What are ovarian cysts? That’s the question that many young women ask once they realize they’ve got one. The answer is both simple and complex. It’s simple because it is a cyst on the ovary (or ovaries) that usually forms as the result of a failure in the menstruation process.
It is also a complex answer because there are several different types of ovarian cysts and there are also several factors that determine how serious or inconsequential the cyst may be.
But how did I develop a cyst in the first place?
Ovarian cysts usually form because of a malfunction during a woman’s normal monthly period.
By far, the most common type of cyst is called a Functional cyst precisely because it is the result of the menstrual function not performing exactly as it should.
Normally, during a menstrual cycle, a ‘follicle’ or sac is formed which contains the egg. During the cycle, the sac matures and will rupture and the egg is released.
Sometimes, however, the sac does not rupture, but instead begins to fill with fluid. It becomes harder and usually will grow as it fills with fluid. This is classified as a Follicular cyst, and is the most common type of functional cyst.
Another possibility is that the egg actually does get released, but the follicle, instead of dissolving like it should, will seal up and begin to fill with fluid. The size of it is important since if it grows larger than 2 cm it is considered a cyst on the ovaries.
Both of these possibilities are Functional cysts.
Of course there are other types of ovarian cysts, too.
Dermoid ovarian cysts are a teratoma, which means that it is a tumor that contains cells that you wouldn’t ordinarily expect to be found where they are. In the case of dermoid cysts, sometimes they contain things like hair, teeth, cartilage and other things that aren’t supposed to be located on the ovary. In most cases they are not malignant tumors, but are upsetting because of the size and material within the cyst.
Yet another type of ovarian cyst is called a Chocolate cyst. It’s called a chocolate cyst because of the blood build up within the cyst that turns a brownish color. This kind of cyst is usually caused by endometriosis and begins because a small amount of endometrial tissue begins to bleed. some of the endometrial tissue falls off the uterine wall and winds up in the ovaries and begins to grow.
Like many other medical conditions the type of treatment depends on many factors, such as the size, the pain being caused to the patient, whether or not the cyst runs the risk of rupturing and bleeding, and whether the cyst is cancerous or not.
However, as with all medical issues, be sure to consult a physician, have an ultrasound and a pelvic exam and get the correct medical diagnosis.
Source by Laura White