The possibility of a complex ovarian cyst developing is not specific to any group of women. Though many women who develop a complex ovarian cyst are younger, this condition doesn’t really discriminate. If you’re worried that you might have developed a complex ovarian cyst, read on for common symptoms and treatment options.
What is a complex ovarian cyst?
A cyst is a sac filled with fluid and often resembles a blister in appearance. An ovarian cyst begins to develop when a follicle grows in the ovary and releases estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause the ovary to release an egg to the fallopian tube, and (usually) the follicle ruptures without incident. A functional (that is, normal and harmless) ovarian cyst may grow from the ruptured follicle and gradually decrease in size over the course of a few menstrual cycles.
If a functional cyst does not heal, the body might form a complex ovarian cyst. This type of cyst, which is composed of both solid and liquid tissues, can form either on the outside of the ovary surface or on the inside of the ovary.
Although most cysts are not fatal if untreated, it’s a good idea to contact a doctor about a possible cyst immediately. An untreated cyst might result in uncomfortable symptoms or even fatality.
What are the symptoms of a complex ovarian cyst?
Usually a complex ovarian cyst will cause a painful sensation—most likely a continual ache or feeling of pressure—in the abdominal and pelvic regions. Sexual intercourse also can become painful when an ovarian cyst is present. This pain often results from torsion (i.e., the cyst blocking blood from flowing to the ovary). Another possible source of pain: the cyst might also burst, irritating its surrounding ovarian tissue.
A complex ovarian cyst might also cause a disruption of a woman’s normal menstrual cycle, causing irregularity, heavier bleeding, pain, or even an abrupt absence of cycles. Other symptoms include discomfort when urinating, nausea, bloating, weight gain, and fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
How do I treat a complex ovarian cyst?
Before your doctor takes any action, he or she will conduct a thorough examination of the pelvic region. Usually this involves an ultrasound, pelvic exam, blood test, and pregnancy test to determine the type and severity of a cyst.
If a malignant complex ovarian cyst is identified, most doctors recommend a laparoscopy. This is a surgical procedure in which a small incision is made in the abdomen and the cyst is removed through the opening. Because the possibility of a cyst bursting only increases with time and can result in complications in surgery, it really is important that you address any concerns about a complex ovarian cyst to your doctor as soon as possible.
After surgery, patients require a lot of rest. Your doctor will perform another ultrasound to make sure the malignant cyst has been completely removed and that the ovary is in the healing stages.
Adam enjoys writing about health, wellness, and technology advances.
Adam works with Walnut Hill, a women's clinic Dallas depends on, and enjoys writing about health and technology advances.