Endometrial cysts are also called endometriomas or “chocolate cysts,” because they are filled with dark blood resembling chocolate syrup. They’re a result of a condition know as endometriosis.
Endometriosis occurs when pieces of tissue break away from the uterine lining and become attached to organs outside the uterus. In about 50 percent of cases, these tissue patches build up in or on one or both ovaries.
After successive menstrual cycles, these misplaced sections of endometrial tissue bleed and gradually form endometrial cysts. In time, as the cysts grow, they can become as large as a grapefruit.
Because they often cover large parts of an ovary, these large cysts can prevent ovulation and cause infertility.
Some women have no symptoms when such a cyst is present while others experience severe menstrual cramps and pain during intercourse or during bowel movements.
Diagnosing Endometrial Cysts
A complete medical history and thorough pelvic examination is very useful when diagnosing endometriosis and its resultant complications — such as ovarian cysts.
During the physical exam your doctor may find signs of the disease including nodules formed due to endometriosis in back of the vagina, in the rectum and on ligaments supporting the uterus. Other signs include tender and enlarged ovaries, lumps in the abdomen or a uterus drawn back and attached to the rectum.
o Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful in locating endometriosis formations in soft tissue.
o Ultrasound is used to examine tissue masses attached to the uterus and the ovaries.
o Many physicians consider a technique called laparoscopy the only safe and reliable way to distinguish between endometriosis, pelvic growths and other disorders that produce symptoms similar to those of endometriosis.
By inserting a tiny lighted lens of a laparoscope through the navel, the doctor can see into the abdomen and examine surrounding organs. Endometrial tissue formations outside the uterus can be distinguished from cysts, tumors, fibroids or adhesions. Fallopian tube obstructions and pelvic inflammatory diseases can also be identified.
While complications are uncommon, when a sizeable endometrial cyst ruptures and spills into the pelvic cavity, it can cause internal bleeding. The cyst contents may also spill onto other organs such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, bladder or intestines. This can cause scar tissue to form; resulting in pain and potential fertility problems.
Most typically, endometrial cysts are treated with surgery or drugs.
Surgery is often used to remove an endometrial cyst to preserve fertility. The most common technique is laparoscopic surgery whereby the surgeon inserts a telescopic device into the patient’s abdomen through a small incision below the navel.
The doctor’s objectives during this procedure are to remove the cyst or cysts from the ovary, provide fast pain relief and reverse infertility.
Laser surgery is sometimes used to cauterize ovarian cysts
Typically, doctors will prescribe drug therapy to treat endometrial cysts only when the patient is not attempting to conceive. The drugs for such applications are usually hormones that prevent ovulation. This reduces uterine cell production and makes recurrence of such cysts less likely.
Natural treatments relieve pain and enable you to avoid surgery
If you’re suffering from endometrial cysts, you should seriously consider natural measures to shrink the cysts and prevent them from returning. Such treatments would enable you to avoid surgery.
Dietary supplements, vitamins and herbs can help you control endometrial cysts while balancing your hormones and improving your overall health while strengthening your immune system and organ functions.
Rather than undergoing surgery or seeking relief through hormones, drugs, pain pills or other medications, you can apply natural methods for relief from pain and illness caused by endometrial cysts.
And natural methods are safe for you and your baby if you are pregnant.