How to treat Ovarian Cysts?
Cyst of a left or a right ovary is a fluid-filled pocket within an ovary. Most often this pathology occurs in girls and women of fertile age but, generally, any woman may be affected. There are several types of cysts and each has its own unique characteristics. Though all the cysts are considered to be benign, some of them may undergo malignant transformation.
Causes of ovarian cyst development:
- Female infertility;
- Genital surgery;
- Irregular menstruations (or early puberty from 11 years old and younger);
- Hormonal imbalance (not only sexual hormones are included but other hormone-secreting glands);
- Bad habits (smoking);
- Oncological treatment with tamoxifen.
There is no final view on the causes of ovarian cyst development. Doctors can not define what caused the disease and mechanism of its development. However, there is a scientific evidence that at the end of the fertile window the risk of cyst development is minimal.
Symptoms of ovarian cyst
Typically the disease does not develop any symptoms until the late stage or until the complications appear.
Symptoms of ovarian cyst:
- Pain in the lower abdomen;
- Aggravation of pain during the period;
- Menstruation changes (irregular period, late period);
- Vaginal discharge with blood and vaginal pain;
- Feeling sick after physical activity or sex.
Often the clinical picture of the disease shows only three or one symptoms of ovarian cyst in women. However, there are the symptoms which should be treated as a warning signal. They are:
- Fever and temperature 38 degrees and above;
- Heavy menstrual bleeding;
- Belly growth;
- Low or high blood pressure;
- Rapid and unexplained weight loss;
- Polyuria and thirst.
If a woman has these symptoms, natural treatment of ovarian cyst is unacceptable, in this case a gynecologist consultation is required.
Follicular ovarian cyst
This is the most common type of the disease and usually girls having their first period are affected. This pathology is also called functional ovarian cyst. Cyst development refers to a hormonal imbalance (as a result of transformations in the body during puberty) or inflammatory conditions in the female urogenital system. Functional left or right ovarian cyst is a unicameral (single cavity) cyst with the size up to 100 mm and it can disappear itself. The mechanism of developing the cyst is closely associated with the time when ejection of the egg from the ovary occurs. Follicular left or right ovarian cyst occurs when a follicle does not break open during its formation.
These type of cysts do not develop any symptoms and they are usually detected in preventive examinations. Among the symptoms of follicular ovarian cyst are nagging but not very intensive lower abdomen pain or infertility.
Corpus luteum cyst
This is a rare condition which usually affects pregnant women. Corpus luteum right or left cyst is caused by the hormones and inflammations. When the egg is ejected, corpus luteum is left in the gland and sometimes it is transformed into a cyst, accumulating secretion. The cyst is fluid-filled with some blood and its walls are thick.
The most typical sign of the cyst is irregular menstruations. Discharge with blood, nausea, abdominal pain and breast swelling are characteristic of this ovarian cyst.
Dermoid cyst of ovary
This is a benign condition which is most often detected in children and teenagers. The causes of dermoid cyst development refer to the anomalies of tissues in the embryo. This is a large cyst, it has a peduncle and filled with a fatty substance, teeth, hair, and cartilage. On the picture of dermoid ovary cyst, one can see the elements of various body tissues.
The clinical presentation is not specific. Pain sensations in the lower abdomen may be a symptom of this condition. However, this is the cyst twisted on peduncle and it is its characteristic feature and it is responsible for the symptoms of acute abdomen.
Actually, this cyst is a pathology of the appendage but is usually referred to as ovarian cyst. Mechanism and causes of the disease are not studied well yet, but it is known that it affects women over 20 years old.
The size of parovarian right and left cyst varies from very small to huge. The symptoms of this condition overlap with the symptoms of other parts of the body because the organs are constricted with the cyst. A woman experiences difficulties with defecation, urination, in some cases she may notice a belly growth. A peduncle is typical of the large cysts only. The symptoms of the cyst twisted on peduncle imitate urgent pathology of the abdomen.
Endometriotic ovarian cyst
Thus cyst has another name «chocolate» and it is the manifestation of such a disease as endometriosis. Endometriotic left and right ovarian cyst has easily damaged walls and if they rupture, their contents can spill into the ovaries and the pelvic cavity.
This cyst develops a great variety of symptoms such as intolerable lower abdomen pain, infertility, menstrual dysfunction, and bloody discharge. If you are not sure whether to remove the cyst or not, be aware that with progression of the disease adhesions may appear and it significantly reduces the chances to get pregnant.
Risks of a female ovarian cyst
If left untreated, dangerous complications may develop:
- Rupture of the cyst. This complication occurs due to a gradual accumulation of the cyst content and further rupture of its walls. The symptoms of a cyst rupture are fever, intolerable pain (acute abdomen), nausea and vomiting, dizziness and faintness. This is a case of emergency and it requires urgent surgical interference.
- Bleeding. It is often accompanied by the rupture and manifests itself with the typical signs of anemia. A woman complains of weakness, dizziness, she is pale and tires very quickly. A woman may also have vaginal discharge with blood.
- Cyst twisted on peduncle. This condition is typical of large cysts only. The vessels and nervous endings are constricted leading to necrosis and surgery is required.
- Infection. The symptoms are typical of inflammation and it is characteristic for dermoid cyst only. To eliminate the process antibacterial medications are used as well as surgery to remove the cyst.
- Gynecological examination (typical localization of pain and appendages enlargement are detected);
- Pelvic ultrasound (the most precise method, especially when transvaginal device is used);
- Culdocentesis (to detect blood clots and other fluids);
- Diagnostic laparoscopy (may be further required for treatment);
- Computer tomography (to exclude malignancy);
- Pregnancy test (to exclude ectopic pregnancy).
Treatment of ovarian cyst
Depending on the type, size, clinical presentation and general well-being of a woman, three treatment protocols may be offered:
Watch and wait
This is used only for follicular cyst and corpus luteum cyst treatment. A doctor monitors general well-being of a patient and notices increase or decrease of the cyst. If within several months the cyst is not developing and regression is observed, further treatment is not required as the cyst disappears itself.
Ovarian cyst treatment without surgery
- For conservative treatment of ovarian cyst, hormonal medications are used. A woman takes the medications for several months and the level of her sex hormones is carefully monitored. Additionally, anti-inflammatory drugs and vitamins are prescribed for general stimulation of the body defense functions.
- Physiotherapy treatment techniques are also widely used for stimulating regression of the cyst. The most common techniques are phonophoresis, magnet therapy, and electromagnetic phoresis. These procedures help to enhance the absorption of the medications directly by the cyst tissues.
- Natural treatment of ovarian cyst is only possible if the cyst is small, a patient does not have any symptoms and the cyst has a tendency to dispersion. The herbs may be used only after a consultation with a doctor to be sure that they do not produce any side effects, especially allergic reactions. The duration of natural treatment of ovarian cyst should be at least a month but should not exceed three months. There are several herbal mixtures (containing 3, 4, 5 and 6 components) which are to be brewed and orally taken. Such natural treatment of ovarian cyst is indicated only when the cyst can disappear itself.
Surgery for ovarian cyst
Surgery for ovarian cyst is indicated only when all the conservative attempts to achieve the cyst dispersion fail, if the cyst is over 8 cm or when there are some complications. There are several alternatives how to remove the cyst:
- Laparotomy. It is indicated for elder women; during an operation an incision is made on the abdomen. The operation prevents the growth of tumor cells if they are detected in the treatment.
- Laparoscopic removal of ovarian cyst. This is the most common surgery for the cyst and its benefit is minimal traumatism. Laparoscopy helps to avoid adhesions. However it is contraindicated in oncological pathologies and usually indicated for young women or teenage girls.
- Cyst enucleation. This operation to remove ovarian cyst is organ-preserving. A surgeon carefully removes the cyst without affecting the ovary, thus preserving its functions.
- Resection. Ovarian cyst removal with the help of resection involves excision of the capsule and surrounding tissues. Further organ functioning depends on the size of the cyst and removed tissues.
- Ovary removal. This method is used when it is not reasonable to try other methods, if there are complications, for example, caused by the cyst rupture, in case with numerous cysts or when there is no sense to preserve the ovary. Most often the ovary is removed together with the appendages.
As some of the cysts disappear themselves, it logical to watch and wait first. However, never practice self-treatment as advanced cyst may develop infertility and other conditions requiring emergent medical help.