The ovaries are tiny organs on either side of the uterus that contain a woman's egg cells. They are also essential in making the sex hormones progesterone and estrogen.
Sometimes, fluid-filled cysts form on the ovaries, and most women don't even know they have one. However, if the cyst bursts, it can lead to pain and abnormal bleeding.
Although most ovarian cysts are harmless, some less common forms can harm your health. Having pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding may signal a problem that should prompt you to seek treatment.
Dr. Eduardo Valdes and the team at Collaborative Women's Care in Miami, Florida, offer ultrasounds and pelvic exams to diagnose ovarian cysts.
Dr. Valdes is an experienced OB/GYN who provides excellent care and personalized treatments based on your symptoms and needs.
Understanding ovarian cysts
Ovarian cysts are sacs of tissue filled with either fluid or solid materials that sit on either one or both ovaries. Most cysts form because of the changes in hormones during your menstrual cycle. These cysts are known as functional cysts.
Functional cysts form around ovulation in response to the change in estrogen and progesterone. These cysts signal that your reproductive organs usually function and disappear within a few months.
Functional cysts related to menstruation don't happen due to other diseases, so they're generally harmless.
Other types of cysts are more likely to cause complications, primarily when they don't occur due to hormonal changes in menstruation. These cysts fill with different materials, including endometrial tissue, mucous, or other body tissues.
Ovarian cancer sometimes forms as a hard cyst filled with dense tissues. We keep an eye on all cysts to ensure they don't cause you harm.
Signs of an ovarian cyst
Most ovarian cysts are benign and don't cause symptoms; in fact, you may not even know you have one unless Dr. Valdes finds it during a routine exam.
Small cysts rarely cause any symptoms, even if they burst. Larger cysts, however, may lead to moderate symptoms, which include:
- Pelvic pain
- Back discomfort
- Bloating or fullness in the abdomen
- Painful periods
- Pain during sex
The symptoms of a large ovarian cyst usually dissipate when the cyst disappears. Symptoms that linger could be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS.
PCOS leads to various symptoms, including hormonal issues that include excess facial hair, irregular periods, and infertility.
Are ovarian cysts dangerous?
Most ovarian cysts are harmless and pose no threat to your health. Most women don't even know they have ovarian cysts because they don't often cause symptoms.
Most functional cysts that occur due to menstruation shrink over time and eventually disappear, causing no harm to you or your body. However, other types of cysts may lead to complications, ranging from pain to cancer.
Cancerous cysts are more likely to form after menopause and are solid masses instead of fluid-filled sacs.
Another complication of an ovarian cyst is a rupture, where the cyst contents spill out, causing pain, discomfort, and abnormal bleeding in some cases. Ovarian torsion can also occur, which happens when the ovary twists, which inhibits blood flow and causes permanent damage.
If you suspect an ovarian cyst, visit Dr. Valdes for an evaluation. He performs a pelvic exam and orders an ultrasound to evaluate the ovaries and cysts.
He usually watches the cyst over the next few months to determine if it goes away independently. You may not require any treatment for a functional cyst, even if it causes mild symptoms.
Call our office today at 305-200-3878 for treatment of ovarian cysts with Dr. Valdes or schedule a consultation online.