April 27, 2017
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Ovarian Cysts

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Ovarian cysts definition and facts

  • Ovarian cysts are closed, sac-like structures within the ovary that are filled with a liquid or semisolid substance.
  • Ovarian cysts may not cause signs or symptoms. Larger cysts are more likely to cause signs and symptoms such as:
    • Pain in the abdomen, pelvis, sometimes radiating to the low back, is the most common symptom
    • Feeling of bloating or indigestion
    • Increased abdominal girth
    • Feeling an urge to have a bowel movement or having difficult, painful bowel movements
    • Pain during sexual intercourse (dyspareunia)
    • Pain in the lower right or left quadrant of the abdomen on one side
    • Nausea and vomiting
  • There are many causes and types of ovarian cysts, for example, follicular cysts, "chocolate cysts," dermoid cysts, and cysts due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Most ovarian cysts are not cancerous.
  • Most ovarian cysts are diagnosed with ultrasound or physical examination. Transvaginal ultrasound is a common way to examine ovarian cysts.
  • The treatment of an ovarian cyst depends upon the cause of the cyst and varies from observation and monitoring to surgical treatment.
  • Rupture of an ovarian cyst is a complication that sometimes produces severe pain and internal bleeding. A ruptured (burst) ovarian cyst usually causes pain on one side that comes on suddenly.

What are the ovaries and how big are they?

The ovary is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women that are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of a walnut. The ovaries produce eggs (ova) and the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. The ovaries are the main source of female hormones, which control the development of female body characteristics such as the breasts, body shape, and body hair. They also regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

What are ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts are closed, sac-like structures within an ovary that contain a liquid, or semisolid substance. "Cyst" is merely a general term for a fluid-filled structure, which may or may not represent a tumor or neoplasm (new growth). If it is a tumor, it may be benign or malignant. The ovary is also referred to as the female gonad.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/29/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/ovarian_cysts/article.htm

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