Ovarian Cysts

How it works

It’s estimated that 10 out of 100 women have ovarian cysts. Luckily, most ovarian cysts are benign, and many resolve on their own without complications. Because the cysts don’t always cause symptoms it’s important to see your OB/GYN regularly for check-ups. Regina Hill, MD, offers women’s exams and can diagnose and treat ovarian cysts at her practice in Westlake, Ohio. Call the practice to schedule an appointment today.

What are ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovaries. Cysts are benign (non-cancerous), and often they’ll resolve on their own without causing symptoms. Cysts may form on one or both ovaries, and they’re quite common. In fact, most women will have at least one asymptomatic cyst in her lifetime.


What causes ovarian cysts to form?

The most common cysts are called functional cysts, and they occur as a result of hormonal fluctuations that occur during a menstrual cycle when the normal release of the egg from the ovary is disrupted in some way. Functional cysts typically disappear within one or two menstrual cycles, and most women won’t realize they’ve even had them. Some cysts contain material from the egg development cycle and form when the material causes irritation.

Other cysts called endometrioma develop in women with endometriosis, a painful condition that develops when the uterine lining tissue begins forming outside the uterus. These cysts can grow to become quite large, and in some cases, they can twist the ovary, causing pain and other symptoms and requiring immediate treatment to prevent more serious issues from occurring. Large cysts can also make it difficult to become pregnant.


What symptoms are associated with ovarian cysts?

Many ovarian cysts cause no symptoms, but when symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Painful periods or pain during ovulation
  • Irregular or abnormal periods
  • Breast tenderness
  • Pain, aching or pressure in the pelvic area or lower belly

Large cysts may also press on the bowel or bladder, making it difficult to have a bowel movement or increasing the urge to urinate.


How are ovarian cysts diagnosed?

Ovarian cysts can cause symptoms that are similar to other conditions, so having a comprehensive evaluation is essential to making a diagnosis. In addition to a review of your history and symptoms, transvaginal ultrasound imaging is often performed to gain a better view of the ovaries.


What is involved in ovarian cyst treatment?

Symptomatic cysts can sometimes be treated with medications to stabilize hormones, and larger cysts can be removed surgically using a minimally-invasive approach called laparoscopy. Laparoscopic surgery uses very small incisions for faster healing and less discomfort during recovery.

For expert care for ovarian cysts, call Regina Hill, MD to make an appointment today.


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