While the term ovarian cyst may sound scary, the majority of these fluid-filled sacs are quite common and completely harmless. In fact, around the time you menstruate every month, there’s a high chance you’ll develop an ovarian cyst and never know. Most ovarian cysts are painless and go away on their own within a few menstrual cycles.
How do ovarian cysts form? The majority of ovarian cysts are functional cysts, which can be further categorized into either follicle or corpus luteum cysts. A follicle cyst occurs when the sac that your ovaries release each month doesn’t actually break and release the egg. Instead, the sac just keeps growing and forms a cyst. A corpus luteum cyst involves the sac releasing the egg properly but instead of dissolving or reabsorbing into the body like normal, the sac seals itself off and accumulates fluid.
Ovarian cysts are typically found in women of childbearing age. Most are benign and go away in 1 to 3 months. However, some cysts do cause disruptive symptoms, especially if they twist, bleed or rupture. If your physician detects an ovarian cyst, you’ll probably be asked to return for a follow-up ultrasound in a few months to make sure it has not grown or developed suspicious characteristics.
If you are unfortunate enough to feel the symptoms of an ovarian cyst, you may experience the following depending on the size and exact location of the cyst:
- Pressure, swelling, or pain in pelvic region
- Problems passing urine completely
- Pain during sex
- Weight gain
- Pain during your period
- Abnormal bleeding
If you have the following symptoms, please seek medical attention right away:
- Pain with fever and vomiting
- Sudden, severe abdominal pain
- Faintness, dizziness, or weakness
- Rapid breathing
Ovarian Cyst Removal
In situations in which the cyst does not go away after multiple cycles, gets larger, causes pain or looks abnormal, surgical removal may be recommended. Rest assured that most ovarian cysts can be removed laparoscopically using tiny incisions. At North Pointe OB/GYN, we use the latest, most proven methods in detecting, monitoring and treating ovarian cysts. Your personal comfort and overall health are top priorities. If you have symptoms of an ovarian cyst, please make an appointment to see us sooner rather than later.