Who Gets Ovarian Cysts?
Ovarian cysts are actually pretty common. Most women develop at least one cyst during their childbearing years. The vast majority of uterine cysts are uncomplicated. These tend to go away on their own, without treatment.
Women between the ages of 50 and 70 can also develop cysts, however, these cysts tend to be more dangerous and can sometimes indicate the beginning of ovarian cancer.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts generally produce no symptoms. If you have a large cyst or more than one cyst, though, you may notice some symptoms. If you are noticing any symptoms it is important to visit with your health care provider for an examination.
Ovarian cyst symptoms could include:
- abdominal pain
- abdominal pressure
- pressure on the bladder or rectum
- difficulty urinating
- abnormal bleeding
- painful intercourse
- sensitive breasts
- nausea and vomiting
Diagnosis of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are generally diagnosed during your annual pelvic exam. This is when your health care provider feels your reproductive organs to make sure that they are healthy. Ovarian cysts feel like little bumps on your ovaries. Ovarian cysts can also be diagnosed through ultrasound. An ultrasound helps to determine the size, location, and contents of an ovarian cysts.
Ovarian Cysts and Infertility
For the majority of women, the presence of ovarian cysts has no impact on their ability to conceive. Typically, ovarian cysts remain small and don’t interfere with ovulation or conception. However, some cysts can indicate underlying conditions, which may inhibit your ability to become pregnant.
If you have a lot of cysts, you may have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can disrupt the normal cycle of ovulation, inhibiting pregnancy.
Ovarian Cyst Treatment
For most women, the first line of treatment is to wait and watch. Your health care provider will continue to monitor your cyst to see if it grows any larger or changes shape. For those with serious symptoms, surgery to remove the cysts may be the best bet.
Hormone therapy, such as the birth control pill, can also used to help control the growth of cysts in some women.