Ovarian cysts strike fear in the hearts of women. They can cause severe pain and land you in the emergency room. Cysts that form on the ovaries or inside them are fluid-filled sacs. At some point in life, all women experience an ovarian cyst, but most will never know they had one. The cyst will usually go away on its own in one to three months. Most women experience no symptoms and have no issues related to ovarian cysts, but the few that do often require treatment.
Ovarian Cyst Rupture Dangers
When an ovarian cyst is getting ready to rupture, you will likely notice pain escalating. This pain will be in the pelvic area on the left or right side right where the leg meets the torso. When the rupture occurs, the pain is often excruciating. A hemorrhage can occur after a rupture and this can lead to bloating and abdominal distention. If internal bleeding is occurring, you may become anemic and pale. Nausea and vomiting, weakness, passing out and dizziness and blood pressure changes can also occur.
Due to possible complications, a ruptured ovarian cyst is a medical emergency. If you are hemorrhaging or bleeding internally you will need surgery.
Other Possible Complications of Ovarian Cysts
These cysts can grow rapidly and then stretch. In some cases, there can be bleeding into the cyst. The cyst can twist around its blood supply.
How Will I Know if I Have an Ovarian Cyst?
In most cases, you won't. Many women do not know until they are found during an examination. Those who do experience symptoms can experience a variety of discomforts. These include abdominal bloating or pain, lower back aches, abnormal bleeding and painful menstruation, loss of appetite and quickly feeling full, frequent urination or trouble urinating, painful sexual intercourse, nausea and vomiting and weight gain. If you experience any of these symptoms you should make an appointment with your doctor.
How are Ovarian Cysts Treated?
If you have a functional cyst, there is a good chance you will not need treatment. The cyst will probably go away on its own. If treatment is needed, for this type of cyst birth control is often effective. Long-term treatment may help in reducing new cyst development. This medication will not, however, reduce the size of any cysts you currently have.
To ensure no cancer cells are present or to actually remove the cyst or ovary, surgery is necessary. Surgery many be needed in the following situations: complex ovarian cysts that do not heal on their own, simple ovarian cysts bigger than five to 10 centimeters, cysts causing chronic symptoms and menopausal or peri-menopausal women.
Exploratory laparotomy may be done for ovarian cysts. This is a surgical procedure done under general anesthesia. The doctor can remove ovarian cysts during this procedure, as well as fully examine the abdominal cavity.
A pelvic laparoscopy is similar to an exploratory laparotomy. It is used to explore the pelvic cavity, and if necessary remove cysts, tissue samples and sometimes, an entire ovary or other female reproductive organ.
Both of these are surgical procedures. This means there are risks involved, such as bleeding, breathing issues, heart problems, blood clots, nearby organ damage and infection.
Unfortunately, ovarian cysts cannot be prevented. They are something all women deal with. Most women will not even know they are there, but some will experience complications and symptoms. If you experience any symptoms, call your doctor. If your symptoms are severe, such as a rupture, get emergency medical treatment.