The ovary is one of pair of reproductive glands in woman that are located in the pelvic, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of a walnut. The ovaries produce egg. (ova) and the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. The ovaries arse the main source of  female hormones which control the development of female body characteristics such as the breasts, body shape and body hair. They also regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. The ovary is also  referred to as the female gonad.

 What are ovarian cyst?

Ovarian cyst  are closed sac-like structures within an ovary that contain a liquid or semisolid substance. “cyst” is merely a general term for a fluid-filled structure, which may or may not represent a tumor or neoplasm ( new growth). If it is a tumor, it maybe  benign or malignant.

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 Types of ovarian cyst:

1. Follicular cyst -The most common type is a follicular cysts, which results from the  growth of a follicle. A follicle is the normal fluid-filled sac.  That contains an egg. Follicular cyst form when the follicle grows large  than normal during the menstrual cycle and does not  open to release the egg.  Usually follicular cysts resolve on their own over the course of days to month follicular cysts can certain blood ( Hemorrhagic cysts from lackage of blood into the egg sac.

2. Corpus  luteum cysts. A corpus luteum cyst is 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 a follicle. If a pregnancy doesn’t occurs the corpus luteum usually break down and disappears.  It may, however, fill with fluid or blood and persist as a cyst on the ovary.  Usually , this cyst is formed  on only one side, produce no symptoms and resolves spontaneously.

3. Chocolate cysts -Endometriosis is  a condition in which cells that normally  grow inside as a lining of  the uterus (womb),  instead grow outside of the uterus in other locations.  The ovary is a common site for Endometriosis.  When Endometriosis involves  the  ovary. The area of endometrial tissue may grow and bleed overtime forming a blood filled cyst with red or brown – coloured content called an endometrioma, sometimes referred to as a chocolate cyst.

4.Polycystic ovarian syndrome – the condition known as PCOS is characterized by the  presence of multiple small cyst within both ovaries PCOS is associated with  a number of hormonal problems and is the most common cause of infertility  in women

5. Dermoid cyst ( Benign cyst terstomas)  Both benign and malignant tumors of the ovary may also be cyst. Occasionally,  the tissues of the  ovary develop abnormally to form other body tissues such as hair or  teeth. Cyst with these abnormal tissues are really tumors called benign cysts teratomas or dermoid cysts.

6.Tubo-ovarian abscess :Infection of the  pelvis organs can involve the ovarian or Fallopian tubes.  In serve cause pus-filled cystic space may be present on, in, or around the ovary or tubes.  These are known as tubo-ovarian abscesses.

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 Symptoms & Signs:

Most ovarian cysts are never noticed and resolve without women ever realizing  that  they are there. When a cyst causes symptoms pains in the abdomen or pelvic is the most common one. The pain can be  caused from

– Rupture of the cyst

– Rapid growth and stretching

– Bleeding into the cyst

– Twisting of the cyst around it’s blood supply ( known as torsion).

If the cyst has reached a large size, other symptoms may arise as a result of pressure or distortion of adjacent anatomical structures . These other symptoms can include.

1. Abdominal fullness expansion of the abdomen or bloating.

2. Low back pain

3. Indigestion

4.  Feeding full after eating only small amount ( Early satiety)

5. Urinary urgency.

6. Difficult with emptying the bladder completely

7. Feeling an urge to defecate

8. Having difficult bowel movement or

9. Pain during sexual intercourse.

A ruptured (burst)  ovarian cyst will not always cause symptoms, particularly if the cyst is small. However sometimes a ruptured ovarian cyst can lead to severe pain or internal bleeding the pain with a ruptured ovarian cyst typically comes on suddenly and occurs on one side only the  pain may begin during physical activity such as vigorous exercise may begin during sexual intercourse.

Ruptured ovarian cyst usually doesn’t  cause fever or gastrointestinal symptoms.

Most ovarian cyst are not due to  cancer and having an ovarian cyst does not cause ovarian cancer, However,  some ovarian cancer develop  cystic area inside the tumor. Ovarian cancer is much less than benign ovarian cyst. Ovarian cyst are sometimes discovered during pregnancy.

In most cases they are an accidental finding at the time of routine prenatal ultrasound screening . The majority of ovarian cyst found during pregnancy  are benign conditions that do not require surgical intervention.  However, surgery may be indicated if there is a suspicion of malignancy,  if an acute complications such as rupture or torsion (twisting of the cyst , disrupting the blood supply) develops.  Or if the size of the cyst is likely  to prevent problems with the pregnancy. 

Ovarian cyst may develop during pregnancy or at any point in a woman life some kinds of ovarian cyst are related to the menstrual cycle and occur before a woman has reached menopause.  However, postmenopausal woman may develop other types of ovarian cysts.

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