Most women develop ovarian cysts, but they never know because the cysts disappear on their own. When a cyst keeps growing, you may end up with pelvic pain and other symptoms. That’s when you need help from Providence Women’s Healthcare in Roswell, Suwanee, and Atlanta, Georgia. Its providers begin with conservative treatment, but you can depend on their surgical expertise if needed to remove the cysts. To schedule an appointment, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Ovarian cysts naturally develop during your monthly cycles. Your ovaries contain follicles and inside each follicle is an immature egg. Every month, several eggs start to mature. In a typical cycle, only one egg fully matures. The ovary then releases that egg into the fallopian tube.
The follicles that started to mature usually break down and disappear; however, some turn into a fluid-filled sac (cyst). There are several types of ovarian cysts, but the two most common are:
A follicular cyst still holds the partially mature egg and doesn't break down. When that happens, the follicle can accumulate fluid and become a cyst.
This type of cyst develops in the follicle that releases a mature egg. Normally, the remaining follicle is reabsorbed into your body. When that doesn’t happen, it becomes a corpus luteum cyst.
Small cysts seldom cause problems. As the cyst grows larger, you may experience:
In rare cases, a large ovarian cyst may twist the ovary or rupture. That is a medical emergency that causes severe, sudden pain.
You can have ovarian cysts and not have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Additionally, some women with PCOS don’t develop ovarian cysts. PCOS is a separate condition caused by high levels of male hormones. Ovarian cysts alone are not associated with abnormal hormone levels.
Many ovarian cysts go away on their own. If your symptoms are mild, your provider may monitor the cysts to see if they disappear or enlarge.
As your symptoms get worse, your provider may prescribe hormonal contraceptives. These medications prevent future ovarian cysts but won’t eliminate an existing cyst.
Once severe symptoms develop, it’s time to consider laparoscopic surgery to remove the cysts. The minimally invasive procedure uses small incisions in your abdomen and special tools to cut away the cysts.
Ovarian cysts are usually benign (noncancerous). In rare cases, the cysts may turn into ovarian cancer. If your provider suspects cancer, they take a biopsy and remove the ovaries if necessary.
If you struggle with pelvic pain, you may have ovarian cysts. Call Providence Women’s Healthcare or book an appointment online to get relief from your symptoms.