All About Ovarian cysts: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis,Treatments and Prevention

According to WHO reports, out of global burden of ill health, reproductive and sexual ill-health accounts for 20% for women and 14% for men.

Having ovarian cysts is a very common issue in women. However this is not a very common cure. If you are ready to be cured then it is time to do your research.

What are ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts are small fluid-filled sacs that develop in a woman's ovaries. Ovarian cysts affect women of all ages. The vast majority of ovarian cysts are considered functional.

This means they occur normally and are not part of a disease process. Most ovarian cysts are benign, meaning they are not cancerous, and many disappear on their own in a matter of weeks without treatment.

While cysts may be found in ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts typically represent a harmless condition or a normal process.

Ovarian cysts occur most often during a woman's childbearing years. Some kinds of ovarian cysts are related to the menstrual cycle and occur before a woman has reached menopause (the time point at which a women has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months).

However, postmenopausal women may still develop other types of ovarian cysts.

Most ovarian cysts are not due to cancer, and having an ovarian cyst does not cause ovarian cancer. However, some ovarian cancers develop cystic areas inside the tumor. Ovarian cancer is much less common than benign ovarian cysts.

Causes and Symptoms

Most cysts are harmless, but some may cause problems such as rupture, bleeding, or pain.

Usually ovarian cysts do not produce symptoms and are found during a routine physical exam or are seen by chance on an ultrasound performed for other reasons. However, symptoms can be present, especially with large cysts. The following symptoms may be present:

Lower abdominal or pelvic pain, which may start and stop and may be severe, sudden, and sharp
Irregular menstrual periods
Feeling of lower abdominal or pelvic pressure or fullness
Long-term pelvic pain during menstrual period that may also be felt in the lower back
Pelvic pain after strenuous exercise or sexual intercourse
Pain or pressure with urination or bowel movements
Nausea and vomiting
Vaginal pain or spotty bleeding from the vagina
Infertility

Diagnosis

The medical specialists most likely to treat ovarian cysts are the Gynecologists-obstetricians. They may be diagnosed coincidentally during a pelvic examination in women who do not have any related symptoms. All women have follicular cysts at some point that generally go unnoticed.

Sometimes ovarian cysts may be noticed by a doctor during a bimanual examination of the pelvis. If a cyst is suspected based upon symptoms or physical examination, imaging techniques are used. Most cysts are diagnosed by ultrasound, which is the best imaging technique for detecting them. Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce an image of structures within the body. Ultrasound imaging is painless and harmless. Transvaginal ultrasound is a diagnostic tool to better visualize the ovaries using a thin ultrasound probe inside the vagina. Cysts can also be detected with other imaging methods, such as CT scan or MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging).

Treatments

Treatment can consist of simple observation, or it can involve evaluating blood tests such as a CA-125 to help determine the potential for cancer (keeping in mind the many limitations of CA-125 testing described above).

There are no natural or home remedies to treat ovarian cysts, other than taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain management.

In summary, the ideal treatment of ovarian cysts depends on the likely cause of the cysts and whether or not it is producing symptoms. The woman's age, the size (and any change in size) of the cyst, and the cyst's appearance on ultrasound help determine the treatment. Cysts that are functional are usually observed (watchful waiting) with frequent monitoring unless they rupture and cause significant bleeding, in which case, surgical treatment is required. Benign and malignant tumors require operation.

Prevention

Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent the development of ovarian cysts. If you are ovulating normally, there is nothing you can do to prevent a functional ovarian cyst from forming. If you get cysts frequently, your doctor may prescribe you hormonal birth control. This will stop you from ovulating and lower your chances of getting new cysts.