Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs or pockets within or on the surface of an ovary. The cysts can contain simple clear fluid, or blood as in a hemorrhagic cyst, or old blood as in an endometrioma.
Many women have ovarian cysts at some time during their lives. Most ovarian cysts present little or no discomfort and are harmless. The majority of ovarian cysts disappear without treatment within a few months.
A large ovarian cyst can cause abdominal discomfort. If a large cyst presses on your bladder, you may feel the need to urinate more frequently because bladder capacity is reduced.
The symptoms of ovarian cysts, if present, may include:
- Menstrual irregularities
- Pelvic pain: a constant or intermittent dull ache that may radiate to your lower back and thighs
- Pelvic pain shortly before your period begins or just before it ends
- Pelvic pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Pain during bowel movements or pressure on your bowels
- Nausea, vomiting or breast tenderness similar to that experienced during pregnancy
- Fullness or heaviness in your abdomen
- Pressure on your rectum or bladder that causes a need to urinate more frequently or difficulty emptying your bladder completely.
Treatment of ovarian cysts:
If ovarian cysts do not resolve, surgical therapy with the aid of a laparoscopy can help. This is an outpatient procedure that may take 1-2 hours, whereby the cyst wall is opened and the capsule of the cyst is excised.
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