? This informative post reveals little-known facts about these common growths, including symptoms, causes, and treatment options. Alternatively, you can watch this on video.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop on or within the ovary.
They are very common and, most of the time, do not cause any symptoms. It may not be easy for those with symptoms to tell if you have an ovarian cyst without doing tests because the symptoms are quite different.
They may appear slightly different from one woman to another. Other facts about cysts are that they can occur at any age, including during fetal development, and often they go away without treatment.
There are different types of ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts may affect both ovaries simultaneously, or they may only affect one at a time.
Ovarian cysts can cause various symptoms, including pelvic pain, bloating, and menstrual irregularities like heavy or lighter periods.
Other symptoms are pain during sex, difficulty emptying your bowels, and a frequent need to urinate.
Also, there may be bloating and, a swollen tummy, feeling very full after only eating a little.
Some ovarian cysts can burst, causing sudden, severe pain and sometimes requiring emergency medical treatment. Some can present fertility problems like PCOS and Endometriosis.
Thanks to hormone balance problems, when the ovaries are not working correctly, there can be other symptoms like PCOS: irregular periods, acne, weight gain, excess hair, etc. Learn more about PCOS.
We don’t know, but most cysts develop along the function of the menstrual cycle when the ovary is trying o do its usual work, i.e. functional cysts, as we’ve described already.
Other things that can lead to cysts developing are hormonal imbalances, which can happen during pregnancy or menopause, and conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Certain medications, such as fertility drugs, could also increase the risk of developing ovarian cysts. Very rarely, ovarian cysts can be caused by ovarian cancer.
Treatment for ovarian cysts depends on the cyst’s size, type, and symptoms. It may include watchful waiting, medication, or surgery.
It depends on the size of the cyst, as that will determine the type of surgery.
We treat the majority of cysts via a type of surgery known as a laparoscopy. This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes ovarian cysts.
The surgeon will make a small incision in the abdomen and insert a laparoscope, a thin, lighted instrument with a camera attached.
They will use the laparoscope to visualize the cyst and other structures in the abdomen. Making additional small incisions to insert surgical instruments to remove the cyst might be necessary.
Although we do not know all the causes of ovarian cysts, we know some things that may reduce their risk of developing them.
Women who use combined birth control pills are less likely to develop cysts because the pills’ hormones help prevent ovulation.
Avoid smoking – smoking has been linked to an increased risk of developing cysts.
Something else that may increase the risk of developing cysts is being overweight or obese – this increases the risk of cysts happening.
A healthy diet and exercise can help maintain a normal weight. Knowing your family history as it can run in families so you can monitor yourself.
During menopause, be aware that hormone imbalances can make cysts likely to happen.
We think hormone imbalance may play a role in the growth of many types of ovarian cysts. Thus, a combination of lifestyle behaviours that can tilt the balance of hormones may help reduce their chance of growth and support any traditional treatment where necessary.
These options are :
If you have symptoms, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible so the diagnosis can be made.
While most are functional and settle themselves, others may require specific treatment, as highlighted already.
Most ovarian cysts are not cancerous. Only a tiny number are malignant.
Cancerous cysts are more likely to develop if you have been through menopause.
In this case, regular ultrasound scans and blood tests are recommended to evaluate and monitor the cyst.
In addition, women with a family history of ovarian or breast cancer may be at a higher risk of developing ovarian cysts or ovarian cancer.
Fertility is usually unaffected by most ovarian cysts.
However, some types of cysts can affect your fertility, and the ones in question are mainly PCOS and Endometriosis.
If you have these conditions, your doctor will examine the options for your treatment.
However, not every woman with these conditions struggles to conceive, so an individual assessment is helpful for you.
Hopefully, this post has covered everything you need to know about ovarian cysts, from symptoms to treatment options, with some of these little-known facts! Let us know if you want any further information.
Editing By AskAwayHealth Team
All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to provide evidence-based guidance and to help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace the management of your specific condition by a qualified healthcare practitioner.
To discuss your condition, please contact a health practitioner here.
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