As common growths, ovarian cysts can develop along or inside the ovaries. At May-Grant OB/GYN, our team of midwives, nurse practitioners, and physicians can help diagnose and provide treatment for ovarian cysts and provide preventative methods for reducing your risk of future ovarian cysts.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop in or around your ovaries. While most cysts don’t cause symptoms, some cysts can continue to grow, causing pain, bloating, and irregular vaginal bleeding. There are several various types of ovarian cysts, each of which can cause similar symptoms. The types include:
- Corpus Leteum Cysts: After the ovary releases an egg, the ovaries form cells called corpus leteum that release hormones during ovulation. When the group of cells fills up with fluid, it forms a corpus leteum cyst along the ovary.
- Follicular Cysts: The follicles are responsible for releasing an egg during ovulation. When your ovaries don’t release an egg during the month, the follicle can fill up with fluid, causing a cyst.
- Dermoid Cysts: Dermoid cysts occur on the ovary and develop from reproductive cells. Also known as teratomas, these cysts develop before you are born and have mature tissues such as skin, hair, and teeth.
- Endometriomas: Endometriomas develop from endometrial tissue and are common in women with endometriosis. These cysts form from the shedding of the endometrial lining within the uterus.
Almost all cysts form and develop due to hormonal changes around your menstrual cycle, forming during ovulation, and often resolve themselves without needing treatment.
Ovarian cysts can be discovered during a pelvic exam or imaging test. If the cyst appears abnormal, our physicians can recommend further testing to determine its type and whether you need treatment. It’s essential to have regular pelvic exams if you regularly suffer from ovarian cysts, as solid ovarian cysts that develop after menopause can become cancerous. If cysts are found during a pelvic exam, then ultrasounds may be recommended to examine the ovaries, and blood tests may be recommended to check for signs of proteins that increase when you have ovarian cysts.
Our May-Grant OB/GYN team can provide treatment depending on your age, overall health, and type of cyst. Our treatment options for cysts include the following:
- Watchful Waiting: Most cysts go away independently after a few menstrual cycles. If you experience menopause or perimenopause, contraceptives and surgical options can be recommended.
- Hormonal Contraceptives: Hormonal contraceptives such as birth control pills can help prevent ovulation and prevent you from getting more cysts.
- Surgery Recommendations: Surgery may be recommended in cases where the cyst is large and causes pain. Our team can provide referrals to qualified surgeons in the area to perform procedures such as laparoscopies or oncologists if it’s potentially cancerous.
While not all ovarian cysts can be prevented, maintaining regular gynecological check-ups allows for early detection and management of potential issues.
The prognosis for women with ovarian cysts is generally excellent. With proper treatment and monitoring, most cysts resolve without causing long-term health issues. The team at May-Grant OB/GYN is committed to providing personalized care to manage and treat ovarian cysts, ensuring the best possible outcomes for our patients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are all ovarian cysts cancerous?
A: No, the vast majority of ovarian cysts are benign (non-cancerous). However, monitoring and occasionally testing are important to rule out malignancy.
Q: Can ovarian cysts affect fertility?
A: Most ovarian cysts do not affect fertility. However, certain types, such as those associated with endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can impact fertility.
Q: How are ovarian cysts detected?
A: Ovarian cysts are often detected during routine pelvic exams or imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, performed for other reasons.
Q: What are the signs that an ovarian cyst may require surgery?
A: Surgery may be necessary if a cyst is particularly large, does not resolve on its own, causes significant symptoms, or if there’s concern about cancer.
Address Your Ovarian Cyst Concerns with May-Grant OB/GYN
If you suspect you have an ovarian cyst or are experiencing symptoms, the team at May-Grant OB/GYN is here to help. We offer thorough diagnostic services and personalized treatment plans to address ovarian cysts and protect your health. Call us at 717-397-8177 to book an appointment and take the first step towards relief and reassurance.