The ovaries form part of a woman’s reproductive system. They are found in the lower part of the abdomen on both sides of the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs, oestrogen and progesterone hormones.
When a fluid filled sac develops on one of the ovary, it is called a cyst. Cysts cause no symptoms and they are painless. They are common during childbearing age.
The different types of ovarian cysts that exist include the following:
1. Functional cyst: this is the most common ovarian cyst.
2. Polycystic ovaries
5. Dermoid cysts
At times, symptoms do not always appear in ovarian cysts, but as the cysts grow, symptoms can appear, these include the following:
1. Swelling in the abdomen
2. Pelvic pain before and during menstrual cycle
3. Difficult bowel movement
4. Painful sexual intercourse
Ovarian cysts can be discovered by your doctor during a pelvic examination if a swelling is seen on any of the ovaries. An ultrasound will have to be carried out to confirm if the swelling is a cyst. The ultrasound will help to determine the size, location and composition of the cyst.
Other test that are used to determine ovarian cyst include MRI scan, CT scan, Laparoscopy and CA-125.
Most ovarian cysts disappear after a few weeks or months, therefore your doctor might not recommend a treatment plan immediately, instead a repeat ultrasound is done in a few weeks or months to see if there are changes in the cyst.
Treatment for ovarian cyst include:
1. Birth Control Pills
2. Laparoscopy: is a surgical operation where a tiny incision is made near the navel to remove small cysts.
3. Laparotomy: is a surgical operation done by making a large incision in the abdomen to remove a large cyst.
If the cyst is cancerous, a hysterectomy will be done to remove the ovaries and uterus.