Ovarian cysts are a condition in which bags filled with fluid grow in the ovaries (ovaries), generally experienced by women of childbearing age. The cause can come from hormonal factors, pregnancy, endometriosis, and even infection. However, how risky is this ovarian cyst? To find out more, let's look at the explanation in the following section.
Causes of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts arise due to various factors, ranging from changes in the menstrual cycle to abnormal cell growth. Although they tend to be non-cancerous, in some situations, cysts can become potentially malignant. Here are some of the main triggers for the formation of ovarian cysts:
- Hormonal Imbalance. Hormonal fluctuations in the body can trigger the formation of ovarian cysts.
- Effect of Pregnancy. Cysts can appear due to hormonal changes during pregnancy.
- Pelvic Infection Spread to Ovary. Pelvic infections that spread to the ovaries and fallopian tubes can cause cysts to form.
- Endometriosis. Conditions in which tissue that should grow in the uterus instead grows outside the uterus, can contribute to the formation of ovarian cysts.
Apart from these factors, there are several things that can increase the risk of ovarian cysts, namely:
- Age Range 30-54 Years
- Fertility Medicine
- Hypothyroidism disorders
- Smoking habit
- Breast Cancer Treatment Process
- Irregular Menstrual Cycles
- Past History of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian Cyst Symptoms
At first, when the cyst is still small, usually the sufferer will not feel any symptoms. However, as the size of the cyst increases, only then do symptoms begin to appear. This is caused by the cyst's ability to interfere with blood flow to the ovaries. Some of the symptoms commonly associated with ovarian cysts include:
- Sensation of Pain or Discomfort
The sensation of pain or discomfort often appears in the lower abdomen. The level of intensity can vary, ranging from light to heavy. Sometimes, this pain can come and go, and can even be localized on the right or left side of the abdomen. Pain can also be felt during intercourse.
- Disorders of the Menstrual Cycle
During menstruation, sufferers of ovarian cysts may experience more or less bleeding than usual. In addition, the pattern of the menstrual cycle can become irregular.
Sufferers of ovarian cysts often feel full quickly even though they have just eaten a small amount of food, they can also experience flatulence. Other symptoms that may be associated with indigestion include difficulty passing stools and more frequent urination.
Ovarian Cyst Treatment
Treating ovarian cysts involves a variety of options depending on the type of cyst, its size, and the age of the sufferer. The treatment options that can be taken include:
- Periodic Monitoring
If the cyst is small and asymptomatic, periodic monitoring is an option. Through an ultrasound examination a few weeks or months after diagnosis, we can monitor the development of the cyst, whether it has disappeared or remains stable. For women who have entered the postmenopausal period, regular check-ups every 4 months are important to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Contraceptive Pills
Birth control pills can be prescribed by a doctor to prevent new cysts from appearing. However, it's important to remember that birth control pills won't shrink an existing cyst.
Surgery should be considered if the cyst continues to grow, persists after 3 menstrual periods, or causes pain. The goal of this operation is the removal of the cyst. In more serious cases, the doctor may have to go further and remove the ovaries.
For small cysts, laparoscopy may be performed. This method involves a small incision that is assisted by a laparoscope with a camera. However, if the cyst is large or malignant, a laparotomy with abdominal incision may be necessary.
It's normal to feel anxious about surgery. However, every surgery carries risks. Possible complications after ovarian cyst surgery include infection (characterized by bleeding, abdominal pain, swelling, fever, and vaginal discharge that smells bad). However, with careful discussion and monitoring, you and your doctor can choose the most suitable treatment option.
Ovarian cysts, although they cannot be prevented, can still be dealt with with preventive measures. Performing periodic pelvic exams is key in detecting changes, abnormalities, or problems with the ovaries early.