Large Ovarian Cysts – What Are the Characteristics and Symptoms You May Experience?

While most ovarian cysts are harmless and may not even produce noticeable symptoms, a large ovarian cyst will likely be very painful and may even rupture. What I am about to share with you are the types that more commonly will form into a large ovarian cyst, what characteristics they possess, and what symptoms you may experience with each.

It's probably common knowledge that there are many types of cysts, and not all will grow to be a large ovarian cyst. And it's important to note that the only way to determine the type and size you're experiencing is to have an ultrasound performed by your physician. The most common cysts that develop into a large ovarian cyst are:

  • Cystadenoma Cysts – These are the result of abnormal cell growth and are attached to the ovaries by a stem. The cystadenoma will sometimes will grow quite large, and while they may not produce noticeable symptoms, they may twist on the stem and possibly rupture, which would most likely require surgical intervention.
  • Dermoid Cysts – These cysts actually fall into the class of a tumor rather than a cyst. While it may sound a little odd, each egg you produce has the potential to create another human being. These cysts may be filled with hair, teeth, skin, or bone. While it is unknown why these tumors develop, it's very important to closely monitor them with a physician as they may potentially become malignant. Dermoid cysts can grow quite large, up to six inches, and can be extremely painful.
  • Endometrial Cysts – As the name may suggest, these cysts develop from a condition called endometriosis where the lining of the womb grows in places other than the womb. Endometrial patches form on the ovaries, creating cysts filled with old blood. Each month during your period, these patches of tissues that are encapsulated in a cyst will bleed, and because there is no outlet for the bleeding, it may develop into a very large ovarian cyst, sometimes up to eight inches, and will often cause sever pain, particularly during menstruation.

While most cysts are small and you do not even know they exist, for those unlucky women who develop a large ovarian cyst, the symptoms may be quite unpleasant. That's why it's important to first have a clear understanding of the type of cyst you're dealing with, which can only be determined from an ultrasound, and then decide on your plan of action.

The good news is that there's no reason to suffer from a large ovarian cyst indefinitely – they're not permanent. While it's important to monitor this type of cyst very closely, particularly the dermoid, do not jump to the conclusion that you always need medical intervention in the form of harsh prescription medications or surgery. While surgery will remove the cyst, it will do nothing to prevent future occurrences, and hormonal prescription medications can have side effects that may be as unpleasant as the cysts themselves, so give careful thought to the treatment plan you choose.