A cyst is a sac filled with fluid or a semi fluid substance. One that develops in the ovary is called an ovarian cyst.
Ovarian cysts are common in women between the ages of 20 and 50. It can grow alone or in groups in one ovary or both. Such cysts can be less than an inch in diameter or more than 20 inches in diameter. Depending on their size and location, these growths can cause severe pain or no symptoms at all.
Most women are unaware that they have this problem until they have a routine pelvic examination. In others, ovarian cysts can cause abdominal pain or a sense of pressure and fullness, pain during intercourse, and delayed, irregular, or painful periods. Some women may experience frequent urination, nausea, fever, excessive hair growth and acne if the cysts are caused by hormonal imbalances.
"The origin of most ovarian cysts is unknown. In some instances, they develop from an abnormal egg. Others originate as eggs in polycystic ovaries (ovaries in which the eggs are not released after they mature). Still others are related to abnormalities in the ovary. Women with endometriosis (the displacement of tissue from the uterine lining to elsewhere in the body) tend to develop growths on the ovaries. Dermoid cysts, which are most often found in women under the age of 31, arise from ovarian cells that produce the eggs, and may contain fragments of hair, teeth, and bone, "according to the editors of Consumer Guide's" Family Health & Medical Guide. "
In about 85 percent of women, ovarian cysts are noncancerous and disappear after two or three menstrual cycles. Large cysts, however, can be dangerous, especially if they become twisted or are ruptured. Women who develop them between the ages of 50 and 70 also have a higher risk of ovarian cancer. Be alert for severe abdominal pain, fever, vomiting, rapid breathing, or cold, clammy skin. If you have these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
"Cysts can rupture during sexual intercourse, a fall, childbirth, or surgery, or for no apparent reason. The resulting effect depends on how irritating the cystic fluid is to the surrounding tissues. The situation can be dangerous if the fluid is infected, cancerous , or extremely irritating. Also, in response to the injury caused by cystic fluid, surrounding tissues may produce adhesions (fibrous, scarlike material), which can further complicate the situation, "said the editors of Consumer Guide's" Family Health & Medical Guide. "
If a woman has no symptoms and is younger than 40 years, she should wait for a while for the cysts to disappear. If that does not happen, surgery is necessary.
"Cysts that are small, are not creating any problems, or are likely to disappear on their own require no treatment. If treatment is necessary, cysts may be removed surgically. Removal involves either taking out the entire ovary (called an oophorectomy) or taking out only the cyst (called a cystectomy), "Consumer Guide said.
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