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The development of ovarian cysts is a common condition in which one or more cysts form on the ovary or ovaries of a woman's reproductive system. An ovarian cyst consists of a sac filled with fluid, blood, or tissue. Ovarian cysts are generally not dangerous and often go away by themselves within weeks to a few months. However, some ovarian cysts can remain and cause serious problems to health or fertility.
Ovarian cysts can develop due to a woman's changing hormones that normally occur during the monthly menstrual cycle. There are many types of ovarian cysts, including endometriomas, dermoid cysts, and functional cysts. Cysts vary in size, from the size of a pea to the size of a softball. When a woman develops multiple ovarian cysts during each menstrual cycle that do not go away, it is called polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS.
There are often no symptoms of ovarian cysts, but sometimes they can result in abdominal pain, infertility and other health problems. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of ovarian cysts.
Making a diagnosis of ovarian cysts begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. A pelvic examination is also performed to examine the inside of the vagina and the cervix of the uterus and to assess the general health of a woman's reproductive organs. During this examination, the health care provider may be able to feel the presence of an ovarian cyst.
Further testing is generally needed to determine the type, size and shape of an ovarian cyst. Diagnosis may include a pelvic and vaginal ultrasound, which uses sound wave technology to create an image of the ovaries and any existing ovarian cysts.
A surgical procedure called a laparoscopy may also be done to better see the ovaries and any possible abnormalities. This procedure allows the physician to visualize the ovaries and the ovarian cyst or cysts using a special lighted instrument, called a laparoscope. The laparoscope is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen and moved into place and send pictures to a computer screen. This procedure is often performed on an outpatient basis and is minimally invasive. Removal of some types of ovarian cysts can also be done during a laparoscopy procedure as well.
Some types of ovarian cysts, especially those that are solid instead of fluid-filled, may be cancerous. A test called a CA 125 blood test may be done to help determine if the cyst is cancerous.
It is possible that a diagnosis of ovarian cysts can be missed or delayed because sometimes there are no symptoms, or because some symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of ovarian cysts.
Many ovarian cysts require no treatment other than regular follow-up care, including pelvic examinations with a licensed health care clinician and ultrasound testing to watch progress of the ovarian cyst and ensure it goes away by itself. Ovarian cysts that cause symptoms or do not go away can often be successfully treated. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of ovarian cysts....more »
A diagnosis of ovarian cysts may be overlooked or delayed because symptoms vary between individual women and the different types of ovarian cysts. Some women experience no symptoms at all. Mild symptoms, such as a dull ache in the lower abdomen or abdominal discomfort, may not be addressed because they might be associated with other conditions, such as gas or menstrual cramps.
Other ...more misdiagnosis »
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
causes of Ovarian cysts.
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No treatment is often needed for many ovarian cysts that are not cancerous and do not cause symptoms, such as severe pain, infertility, or bleeding. However, women with these mild types of ovarian cysts still need regular follow-up care, ...Ovarian cysts Treatments
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Unnecessary hysterectomies due to undiagnosed bleeding disorder in women: The bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease is quite common in women, but often fails to be correctly diagnosed. Women with the condition tend to have heavy periods,...read more »
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Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovaries when the follicles (sacs) on the ovary that contain the egg mature, but do not release the egg into the fallopian tube where it would be fertilized. A woman can develop one cyst or many cysts. Ovarian cysts can vary in size-from as small as a pea to as big as a grapefruit. (Source: excerpt from Ovarian Cysts: NWHIC)
Ovarian cysts are a different type of growth. They are fluid-filled sacs that form on the surface of an ovary. They are not cancer. Cysts often go away without treatment. If a cyst does not go away, the doctor may suggest removing it, especially if it seems to be growing. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Ovarian Cancer: NCI)
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovaries when the follicles (sacs) on the ovary... (Source: excerpt from Ovarian Cysts: NWHIC)
Ovarian cysts are a different type of growth. They are... (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Ovarian Cancer: NCI)
The list below shows some of the causes of Ovarian cysts mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Ovarian cysts. Of the 10 causes of Ovarian cysts that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Ovarian cysts' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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The following list of medical conditions have Ovarian cysts or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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Medical Conditions associated with Ovarian cysts:
Ovary symptoms (68 causes), Cysts (86 causes), Female sexual symptoms (505 causes), Female reproductive symptoms (928 causes), Women's health symptoms (1177 causes), Lower abdominal symptoms (3048 causes), Abdominal symptoms (5930 causes), Digestive symptoms (5299 causes), Pregnancy symptoms (699 causes), Fertility symptoms (370 causes), Sexual symptoms (1838 causes), Soft tissue symptoms (100 causes), Genital symptoms (986 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Intercourse symptoms (258 causes), Mens health symptoms (291 causes), Female genital symptoms (529 causes)
Symptoms related to Ovarian cysts:
Ovary symptoms (68 causes), Ovary cysts, Functional cyst, Corpus luteal cyst, Hemorrhagic cyst, Dermoid cyst, Endometriod cyst, Pathological cyst, Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Ovarian carcinoma, Abdominal pain (2568 causes), Torsion of cyst, Infertility (241 causes), Irregular periods (559 causes)
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