An ovarian cyst is a sac which is filled with fluid and found within an ovary. If there is a follicle in the ovary which is bigger than 2 centimetres, it is considered as an ovarian cyst.
The size of the ovarian cyst may be different; it may be very small and maybe as big as an orange. Most of these cysts found in the ovary are benign. It is mostly seen in case of premenopausal women and only in small percentage in case of postmenopausal women.
If the size of the ovarian cysts is bigger than 5 centimeters, than it may be necessary to remove them using surgical procedure.
These cysts are most common during the childbearing years of women. However, in some cases it is also found in women of different ages. In general, these cysts do not show any symptom and painless but in some women pain and bleeding may be seen.
Ovarian cysts are mainly of two types-functional ovarian cysts and pathological ovarian cysts.
Common Causes of ovarian cysts
Functional ovarian cyst
(A) follicular cysts
It is considered as the most common ovarian cyst. In female human body, an egg is released every month which is covered with a follicle containing fluid for protection of the egg. After the release of the egg, the follicle bursts. However, sometimes the follicle does not shrink after release of the egg and it may not release the fluid inside it. In that case, swelling of the follicle filled with fluid results in a follicular ovarian cyst.
(B) Luteal ovarian cyst
After the release of the egg from the ovary, some tissues (corpus luteum) may be left behind. When these tissues are filled with blood, luteal cyst form. Generally, such cyst disappear after a few months of formation. This is not very common.
(A) Dermoid cysts
In case of women under 30 years, dermoid cyst is the most commonly found type of ovarian cyst. This is a very unusual type of tumour. Totipotential germ cells are the cells that can create cells that are capable of forming mature cells. Dermoid cysts develop from such germ cells and may have skin, hair, bone and even teeth. Even though this is a benign cyst, it should be removed by surgical operation.
Cystadenomas is most commonly found in case of women who are over 40 years. These cysts form from the outer covering of the ovary. They do not grow inside the ovary rather attach to it with a stalk. These cysts may contain mucous like substance or watery fluid. Cystadenomas cysts should also be removed surgically.
The possibility of ovarian cyst increases with some specific conditions which include endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Women who have endometriosis are more likely to develop ovarian cysts. This is a medical condition where endometrial cells (cells present inside the uterus) grow outside of the uterus.
Women with PCOS are more likely to develop ovarian cysts. In polycystic ovarian syndrome, small cysts appear on the ovaries due to imbalance of hormones.
According to the doctors, there are several risk factors present in case of ovarian cyst that may result in the medical condition. These risk factors include age, obesity, smoking, using fertility medicines, hormonal replacement therapy, previous history of ovarian cyst the family, not having children, not breastfeeding etc. If you have these risk factors, you should be very careful and in case of any initial symptoms of ovarian cyst, should consult your doctor immediately. Timely medical attention is what you need to avoid future complications.
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