What is an Ovarian Cysts?
Ovarian cysts are small fluid-filled sacs usually found on the surface of a woman’s ovaries. They’re part of a woman’s monthly menstural cycle but rarely show signs or symptoms of ovarian cysts. However, some types of ovarian cysts can cause serious health problems.
Types of Ovarian Cysts
1) Functional (physiologic) cysts – This is the most common type of ovarian cysts. Fuctional cyst are caused mainly by slight changes during the menstural cycle. Normally your ovaries grow small cysts like structures called follicles at the end of the ovualtion period and every. Tthese small cysts like stuctures usually go away by themselves but sometimes the fluid-filled cyst doesn’t die off like it should and stays around for a little while.
There are two types of functional cysts: follcular cysts and Corpus leteum cyst which are named according to the half of the cycle at which they appear. Follicular cysts appear in the first half; luteal cysts appear in the second half.
- Follicular cyst – Each month an egg-making follicle of your ovary releases an egg. This process is called the “LH surge”. However, in the case of follicular cysts, the egg isn’t released or ruptured and the follicle continues to grow until it becomes a cyst. These type of cysts rarally have symptoms and are usually harmless. They can disappear within two or three menstrual cycles and may only be diagnosed when you happen to be seeing your doctor for other reasons.
Corpus luteum cyst – This type of ovarian cyst develops in the second half of the cycle after the egg has been released. When there is a successful “LH surge” and the egg is released or ruptured, the follicle responds by becoming a new, temporarily little secretory gland called the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum produces large amounts of progesterone in anticipation of pregnacy. If the egg is not fertilised by a sperm cell, then the corpus luteum dies, progesterone levels fall and a period occurs. A luteal cyst is formed when the corpus luteum fails to die when it should, and fills with blood instead. This type of cyst will usually disappear after a few weeks. Rarely, it will grow to 3″-4″ in diameter and potentially bleed into itself, or twist your ovary, thus causing pelvic or abdominal pain.
2) Dermoid cysts – A dermoid cyst is mainly fat but can also contains a mix of different tissues. This type of ovarian cysts rarely occurs. They’re classed as turmours rather than simply cysts. They’re often small and usually don’t have symptoms. Very rarely, they become large and rupture, causing bleeding into the abdomen, which can turn into a painful medical emergency.
3) Endometrioma or “chocolate cyst” – These type of cysts form when endometrial tissue (the type that lines the inside of the uterus) invades an ovary. It is responsive to monthly hormonal changes, which cause the cyst to fill with blood. It’s called a “chocolate cyst” because the blood is a dark, reddish-brown color. Multiple endometriomas are found in the condition called “endometriosis”. Every month during your period these endometrial patches of tissues that have become encapsulated in a cyst will bleed. Because there is no outlet for the bleeding, the cyst becomes larger. Even small chocolate cysts can rupture, although they may grow very large causing severe pain.
4) Cystadenoma – Cystadenomas are cysts that develop from cells on the outer surface of your ovary. Occasionally, they grow to a large size and thus interfere with abdominal organs and cause pain. The cysts themselves may not cause any noticeable symptoms, but they can twist on their stems and then rupture, which can be extremely painful, and require emergency surgery.
5) Multiple cysts the polycystic ovary” – Women who don’t ovulate on a regular basis can develop multiple cysts. These type of ovaries are often enlarged and contain many small clusters of cysts. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complex condition that involves multiple hormonal symptoms and organ system dysfunction.