Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Ovarian cysts definition and facts
- What are the ovaries and how big are they?
- What are ovarian cysts?
- What signs and symptoms are caused by ovarian cysts?
- What are the symptoms of a ruptured ovarian cyst?
- What causes, and what are the types of ovarian cysts?
- Can ovarian cysts cause cancer?
- What are the risks of ovarian cysts during pregnancy?
- Can a woman get ovarian cysts during peri-, or postmenopause?
- How are ovarian cysts diagnosed?
- How can the physician decide if an ovarian cyst is dangerous?
- What is the treatment for ovarian cysts?
- What about surgery for ovarian cysts?
- Which specialties of doctors treat ovarian cysts?
- What is the prognosis for a woman with ovarian cysts?
- Can ovarian cysts be prevented?
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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.
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