Symptom & Treatment of Ovarian Cyst

Ovarian cysts may occasionally be present during pregnancy. Generally, characteristic clinical features suggest ovarian cysts. Visualization of the ovaries through ultrasound, laparoscopy, or surgery (often for another condition) confirms ovarian cysts. Simple cysts have no internal structures and are less worrisome than those with complex structures or solid components. A sonogram or ultrasound test can determine if a cyst is simple or complex.

The ovaries always develop small cysts (up to 4 cm in diameter) during pregnancy and these are of no consequence. The corpus luteum also enlarges the ovary and may sometimes become cystic (up to 5-6 cm in diameter). Occasionally, however, a large ovarian cyst measuring more than 6 cm in diameter is found in early pregnancy. When a cyst of this size is discovered, it is generally removed at the first reasonable opportunity.

Because the cyst may be situated in the same ovary as the corpus luteum, and damage to the corpus luteum may cause miscarriage, the removal of the cyst by operation is usually deferred until after the end of the 14th week of pregnancy. Although these cysts are usually small and produce no symptoms, they require thorough investigation as possible sites of malignant change. By this time the placenta has taken over the hormone-producing functions of the corpus luteum. After the ovarian cysts are surgically removed, the ovary is reconstructed so that it will again function normally.

Treatment of Ovarian Cyst

Operation is advisable because ovarian cysts may undergo twisting or torsion, and if this happens later in pregnancy not only is the operation extremely difficult, but the women might rapidly become very seriously ill before it could be performed. Polycystic ovarian disease is part of the Stein-Leventhal syndrome and stems from endocrine abnormalities. Surgery, in the form of laparoscopy or exploratory laparotomy with possible ovarian cystectomy or oophorectomy, may become necessary if an ovarian cyst is found to be persistent or suspicious.

There is always a possibility that an operation for the removal of an ovarian cyst during pregnancy will precipitate a miscarriage. Treatment of polycystic ovarian disease may include the administration of such drugs as clomiphene citrate to induce ovulation, medroxyprogesterone acetate for 10 days of every month for the patient who doesn't want to become pregnant, or low-dose oral contraceptives for the patient who needs reliable contraception. This does not often happen but it is a chance that has to be taken, and is a much smaller risk to the woman and her baby than the danger of the cyst twisting at a later stage of the pregnancy.

Sign and Symptoms of Ovarian Cyst

Many women have ovarian cysts without having any symptoms. Ovarian cysts are common among women during their reproductive years and are growths that form on the two almond sized organs on each side of the uterus. Sometimes, though, a cyst will cause these problems:

  • Sudden or intermittent abdominal pain (often to one side or other of the navel)
  • Irregular periods
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Hirsutism (increased, masculine type growth of body hair)
  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Infertility
  • Sudden, devastating pain on one side of the abdomen

Other ovarian cysts symptoms, which might occur, include delayed, irregular, or unusually painful periods are:

  • Menstrual irregularities.
  • Nausea, vomiting or breast tenderness similar to that experienced during pregnancy
  • Fullness or heaviness in abdomen.
  • Pressure on bladder - difficulty emptying your bladder completely.
  • Sudden, severe abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Pain accompanied by fever or vomiting

Types of Ovarian Cysts

Functional Cysts
These normal cysts will often shrink and disappear within two or three menstrual cycles. Because this type of cyst is formed during ovulation it rarely occurs in menopausal women because eggs are no longer being produced.

Dermoid Cysts
Ovarian cysts which are filled with various types of tissues including hair and skin.

Endometrioma Cysts
These cysts are also known as the chocolate cysts of endometriosis and form when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus attaches to the ovaries.

Cystadenoma Cysts
These are ovarian cysts which develop from cells on the outer surface of the ovaries

Polycystic Ovarian Disease
Cysts that form from a buildup of follicle cysts which cause the ovaries to thicken. These cysts cause the ovaries to enlarge and create a thick outer covering which may prevent ovulation from occurring and are often the cause of fertility problems.