Ovarian Cysts: Find Out What Types Are Really Harmful

The words ‘ovarian cysts’ often strike fear in the minds of most women, especially those in middle age. This is because the concept of a cyst in the ovary is usually associated with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and ovarian cancer. But the fact is that for as long as you do not reach menopause, you actually get certain kinds of cysts every month – and these are not at all harmful – but are rather completely normal. We’ll be looking into these, as well as the dangerous ones here itself and now.

Photo Credit: theglobalpanorama via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: theglobalpanorama via Compfight cc

What are the different kinds of cysts that can grow in the ovary?

There are a number of different cysts that can show up in MRIs and USGs. And not all of these are dangerous or malignant. And now to take a look at all the different types:

  • Functional or physiological cysts – these are normal growths, essential for smooth menstruation. These cysts form when an egg in the ovary starts to mature. A liquid filled cyst grows around it, and inside, the egg slowly matures. The liquid inside is actually estrogen – and this is how estrogen is produced in your body. When the cyst reaches a diameter of an inch, the egg is usually ripe. At this stage the cyst ruptures and the estrogen and mature egg is released into the fallopian tube, through which the egg travels to the uterus. These are normal and essential for smooth menstruation as well as for pregnancy.
  • Pathological cysts – these are the abnormal growths and do not usually go away on their own. Their treatment involves the use of medication and often surgery. Now not all of these are malignant, and most of these usually present pain and infertility and can be treated by a doctor. But the ones you need to worry most are Endometriomas and Polycystic ovaries. And now we’ll be looking into these two specifically.

Polycystic ovaries and Endometriomas

Polycystic ovaries are cysts that are caused in the functional way. But then they start to malfunction. Instead of the cyst rupturing when the egg is mature, the cyst remains as it is. Meanwhile, the cycle repeats itself, and more such cysts get formed. When there are a collection of such cysts in the ovary, it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. This can cause many complications and needs to be checked out by a doctor at the earliest.

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Credit source: https://edc2.healthtap.com/ht-staging/user_answer/reference_image/7081/large/Uterus.jpeg?1386669522

The other kind is endometriomas. These are formed in women who have a case of endometriosis. This is another condition in itself, and one that can be quite harmful. Endometriosis is when the endometrial tissues that normally grow on the inner walls of the uterus grow on the outer side or on other organs of the body. They grow very fast and become large and harmful ovarian cysts.

Now so much for the two most dangerous kinds of cysts. You may be wondering why we haven’t dealt with cancer – that is because these are actually quite rare in women under 50. And rarely do cysts mean that there is cancer.

And now – let’s take a look at…

How you will know that you have cysts in your ovary?

Photo Credit: jpalinsad360 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jpalinsad360 via Compfight cc

There are a number of tell tale signs, and the major ones are as follows:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvic regions
  • Swelling accompanied by pressure in the abdomen
  • Problems during urinating
  • Constant dull ache in the thighs and back
  • Painful intercourse
  • Tenderness of the breasts
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Painful periods
  • Irregular periods along with abnormal breathing

If you have quite a few of these symptoms then you need to visit your doctor at the earliest and get the condition checked out. Based on your test results and symptoms, the doctor will give you the right advice. And of course, there are other remedies you can try with your doctor’s consent. As for the treatment of ovarian cysts, they have been dealt with in detail elsewhere. Do go check that out and be prepared to fight ovarian cysts the best way possible.