Firstly, as an OB-GYN, I have encountered many women who are unaware of what ovarian cysts are. Ovarian cysts are a common gynecological issue. As women, we need to stay informed about our bodies. Accordingly, there are various issues that can affect our reproductive health.

This is a big topic. First, I’ll cover the basics for physiologic cysts in premenopausal women. It is the job of the ovary to create little cysts called follicles. ⁣Next, a small group of follicles containing immature eggs is recruited every menstrual cycle. One chosen follicle becomes dominant, grows, and develops in preparation to release an egg. At the time of ovulation, the dominant follicular cyst releases the egg. It forms a different cyst called a corpus luteal cyst. Then, this cyst secretes progesterone. Many women do not feel ovulation, which is the rupture of a small cyst. Some do, and this is called “mittelschmerz.”⁣ 

What are ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs. They develop in one or both ovaries. They can vary in size from as small as a pea to larger than an orange. Generally, in most cases, ovarian cysts are not cancerous and cause no symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

As previously mentioned, you may have no symptoms. However, some women may experience the following:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis
  • Bloating
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Irregular periods
  • Nausea and vomiting (in rare cases)

What are the causes?

The cysts can develop due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Pregnancy
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic infections
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

What is involved in diagnosing?

Diagnosing involves a pelvic examination, followed by an ultrasound. Depending on the size and type of cyst, your doctor may recommend a CT scan or MRI.

What are the treatment options?

Treatment options may vary depending on the size and type of cyst. In most cases, small cysts will disappear without any treatment. But, if you are experiencing symptoms, the following treatment options may be recommended:

  • Birth control pills
  • Surgery to remove the cyst
  • Laparoscopy to remove the cyst

If you ever experience severe persistent pain, evaluating it is vital. This type of pain should not go unmonitored. Immediately go to the emergency room. Bleeding cysts and other conditions can be very serious.⁣ Please seek care from your physician if you have any concerns. Besides, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Women need to stay educated on reproductive health. Do not dismiss your uncomfortability. Ovarian cysts are a common gynecological issue. They are often easily diagnosed and treated. Remember, early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent any potential complications.

For more, follow me on TikTok and Instagram or explore my other blog posts.