Monday, September 24, 2012

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts

(Image credit © to ‘chaoss via Shutterstock’)
What are the common signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts? Well … There are many women who experience ovarian cysts at some points of their lifetime. And most of these cysts are usually harmless and can go away on their own within a few months. But sometimes, they can grow bigger in size and can cause pain and other serious symptoms. For this case, the appropriately treatments are required!

You may also be interested to know more about treatment and natural herbs for ovarian cysts, before continuing!

Being alert to any sign /symptom that may indicate a more serious health problem and taking a routine pelvic examination are the best option to protect your health!

What causes ovarian cysts - Can you prevent them?

Before talking about ovarian cysts, first you may like to know more about the ovaries.


Ovaries (plural, because there is a pair of ovaries in the uterus) are crucial part of the female reproductive system because they are the main source of hormone progesterone and estrogen. And as well we know that these hormones are crucial for pregnancy, body shape, and maintaining menstrual period. Estrogen and progesterone are also important for female hair grow and the way of female breasts.

A pair of ovaries is located on each side of the female uterus (in the pelvis). The size and shape of each ovary are closely similar to the shape & size of an almond. Each ovary also has important function to create egg (a very important component for pregnancy).

In the age of a woman’s childbearing, an egg is growing in the ovary (in a tiny sac what we call as a follicle) during menstrual period for every month. And then the sac will break to release egg (mature egg), and egg will travel to the uterus through the fallopian tube for fertilization.

(Image credit © to WomensHealth.Gov)

After releasing the egg, the sac will dissolve and become corpus luteum (this phase is useful to create hormones for the next egg).

So, what are causes of ovarian cysts?

First, you may like to know about what actually cysts are?! They are fluid-filled sacs that can form anywhere in your body. And cysts that form on /in the ovaries are often called as ovarian cysts (pretty common in the childbearing years).

There are several types of ovarian cysts, but cysts that begin from the normal function of a woman’s menstrual period are the most common type -- this type is also often called as ‘functional cysts’.

And in general, functional cysts have 2 types; 
  1. When they occur if the sac doesn’t dissolve after releasing the egg -- or also often called as ‘Corpus luteum cysts’. Fortunately, this kind of functional cyst usually will go away on its own within a few weeks.
  2.  Follicle cysts! They form when the sac is locked or doesn’t open to detach the egg for fertilization. Then the sac will keep growing. Like corpus luteum cysts, follicle cysts also usually can go away on their own after one to three months.
What are other types of ovarian cysts?

The following are other less common types:
  1. Dermoid! It is a kind of cysts that usually form from cells of the body that produce human eggs. These cysts usually contain a lot of type of cells (such as skin, teeth, hair, or other tissues). Though in many cases they are not cancerous, but it may become large and also cause pain. Even sometimes large dermoid can cause the relocated ovary in the pelvis (ovary moves out of its normal position).
  2. Cystadenomas! For this type, cysts usually start to grow from cells on the outer ovary’s surface. They may be filled with a mucous material and a watery liquid. They also can cause pain & become large!
  3. Endometriomas! As the name suggests, it usually occurs in women with endometriosis (you may also like to read treatments and symptoms of endometriosis, before continuing). Endometriomas cysts may cause pain during period and during intercourse, even they may also affect fertility of a woman
  4. Polycystic ovaries! These cysts form from the failure of the sacs that don’t open to release the mature egg. And then the cycle of menstruation repeats, sacs keep growing and eventually more cysts form.
The next question; can you prevent ovarian cysts?

Unfortunately, there is still no definitive answer on how to prevent them! But if you seriously concern to this health problem, taking regular pelvic examinations are the best way. These examinations are very helpful to keep monitoring any changes of your ovaries. 

Don’t forget also for being alert to changes of your monthly period. If you find any unusual symptoms in your monthly menstrual cycle, consult more with a doctor to find a clearly diagnosis and more advice!

Signs of ovarian cysts (cyst on ovary symptoms)

The good news, as mentioned before most of ovarian cysts will go away on their own. Most of them are also not cancerous. Read also can ovarian cysts be cancerous and cause infertility?!

And for the symptoms, most cysts usually don’t result any signs. But sometimes the symptoms of an ovarian cyst also can occur. According to a published article on MayoClinic -- if the signs occur, they may include some of the following:
  1. Abdominal discomfort! It may occur if you have a large ovarian cyst. You may also feel heaviness /fullness in the abdomen.
  2. A large cyst also may give more pressure to the bladder, which then may cause decreased bladder capacity and you will experience frequent urination or difficulty urinating problem.
  3. For women who have regular periods, they will experience some menstrual irregularities. You might also like to know more about causes of irregular periods!
  4. You may also experience pelvic pain. It may include an intermittent /constant dull ache that usually radiate to your thighs and lower back. Pelvic pain may also occur during intercourse, and just before your menstruation ends /before it begins. Read also more FAQs about pain from ovarian cyst!
  5. Some symptoms of pregnancy (particularly such as breast tenderness, nausea & vomiting).
  6. Sometimes you may experience pressure on the bowels /pain during bowel movements.
In addition, according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health -- some women with ovarian cysts may also experience abnormal bleeding and weight gain. In some severe cases, patients may also have rapid breathing, weakness /faintness, severe abdominal pain, and pain that also followed with vomiting & fever.
Reference: MayoClinic & WebMD