An ovarian cyst is a sac filled with fluid within the ovary. The formation of ovarian cysts is quite common among women. In fact most women develop at least one cyst in their lifetime. In most of the cases these cysts do not cause any symptoms, are painless and are usually discovered only when a routine pelvic examination is conducted. But then there are cases wherein the cyst can be really painful.
The most common symptoms of ovarian cyst are:
Pelvic pain before or at the time of menstrual cycle
Painful bowel movements
Pain in the lower back or thighs
Tenderness in the breast
Nausea and vomiting
Along with these usual symptoms which signifies the development of a cyst, if there are signs of fever, dizziness, rapid breathing and sharp pelvic pain, then the concerned person needs immediate medical attention. These symptoms are of an ovarian torsion or ruptures cyst – both of which can lead to serious consequences if there is delay in treatment.
Ovarian cysts are usually detected through CT scan, ultrasound or MRI. As these cysts disappear within few weeks or a month, doctors generally recommend a second round of diagnosis instead of starting the treatment right after the first test results. In case the cyst does not disappear or rather grows in size, then doctors recommen for additional tests like:
1. Hormone level test – to know if it is there has been too much production of estrogen or progesterone
2. Pregnancy test – just to be sure if the patient is pregnant or not
3. CA-125 blood test – to screen for ovarian cancer
Once cyst is diagnosed, depending on its size, doctors recommend use of birth control pills, laparoscopy or laparotomy. In case the cyst is left untreated, then there are high chances that the fertility level of the patient comes down. In order to avoid this sitaution the doctors either remove or shrink the cyst. Any cyst which is larger than 5 centimeters in diameter is usually operated and removed away by doctors.
There are also cases of emergence of cyst in the post menopause period. In such situations surgery is recommended to remove the cyst so that chances of growth of cancerous cyst or ovarian cancer is brought down.
The development of ovarian cysts can be avoided by reducing the intake of foods which are high in saturated fat content. Excessive intake of caffeine is also regarded as a major reason for cyst development. Thus it is recommended that you follow a healthy diet and reduce the intake of caffeine to avoid cyst formation.