Irregular periods, cramping lower abdominal pain, excruciating pain during or immediately after sexual intercourse, infertility, bouts of vomiting and / or spells of nausea are some of the chief indicators of a common gynecological problem i.e. ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts are basically tiny fluid filled sacs which develop inside or on the ovaries. Most ovarian cysts are asymptomatic in nature and are harmless. However, a small percentage of ovarian cysts can cause multiple health complications.
Ovarian cysts which resemble small bubbles can develop in one or both the ovaries. These mostly benign growths are typically seen among women during their child bearing years. Most ovarian cysts disappear in a couple of week’s time on their own, without the individual having to seek further medical help. However, some ovarian cysts, especially those which are longer than 5 cms and cause a host of gynaec problems, including severe vaginal bleeding and lower abdominal pain, will have to be removed surgically.
Different Types Of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cystadenomas are benign growths which develop from the cells that cover the outer surface of the ovaries. If cystadenomas are left untreated, they can grow to an extremely large size – between two to six inches in diameter. Large cystadenomas cause a lot of discomfort and pain. The best way to detect a cystadenoma is to undergo an ultra sound. Serous cystadenomas and mucinous cystadenomas are the two main types of cystadenomas. Once a cystadenoma is removed surgically the chances of it resurfacing again are next to nil.
2. Dermoid Cysts
This type of cyst develops in both the ovaries. Dermoid ovarian cyst also known as mature cystic teratoma is basically a benign ovarian tumor that is commonly found in young women. Dermoid ovarian cysts are pretty bizarre in appearance, as they may contain hair, teeth and cartilage besides the thick greasy liquid which is normally present in the ovarian cyst sac. Dermoid ovarian cysts are mostly asymptomatic in nature. However, under very rare circumstances a woman having this particular type of ovarian cyst might complain of excruciating abdominal or pelvic pain.
Chocolate ovarian cyst, endometrial cyst, endometrioid cyst or endometriomas is a benign, estrogen dependant cyst which grows from the ectopic endometrial tissue of the ovaries. Women with endometriosis are more likely to be diagnosed with endometriomas. The brown colored endometriomas can cause intense ovarian pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and in extremely rare cases even infertility.
4. Functional Or Follicular Cysts
Follicular cyst or grafiaan follicle cyst is one of the commonest types of ovarian cyst which results from the growth of a follicle. When the follicle, which is basically the fluid filled sac that holds the immature egg, grows to a size which is larger than normal, and it does not rupture or release the egg, the unbroken follicle develops into a painful cyst. Women having follicular cysts are very likely to complain of a sharp pain during ovulation or when they have their monthly menstrual cycle.
5. Paraovarian Cysts
Para tubal or para-ovarian cysts are basically epithelium lined, fluid filled cysts which develop beside or near the ovaries and or the Fallopian tubes. Women of all ages can be diagnosed with para-ovarian cysts. While small para-ovarian cysts are asymptomatic in nature, large paraovarian cysts may cause some degree of physical discomfort and will have to be removed surgically.