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Ovarian Cysts – Risks, Signs & Treatment

Ovarian Cysts – Risks, Signs & Treatment

by: Dr. Santosh Dhar
Consultant- Obstetrics & Gynecology

Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form in the ovaries. They are very common. They are particularly common during the childbearing years. There are several different types of ovarian cysts: Follicular cyst, Corpus luteum cyst, Polycystic ovaries, Endometriosis and Cystadenomas-

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Risks of Ovarian Cysts:

 Most ovarian cysts are benign and naturally go away on their own without treatment. These cysts hardly cause any symptoms. Detection of a cancerous cystic mass is also reported to be found in extremely rare cases during clinical diagnosis. Ovarian torsion and ruptured cysts are rare complications of ovarian cysts. These can cause intense pain and internal bleeding, but if untreated may lead to life-threatening disease.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts:

 Often, ovarian cysts don’t cause any symptoms thus, you may not realize you have one until you visit your doctor. However, you should consult immediately if you face the following signs:

  • Pain or bloatingin the abdomen
  • Difficulty urinating, or frequent need to urinate
  • Dull ache in the lower back
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Painful menstruationand abnormal bleeding
  • Weightgain
  • Nauseaor vomiting
  • Loss of appetite or feeling full quickly

Treatment of Ovarian Cysts:

 To shrink or remove the cyst, your doctor may recommend either medications or surgical treatments, if the cyst doesn’t go away on its own or if it grows larger.

  • Medications: Birth control pills are given to those who have recurrent ovarian cysts, oral contraceptives are given to stop ovulation and prevent the development of new cysts. Oral contraceptives can also reduce your risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Surgical Interventions:
    • Laparoscopy- If your cyst is small and isn’t cancerous, your doctor can perform a laparoscopy to surgically remove the cyst. The procedure involves making a tiny incision near your navel and then inserting a small instrument into your abdomen to remove the cysts.
    • Laparotomy– For larger cysts, doctor opts for this technique to remove the cyst. This involves a large incision in your abdomen and even conduct an immediate biopsy, if they the cyst is determined to be cancerous. In such case, further surgery such as hysterectomy might be performed to remove the ovaries and uterus.
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