Ovarian cysts are one of the most common gynaecological conditions that women face, particularly those who are in their childbearing years. Ovarian cysts refer to fluid-filled sacs that develop in the ovaries, and are mostly harmless and cause no symptoms.
Here are 5 things you need to know about ovarian cysts.
Unlike cancerous tumours that are characterised by solid masses of tissue, ovarian cysts are mostly fluid-filled and benign. While there are cases in which cysts are solid or semi-solid, or considered to be malignant or pre-cancerous, such occurrences are rare.
One of the most common types of cysts is a follicular cyst, which occurs when the egg that develops inside the follicular sac is not released. The fluid inside will form a cyst, which can vary in size. Another type of cyst is a corpus luteum cyst, which develops when the follicular sac fails to dissolve after releasing an egg and the follicle seals open, allowing extra fluid to enter inside the sac.
Ovarian cysts are usually small and go away on its own with time. Surgery might be required when the cysts are large and are already symptomatic. In some cases, pain relievers and hormone therapy may be given to alleviate the symptoms of an ovarian cyst.
Known to be largely harmless, ovarian cysts do not usually trigger symptoms or cause a shift in a woman’s regular menstrual cycle. Some women who have ovarian cysts are not even aware that they have one. It is only those large or growing ovarian cysts that can cause symptoms like pain and irregular menstrual periods.
Infertility is one of the common concerns of those who have ovarian cysts. However, the truth is this health condition is not directly associated with being infertile. It is a rarity that ovarian cysts become infected and scar the fallopian tube, which results in infertility.
Ultimately, if you experience any symptoms of pelvic discomfort, visit your gynaecologist for an assessment and personalised advice.