Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs found in a woman’s ovaries. They are very common and are formed in the ovulation cycle. These cysts often don’t cause any symptoms or slightly left unnoticed, until it ruptures or blocks blood supply to the ovaries. Common symptoms include:
- pain during sex
- pelvic pain
- difficulty emptying your bowels
- heavy, irregular or lighter periods than normal
- bloating and a swollen tummy
- feeling full after only eating a little
The most common types of cysts are:
- Follicle cysts – In a regular cycle, the ovary releases an egg which is protected inside a bag called the follicle. The egg is released in the later cycle from the follicle. The cysts are formed when the follicle fails to break open and instead continues to grow inside the ovary.
- Corpus luteum cysts– Once the egg is released the follicle shrinks to form a ball of tissue called the corpus luteum, to get the ovary prepare for the next cycle of egg production. Often, these follicles instead of shrinking, reveals itself and the fluid build up inside. These cysts grow and cause trouble.
PCOS is also a prevalent condition in women where the ovaries make many small cysts, which may cause problems getting pregnant.
Treating ovarian cysts
Treating ovarian cysts depends on its size and symptom caused. Usually, these cysts often disappear by itself after few months, but sometimes it so happens that they might have to be surgically removed. Surgical treatment to remove the cysts may be needed in cases where they are large, causing symptoms, or potentially cancerous.
Long gone are the days when the abdominal cavity has to be opened up to operate. Nowadays there is Minimally Invasive Surgery, which requires less recovery time, less pain, fewer incisions, less cost. Moreover, they are done under general anaesthesia, and in some cases, they are also done as outpatient procedures.
These laparoscopic surgeries are a sort of keyhole surgery where a small incision is made in your abdomen and is filled with gas to allow access to the ovaries. A small, tube-shaped microscope called the laparoscope is passed into the abdomen so the surgeon can see the internal organs and can remove the cyst through the small cuts in the tummy. After the cyst has been removed, the cuts will be closed using medical glues.
This Minimally Invasive Surgery is also proven to have a minimum or no side effects. The surgeon ensures that the reproductive system is healthy and your fertility is least affected. It is possible to remove just the cysts and leave the ovaries untouched, which only means your fertility is mostly unaffected due to the procedure.
The ovarian cysts are a cause of concern for a woman in the childbearing age. In today’s world more and more women are detected with ovarian cysts; let it be due to change in food habits or blame the technology for loss of physical activity. All we can do is to ensure women are empowered with knowledge of how to tackle the problem.