Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on the ovaries. The vast majority of ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms. In some cases, however, treatment may be needed for a symptomatic or abnormally large ovarian cyst. There are different types of ovarian cysts, such as:
Functional Ovarian Cysts
Functional ovarian cysts are the most common type of ovarian cyst and are produced by normal ovarian function. A functional cyst measures about one inch in diameter is produced during ovulation. Functional cysts can be either follicular or corpus luteum.
- Follicular cysts are filled with a clear fluid. They exist before ovulation occurs and will eventually develop into a corpus luteum cyst. This type of cyst is found in every woman, however they usually go away on their own within a few weeks. In some cases, follicular cysts can grow to around 4 inches in diameter.
- Corpus luteum cysts develop after ovulation and are used by the body to produce progesterone and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. When no pregnancy occurs, these cysts will disappear in about two weeks.
Non-Functional (Neoplastic Cysts)
Non-functional ovarian cysts do not form from natural ovary function and are growths of new tissue that grow out of the ovary tissue. There are different types of non-functional cysts that are differentiated by the type of cells they contain, such as: serous cysts, mucinous cysts, and dermoid cysts. Non-functional cysts are monitored closely and are generally removed if they grow too large or become concerning for abnormal pathology.
Did You Know?
The majority of ovarian cysts don’t require treatment, however there are a few complications of ovarian cysts that can require surgical intervention. These include a ruptured ovarian cysts, ovarian torsion (twisting of the ovary), or if a cancerous mass is detected.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have an ovarian cyst?
While ovarian cysts can only be diagnosed by your gynecologist, you may be affected by an ovarian cyst if you experience any of the following:
- Pelvic pain
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Painful intercourse
- Painful bowel movements
- Pain in the lower back or thighs
- Severe or sharp pelvic pain
To be evaluated for an ovarian cyst, schedule an appointment with Bucks County Women’s Wellness today.
How do gynecologists at Bucks County Women’s Wellness diagnose ovarian cysts?
At Bucks County Women’s Wellness, our gynecologists will first ask you about your symptoms and medical history. They will then perform a pelvic exam. When swelling is felt on one of your ovaries, an ultrasound will be recommended to confirm the presence of a cyst. Since most cysts will eventually disappear on their own, your gynecologist may choose to monitor the cyst for a few weeks before recommending treatment. In cases where the cyst is still present during the follow up ultrasound, then additional testing may be required.
How do gynecologists at Bucks County Women’s Wellness treat ovarian cysts?
At Bucks County Women’s Wellness, we offer a variety of treatments to treat ovarian cysts. Your exact treatment will depend on a number of factors, however here are some common treatments for ovarian cysts:
- Birth control pills
- Laparoscopy or laparotomy