Ovarian Cysts – What They Are And How They Affect You
If you have experienced ovarian cysts at one time or another, they either went away on their own or they caused you significant pain and discomfort. In order to plan the best way of action, you need information on ovarian cysts – what they are and how they affect you.
What are ovaries?
These are the female reproductive organs located in the pelvis on each side of the uterus. The uterus is the pear shaped and hollow organ in which the baby grows in a normal pregnancy.
Ovaries are about the size and shape of an almond. Ovaries produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone which affects the way the breast and hair grows, the body shape, menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Ovaries also produce eggs each month. Each month during the menstrual cycle, an egg grows inside an ovary in a tiny sac called a follicle. At maturity, the sac opens and releases the egg which travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus for fertilization. The sac then dissolves.
What are ovarian cysts?
Cysts are fluid filled sacs. An ovarian cyst grows on or in the ovaries. The most common types of cysts are functional cysts that grow during a normal menstrual cycle. These types are rarely cancerous. The two types of functional cysts are;
1. Follicle cysts which grow when the sac carrying the egg does not break open to release the egg at maturity. The sac simply keeps growing. These cysts usually go away on their own after one to two months.
2. Corpus luteum cysts form when the sac does not dissolve after the sac releases the egg. Instead, it seals itself and fluid builds up inside the sac. These usually disappear after a few weeks however they may bleed and lead to discomfort and pain when they twist the ovary. Certain drugs can be administered to cause ovulation but can sometimes raise the risk of getting more of these cysts.
There are many other types of cysts that can cause infertility or affect sexual intercourse. Some others may grow to large sizes and cause a lot of pain and discomfort during sex and menstruation. Some cysts may also be filled with hair, teeth, bones and other tissues.
How ovarian cysts are found
1. Ovarian cysts may be found during normal pelvic exams.
2. An ultrasound can show the presence of cysts.
3. A pregnancy test may be given to rule out pregnancy.
4. Hormone level tests may be checked to determine whether there are any hormone related issues.
5. A blood test may be performed to determine whether a cyst may be cancerous.
How ovarian cysts are treated
1. Your doctor may tell you to wait and have a second test in about one to three months to see if there has been a change in the size of the cyst. This is the usual suggestion for women in the childbearing age, who have no symptoms and have a fluid filled cyst.
2. Surgery may be suggested if the woman is post menopausal or if the cyst has not dissolved after several menstrual cycles, grows larger, causes significant pain or has an odd appearance.
3. Birth control pills may be prescribed in order for the woman to stop ovulating. Without ovulation, the less likely it is for cysts to develop.
When are cysts likely to develop?
1. During the childbearing ages women are likely to develop ovarian cysts most of which are benign (non-cancerous).
2. Women who are past menopause who develop ovarian cysts or prepubescent girls have a higher risk of the cyst being cancerous.
There are many holistic remedies to treat and prevent ovarian cysts and are less expensive that traditional medicine and have few side effects. Prevention should always be the focus and most traditional approaches do not address this.
Frequently Asked Questions
pelvic ultrasound today??? no answers, need advice..PLEASE ANSWER!!! U/S techs?
2 weeks ago i had my regular checkup, the dr said that my left ovary and my uterus were very enlarged, i have been having some pain and very heavy bleeding. I went for an ultrasound today…the tech couldnt tell me anything but she spen about 15 minutes looking at my uterus ans measuring, it looked very dense to me…i didnt see what would look like fibroids or cysts…my left overy did appear large tho..guessing thats a cyst. What could be going on with me???? The picture i saw just looked almost solid??? Any ideas??? Thanks and GOD Bless~~~~
Freaking out with test results?
Hello everyone. My name is Wanessa.
I’m at my 2ww……I had my first IUI done on 01/13/09.
I had done all my testing prior and I was waiting for my results. One of the nurses had told me that everything was ok and that the HSG showed that everything was normal and open.
Well, I just got a phone call from my doctor. He wanted to give me the results. First I thought it was nice, then it got me worried.
He said that my blood test confirmed that I do have PCOS(which we kind of already new) but that otherwise it was good.
He also said that the HSG was good and clear, BUT that it picked up a little something on my left side.
He said he could be anything, a cyst, a lump or fibroids. I’m FREAKING OUT!!!
He said that he has to schedule me for a “former” ultrasound to look at just that and that it would not interfer with anything regarding this IUI.
I was listening to him, but in the back of my head I was thinking “could this be cancer or something like that”, and I was TOO afraid to ask.
Of course now I’m FREAKING OUT!!!
Has anyone experienced anything like that?
Please let me know so I can stop freaking out
Most likely it will be nothing. I get cysts that show up from time to time on my ovaries. I am sure that that is the extent of it. Did he say they saw a mass or is he talking that one of your tubes may be not completely open or what. Seems very odd to me. I would be more worried that your doctor let you have an IUI without first going over all your test results with you in person. If he doesn’t have a clear view of what he is dealing with regarding your infertility how could he already start you a treatment plan. Seems to me that he would want to clear you for pregnancy and get a correct infertility diagnosis before the IUI. I would ask about that. I know my doctor did all of my testings (bloodtests, HSG, ultrasounds,etc) a whole month before starting any treatments. He knew every inch of me and my husband before he even talked treatments. Just curious as to why he did this protocol as it seems very odd to me to start treating someone before you know what is actually wrong.I really think you will most likely find it is just a residual cyst from the treatment cycle. Best wishes and I would be kind of worried too so those feelings are normal.
Remember 2nd opinions never hurt!
Any info appreciated :)?
I had an emergency ultrasound done becuae I have had some problems and i could see a black hole with a white thing at the bottom of this hole. I have been having cramps, feeling sick off and on and been tired a bit and missed a period (Mirena fell out on the 12th of july, this is the normal time I should of had a period and then I was instructed to start pill on the 13th which I did and took it everyday but then I was late and had minimal brown spotting for a few hours after intercoure on the 7th of aug) but have had neg pregnancy tests. Is this a fluid sac with a baby I seen? When I asked the tech if there was a baby in there she said ” I can not make a comment and said she could not tell me and I have to wait to get results from my Dr. What else could look like this on an ultrasound? (cancer, fibroids, cysts or is it pregnancy?) I think I would be about 6 to 7 weeks If I am pregnant.
I did some research and all I can find that shows a black hole on ultrasound is a gestational sac. It looked like a round to oval shape, completely black inside (indicates liquid) and something that was solid white on this inside of the hole at the bottom of it.
Unfortunately, on an ultra sound, everything is either black or white. So anything can look like what you are describing. Just about everything on an ultrasound- whether it be of your uterus, or your knee, is going to look like black spaces with white shapes in them. The only person who can answer your question with ANY accuracy at all would be the radiologist who reads your ultrasound. I would keep calling your doctor and let them know that you need the results just as soon as possible. That’s about all you can do!
Is surgery my only option for Fibroid tumors?
Hi I’m a 27 year old female from Los Angeles, CA and was detected that I have 3 Fibroid tumors. This year in May 2010 I got my period and was having excruciating pain that I didn’t know why was it that bad. So thinkig it didn’t seem normal to me I went to go see a doctor and the doctor told me I had a bladder infection and gave me meds. So from that I thought okay that was the problem then No more worries. Well surely after I didn’t get my period in June but I was having early bad cramps since I didn’t get my period on time I decided to go see a Gyno she had said I have Yeast infection but she seemed like it’s no biggie that it’s treatable but had said she wanted me to get a pelvic ultra sound with a radiologist. So since she didn’t seemed worried I went to go get the test and got an unexpected suprise that I have 3 Fibroid tumors but away from my uteros. As some of you who have been in my situation know how I felt and was really dumbfounded. I even know a couple of friends who have had it and have been through really bad situations which I would want to go through. I’ve never had kids but would like to have some one day. I am not sure on the sizes of tumors but from what I saw in the ultrasound two might look like the size of a golf ball around there and one is a little bigger Im just guessing. I’m supposed to go see my gyno in a week. I was away in Australia for a year 2009 and had bad cramp pain but not as much as i’ve been having it here back home so makes me wonder I may have had it that long. I have faith that I’m hoping that all will go well. I’ve been told by several people that I can naturally get rid of them but I would have to be in a strict diet and that the fibroids may come back. So would this be an option if I really take care of myself?Ladies only who have had it a couple of questions; What was your experience when you had it? Are there certain foods that I should watch out for? What would be my best decision to get rid of these tumors and still have a chance in the future of having a baby with my current partner? How long does it take to recover? I was told there’s laser surgery to get them removed. Would that be safe? I dont have insurance but might be getting medical so pray for me and wish me luck. Please share some of your similar experiences with me and maybe some way to aleviate my pain that im having right now. . . I DO NOT WANT MY UTERUS TO GET REMOVED so please any advice you can give me I would truly appreciate it.
There is a minimally invasive procedure called uterine fibroid embolization (you can Google this for more info). It is done by an interventional radiologist. A small incision is made in your groin and catheters are inserted until they reach the blood vessels supplying the fibroids. Small particles are injected into these vessels to block them. This causes the fibroids to shrink as they no longer have any blood supply. Over several weeks to months the fibroids shrivel up and you will not have any more symptoms. This is a quick procedure, about an hour and does not require a hospital stay. Ask your gynecologist if you are a candidate for this procedure and if he/she can refer you to a doctor that does this. This procedure is good for young women who want to preserve their uterus for future pregnancny.
Hope this was helpful.