Ovarian cysts are very common and affect almost all women. However, in most cases, an ovarian cyst comes and goes without causing symptoms, so you may not even realize you have one. However, about 8% of women develop large ovarian cysts that require treatment. Midatlantic OBGYN in Centreville and Leesburg, Virginia, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cysts. To schedule an appointment, contact the office by phone or through the online tool today.
An ovarian cyst refers to a fluid-filled sac that develops in or on your ovary. Ovarian cysts are very common and most often benign. The most common types of ovarian cysts develop during your menstrual cycle and include:
Follicle cysts develop when the sac released from your ovary that contains your egg fails to open, causing the cyst to develop. Follicle cysts are harmless, rarely cause discomfort, and resolve on their own within 1-3 months.
When your follicle sac releases the egg during ovulation, the mass of cells left behind are referred to as corpus luteum. Normally, the corpus luteum shrinks after the egg is released and emits hormones to prepare your body for your next menstrual cycle.
However, if the corpus luteum doesn’t shrink, a cyst forms. Like follicle cysts, corpus luteum cysts resolve on their own in time. But they can also grow large in size, bleed, or cause the ovaries to twist.
Some women develop multiple cysts on their ovaries, which is a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) that is a common cause of infertility.
Symptoms of your ovarian cyst may depend on the size and type. In most cases, ovarian cysts don’t cause symptoms. However, your ovarian cyst may lead to:
If your ovarian cyst ruptures, you may experience sudden and severe pain. A ruptured ovarian cyst requires immediate medical attention because it can lead to severe bleeding.
If your ovarian cyst causes the ovary to twist, you may develop nausea and vomiting, as well as pain.
At Midatlantic OBGYN, your practitioner conducts a comprehensive examination to diagnose an ovarian cyst. Your exam may include a review of your symptoms and medical history, as well as a physical and pelvic exam. To confirm an ovarian cyst, as well as determine its location and size, your doctor may request an ultrasound.
Midatlantic OBGYN takes a patient-centered approach to care and develops individualized treatment plans for ovarian cysts based on the cyst’s type, size, and location, as well as your symptoms.
In most cases, your OB/GYN may take a wait-and-see approach, scheduling in-office ultrasound testing to monitor your cyst. You may also benefit from over-the-counter pain medication or hormonal birth control.
If your ovarian cyst doesn’t go away after several menstrual cycles, causes severe pain, or grows in size, surgery may be recommended.
Ovarian cysts are common. To schedule an evaluation to discuss your treatment options, call Midatlantic OBGYN or request an appointment through the online tool.