Ovarian cyst are the adnexal masses or lumps formed inside one or both ovaries. These masses are filled with fluid formed in ovaries. Ovaries are small, almond-shaped reproductive organs found in the pelvic region of a female body. The major roles of ovaries are to release eggs (or ovum), normally every month and reproductive hormones, progesterone and oestrogen. Cyst development in ovaries gives rise to various problems in the reproductive cycle of a woman. It can create problems in pregnancy, and other hormonal, mental and physical disturbances. The presence of cysts in ovaries can be diagnosed through ultrasound, pelvic examination, and laparoscopy.

What is ovarian cyst? 

Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with ovarian fluid developed inside ovaries. Ovaries are small, almond-shaped reproductive organs found in the pelvic region of a female body. Most of the time, the cysts are painless and asymptomatic. Moreover, most women are usually unaware of having cysts in their ovaries unless and until they are visible in a diagnostic imaging test or a routine pelvic examination.

Are there different forms of ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts are of different types, which include,

1. Functional cysts or simple cysts:

Functional cysts are not harmful cysts. These are just the intermediate stages in the process of a fully developed ovum. Functional cysts include corpus luteal cysts, follicular cysts.

A. Corpus luteal cysts- When your menstrual cycle is at the stage of developing the corpus luteum, the pelvic ultrasound inside the ovaries will show a cyst-like structure, but it is not a cyst. It is just the corpus luteum that produces hormones and then further develops into  

B. Follicular cysts – When your menstrual cycle is at the stage of developing follicles, your pelvic ultrasound report will show sac-like round structures. These are not harmful cysts but the intermediate stage of the ovum.

C. Theca Lutein Cysts- This type of cyst is also part of the menstrual cycle and not the extra masses developed inside ovaries, and so these are also not harmful.

2. Endometriotic Cysts

Sacs containing menstrual blood or endometrial blood are commonly known as chocolate cysts. These cysts are painful and can lead to infertility if not treated on time. The doctors recommend surgical removal of the endometriotic cysts.

3. Neoplastic Cysts

These cysts develop due to the irregular or overgrowth of proliferating cells of the ovary. These cysts can also become cancerous.

4. Malignant Cysts

These cysts have a tendency to become cancerous.

Risk factors associated with the development of cysts in ovaries

  1. 1. Pregnancy
  2. 2. Endometriosis
  3. 3. Hormonal problems
  4. 4. Infections in the pelvic region
  5. 5. Complications associated with Ovarian cyst
  6. 6. Ovarian torsion
  7. 7. Ruptured cysts
  8. 8. Cancerous cysts
  9.  

How can I check if I have cysts in my ovaries?

There are various diagnostic imaging tools to identify if there are cysts in your ovary or not; some of these tests include,

  • Ultrasound scan
  1. 1. Blood test to further check if the cyst is cancerous or not
  2. 2. CT scan: an imaging tool to visualise internal organs through cross-sectional images.
  3. 3. MRI: A diagnostic test based on magnetic fields to visualise the inside of your ovary or any other part of the body.
  4.  

Factors determining treatment choice for ovarian cysts

  1. 1. Age of the woman
  2. 2. Whether the woman is in menopause or not
  3. 3. Size and number of cysts in an ovary
  4. 4. Is the cyst malignant or benign
  5.  

What are the treatment options for ovarian cyst?

Laparoscopy- ovarian cystectomy is the endoscopic surgery in which a long tube with a small camera is inserted inside the vagina to reach the ovaries. The cysts are excised out precisely by visualising the inside of the ovaries on screen.

Laparotomy-This surgical procedure is carried out to remove large size cysts.

Are you ignoring your ovarian cyst?

If the ovarian cyst is left untreated, in some cases it does not create any sort of issue inside the body, or it does not affect the reproductive health of the person. However, most of the time, untreated ovarian cysts may cause the following problems,

  1. 1. It can cause severe pain
  2. 2. It can lead to infertility
  3. 3. It can lead to multiple cysts, which can rupture inside, causing infections and bleeding, and pain.
  4. 4. It disturbs the hormones
  5. 5. It is responsible for irregular periods
  6. 6. It is the reason for being extremely uncontrollable during periods.
  7.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. WHAT IS Ovarian cyst

Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with ovarian fluid developed inside ovaries. Ovaries are small, almond-shaped reproductive organs found in the pelvic region of a female body. Most of the time the cysts are painless and asymptomatic. Moreover, most women are usually unaware of having cysts in their ovaries unless and until they are visible in a diagnostic imaging test or a routine pelvic examination.

Q2. Are there different forms of ovarian cysts?

Yes, Ovarian cysts are of different types, which include,

  1. 1. Functional cysts or simple cysts
  2. 2. Corpus luteal cysts-
  3. 3. Follicular cysts
  4. 4. Theca Lutein Cysts-
  5. 5. Endometriotic Cysts-
  6. 6. Neoplastic Cysts-
  7. 7.Malignant Cysts-
  8. 8. Pregnancy
  9. 9. Endometriosis
  10. 10. Hormonal problems
  11. 11. Infections in the pelvic region
  12. 12. Complications associated with Ovarian cyst
  13. 13. Ovarian torsion
  14. 14. Ruptured cysts
  15. 15. Cancerous cysts
  16.  

Q3. How can I check if I have cysts in my ovaries?

There are various diagnostic imaging tools to identify if there are cysts in your ovary or not, some of these tests include, 

  • Ultrasound scan- A diagnostic imaging method based on ultrasonic waves to visualise inside soft tissue and organs.
  1. 1. Blood test to further check if the cyst is cancerous or not
  2. 2. CT scan: an imaging tool to visualise internal organs through cross-sectional images.
  3. 3. MRI: A diagnostic test based on magnetic fields to visualise the inside of your ovary or any other part of the body.
  4.  

Q4. What are the factors which determine the choice of treatment?

  1. 1. Age of the woman
  2. 2. Whether the woman is in her menopause or not
  3. 3. Size and number of cysts in an ovary
  4. 4. Is the cyst malignant or benign
  5.  

Q5. What are the treatment options for ovarian cysts?

  1. 1. Laparoscopy- Ovarian cystectomy is the endoscopic surgery in which a long tube with a small camera is inserted inside the vagina to reach ovaries. The cysts are excised out precisely by visualising the inside of the ovaries on screen.
  2. 2. Laparotomy-This invasive surgical procedure must be carried out by highly expert surgeons as it involves removal of large sized cysts from highly sensitive part of women body.
  3.  

Q6. What will happen if I don’t undergo any treatment for an ovarian cyst?

If the ovarian cyst is left untreated, in some cases, it does not create any sort of issue inside the body or it does not affect the reproductive health of the person. However, most of the time, the untreated ovarian cysts may cause the following problems,

  1. 1. It can cause severe pain
  2. 2. It can lead to infertility
  3. 3. It can lead to multiple cysts, which can rupture inside, causing infections and bleeding, and pain
  4. 4. It disturbs the hormones
  5. 5. It is responsible for irregular periods
  6. 6. It is the reason for being extremely uncontrollable during periods.
  7.  

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