An ovarian cyst is a small, fluid-filled pocket that develops inside of one of a woman’s two ovaries. Every woman has two ovaries, which are the small organs inside of a woman’s pelvis that produce eggs for purposes of fertilization and reproduction.
Fortunately, these cysts are common and often disappear on their own after going completely unnoticed. In some instances, however, they can rupture or cause other complications.
How to Determine If You Have an Ovarian Cyst
Ovarian cysts are usually very small and don’t cause any discomfort before they disappear. Common symptoms of an ovarian cyst include pain in the pelvis and discomfort in your abdomen, including a feeling that your abdomen has suddenly become heavy or full. Unexplained bloating may also occur.
If you experience significant pain or a fever, it is best to contact your doctor immediately. A doctor will perform one of a series of tests that may include an ultrasound or a laparoscopy in order to determine if you have an ovarian cyst.
Are Ovarian Cysts Dangerous?
Most of the time, no. Ovarian cysts are common and will typically disappear on their own before you even notice them. However, in some instances, they can cause complications.
For example, a large enough cyst can move your ovaries, causing ovarian torsion. Ovarian torsion can cause a major problem to your ovaries. Furthermore, if a cyst ruptures, it can cause pain and bleeding.
How Are Ovarian Cysts Treated?
Most of the time, no treatment is needed. In these instances, a woman is told to self-monitor for additional pain or symptoms and may be scheduled for more frequent follow-ups to ensure that the cyst has not grown in size.
Some women are more likely than others to repeatedly grow ovarian cysts. If this is the case, you may be given certain birth control pills that regulate hormones in order to prevent the future growth of cysts. However, this will not impact the current cyst.
Surgery may be necessary if a cyst is large enough or shows any signs of abnormalities. A cancer examination may also be made at this time.
Fortunately for women, ovarian cysts are relatively common and usually require no additional treatment. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to contact your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.