Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that grow on or in the ovaries. They can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A benign cyst does not spread to other parts of the body. If it stays in one place, there is no risk of ovarian cancer. Sometimes benign Garden City ovarian cysts rupture, causing inflammation in the area.
The most common types of benign ovarian cysts are:
Follicular cysts: These occur when a follicle, the sac that surrounds an egg during ovulation, doesn’t release its egg, and it forms a sac filled with fluid. These cysts usually go away on their own after several months.
Endometriosis: These cysts are caused by endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus. Usually found in women who have had children, they may cause pain, especially before and during periods.
The most common type of malignant ovarian cyst is called a dermoid cyst. It contains hair, tissue, teeth, and other body parts. The only way to tell if a dermoid is cancerous is to open it up.
What causes ovarian cysts?
The exact cause of ovarian cysts is unknown. However, some ovarian cysts are thought to be caused by menstrual irregularities and other factors such as hormonal imbalances or autoimmune disorders. Women are more likely to develop an ovarian cyst after menopause than they are during their childbearing stage.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cysts?
In most cases, ovarian cysts do not cause symptoms and often go undetected unless they rupture. When they do cause symptoms, they usually present in the following ways:
A fluid-filled sac within the ovary presses against one of its blood vessels, causing breast tenderness. Sometimes this causes a woman to feel as though she has breast cancer which is generally much less painful and to fear the worst. However, if you experience breast tenderness and other symptoms of ovarian cysts, you are likely suffering from an ovarian cyst.
Some ovarian cysts may cause dull abdominal pain, similar to menstrual cramps that occur every month before menstruation begins. This type of ovarian cyst is known as an endometrioma because it contains remnants of the uterine lining growing outside the uterus (endometrium). The pain can range from mild to severe.
Painful intercourse is often described as a dull ache or cramping but can also be extremely painful. The pain can be sharp or stabbing and may begin after penetration and continue throughout sex. The pain is typically felt deep inside the pelvis and may radiate to the lower abdomen, back or thighs.
The severity of these symptoms largely depends on how large the cyst is. Ovarian cysts can range in size from very small, about the size of a pea, to very large, several inches across. Smaller cysts are harmless, but larger ones can cause pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area and bleed from the vagina.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled, benign masses that develop due to functional or structural changes in the ovary, most commonly during women’s childbearing years. The diagnosis can be challenging because some symptoms of ovarian cysts, such as breast tenderness, are common to many other conditions. Additionally, some women do not experience any symptoms and may be unaware they have a problem. If you are experiencing ovarian cysts symptoms, look for experts at Women’s Healthcare of Garden City, and they will help you.