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Health

Ovarian cyst.

Ovarian cysts are fluid filled sacs or pockets in an ovary or on its surface.

Women have two ovaries on each side of the uterus.

Many women have ovarian cyst at sometime. Most ovarian cysts present little or no discomfort.

Symptoms of ovarian cyst.

1. Pain in the abdomen, pelvis, sometimes radiating to the lower back, it is the most common symptom.

2. Feeling bloated.

3. Increased abdominal girth.

4. Painful bowel movement.

5. Pain during sex(dyspareunia).

6. Nausea and vomiting.

7. Urinary urgency.

8. Unusual bleeding.

Types of ovarian cysts.

1. Follicular cysts- it is the most common type which results from the growth of follicle.

2. Corpus luteum cyst – related to the menstrual cycle. The corpus luteum is an area of tissue within the ovary that occurs after an egg has been released from the follicle.

3. Chocolate cyst – when endometriosis occur the endometrial tissue may grow and bleed over time, forming a blood filled cyst with red or brown colour content called endometrioma sometimes refered as chocolate cysts 

4. Polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS) 

The condition is characterized by the presence of multiple small cysts within both ovaries. It is associated with a number of hormones. It is the main cause of infertility in women.

5. Dermoid cysts( benign cystic teratomas).

Both benign or malignant tumors of the ovary may also be cystic.

Diagnosis.

1. Pregnancy test.

A positive pregnancy test may suggest you have a corpus luteum cyst.

2. Pelvic ultrasound.

A wandlike device sends and receives high frequency sound waves to create images of your uterus and ovaries on a video screen.

3. Laparoscopy.

4. CA 125 blood test.

Blood levels of a protein called cancer antigen 125(CA 125) often elevated in women with ovarian cancer. If your cyst is partially solid you are at risk of ovarian cancer.

Treatment.

1. Watchful waiting ( observation).

Recommended especially when the cyst is small, functional and the woman has not undergone menopause.

2. Birth control pills.

To reduce the risk of a new cyst developing in future menstrual cycle the doctor may recommend birth control pills. They may also reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

3. Surgery.

They include;

1. Laparoscopy.

The surgeon uses very small tools to remove the cysts through a small incision. It does not affect fertility.

2. Laparotomy.

May be recommended if the cyst is cancerous. A longer cut is made across the top of the pubic hairline and sent to the lab for testing.

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