7 Common Symptoms Of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cyst is a very common condition that is reported in over 70-95% premenopausal women and about 18% of the post-menopausal women on sonographic examination. According to a new study, a vast majority of females develops ovarian cysts at least once in their lifetime. However, the tricky part is that most of the time these cysts are asymptomatic and don’t cause any harm. But in some cases, these cysts may become extremely discomforting with panging pain and can be a forewarning of something severe. Following are the symptoms that every woman must watch for:
- Pain in pelvis, either before or during periods
- Pain in thighs or lumbar region (lower back)
- Abdominal bloating
- Painful sex
- Tenderness in breasts
- Nausea and vomiting
- Painful bowel movements
What Are Ovarian Cysts?
Ovarian cysts are small sacs within the ovaries that are filled with fluid. These cysts are formed when women undergo ovarian cycle each month during which Graafian follicles are prepared. In most cases, the cysts are small and their fluid reabsorbs inside the body if the cyst ruptures. Graafian in some cases, these cysts grow into cancerous masses.
It is noteworthy that ovarian cysts are raptured during intercourse but, it is not a worrisome condition. The problem begins when these cysts bleed internally and becomes filled with blood i.e. endometriomas. Rupture of blood filled cysts can cause internal bleeding along with other symptoms, such as:
- Severe pain
- Bleeding other than periods
These symptoms should not be ignored because multiple and large ovarian cysts can lead to serious infections, if left untreated. According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, women with menopause and ovarian cysts are at greater risk of developing cancer and as a matter of fact, mostly doctors diagnose malignant ovarian cysts during conventional gynecological examinations. Other serious complication of poorly managed ovarian cysts is Ovarian torsion i.e. Twisting or displacement of ovaries from its usual position due to large size of the cyst.
How To Manage Ovarian Cyst?
Ovarian cysts are diagnosed on pelvic examination as well as sophisticated radiological examinations like ultrasound and CT scan. Other important tests to consider are; laparoscopic examination, pregnancy test, CA-125 antigen test (to detect carcinogenic growth) and other related tests. Once detected, if your cysts are symptomatic your doctor may suggest either of the following management options:
- Watchful Waiting: In most cases, doctors don’t intervene right away. The goal is to wait if cyst is undergoing any changes in size, consistency or symptoms.
- Birth Control Pills: Physicians also recommend birth control pills to reduce the size of your ovarian cysts. Another reason to consider birth control pills for PCOS is to reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer.
- Surgical excision of Cyst: If your cyst is large, painful or growing in size; it should be surgically removed. Before surgical removal, your doctor may perform a variety of tests to confirm if the cyst is cancerous or non-cancerous. For cancerous cysts, hysterectomy should be ideally performed.
There is no way to avoid or prevent the development of polycystic ovarian syndrome, but if you get your periodic physical examination performed, there is a possibility to detect and treat such lesions at a younger age.
- Flannery, C. A., Rackow, B., Cong, X., Duran, E., Selen, D. J., & Burgert, T. S. (2013). Polycystic ovary syndrome in adolescence: impaired glucose tolerance occurs across the spectrum of BMI. Pediatric diabetes, 14(1), 42-49.
- Sadrzadeh, S., Painter, R. C., & Lambalk, C. B. (2016). Developmental origins of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a case control study comparing birth weight in women with PCOS and control group. Gynecological Endocrinology, 1-4.