The ovaries are oval-shaped glands located on each side of the uterus. They contain eggs which develop and mature and then get released every month during ovulation. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs located in or on your ovary and are a fairly common occurrence in most women. Most of the time, ovarian cysts are painless and harmless.
There are also different types of ovarian cysts, these are:
Ovarian cysts are usually harmless; however, sometimes ovarian cysts may keep growing, become too big, and can eventually burst, causing serious problems.
The cause of most ovarian cysts is ovulation, but other causes may include:
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): infections of the pelvic region that can spread to ovaries causing cysts.
Most of the time, ovarian cysts do not cause any pain or symptoms, however, some women may experience the following symptoms:
There are several symptoms that may indicate a serious problem (cyst torsion or rupture) and require immediate medical care, these symptoms are:
Most ovarian cysts are not painful as they usually appear and disappear on their own. However, if the cysts do not disappear and instead grow bigger, they may cause pain. If the cysts tort or rupture/burst, they can cause intense and sharp pelvic pain.
Although ovarian cysts are common occurrences, there are several factors that may increase a woman’s risk of getting an ovarian cyst, these are:
History of cysts: if you have a history of ovarian cysts, you have an increased risk of developing another one in the future.
Ovarian cysts are diagnosed in the following ways:
Tumour marker test: on rare occasions, cysts may be more solid and could be a sign of ovarian cancer, a tumour marker test is used to check for signs of cancer.
Most of the time, cysts go away on their own without causing any problems.
However, for cysts that do not disappear, these are the treatment options:
Your gynaecologist will advise on the best course of action as this depends on your age, symptoms, menopausal status, and the size and nature of your ovarian cyst.
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