Ovarian Cysts

Women's Healthcare Group -  - Obstetrics

Women's Healthcare Group

Obstetrics & Gynecology located in York, PA

Ovarian cysts are very common but unlikely to cause problems. However, about 8% of women in the United States develop large ovarian cysts that require treatment. The experts at Women’s Healthcare Group in York, Pennsylvania, can determine the best course of action for your ovarian cyst, so it doesn’t affect your gynecological health. For an appointment, call the office today or make a request online.

Ovarian Cysts Q & A

What are Ovarian Cysts?

An ovarian cyst is a sac or pouch filled with fluid or other tissue that develops in or on your ovaries. They’re very common, and in most cases, you may not even know you have one. You can develop ovarian cysts during your childbearing years or menopause.

Most ovarian cysts are benign, or noncancerous, and there are several different types, including:

  • Functional Cyst: Functional cysts are the most common type of ovarian cyst. These types of cysts usually don’t cause symptoms and resolve on their own within 6-8 weeks.
  • Teratoma: A teratoma cyst is a type of ovarian cyst filled with varying tissues, such as skin and hair. You may have developed a teratoma at birth, but they tend to grow larger during your childbearing years. Although rare, these types of cysts can be cancerous.
  • Endometriomas: If you have endometriosis, which is a condition that causes your endometrial tissue to grow outside of your uterus, you may develop endometrial cysts, or endometriomas.
  • Cystadenomas: Water and mucus-filled cystadenomas develop on the surface of your ovaries.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) occurs if your ovaries produce too many cysts. PCOS may affect your fertility.

What are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts?

Most ovarian cysts, especially those small in size, don’t cause symptoms and may be found incidentally during a routine pelvic exam or imaging test for another reason.

Common symptoms that may indicate a cyst include:

  • Dull or sharp abdominal ache
  • Pain during certain activities
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Bloating or swelling

In some cases, an ovarian cyst can twist and cause you to experience pain on one side that comes and goes. If your cyst ruptures, you may experience severe, sudden pain.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, the OB/GYN experts at Women’s Healthcare Group can determine if you have a cyst.

How are Ovarian Cysts Diagnosed?

If your health care specialist at Women’s Healthcare Group suspects you have an ovarian cyst, you may need special testing. The testing used to diagnose an ovarian cyst includes:

  • Ultrasound: The ultrasound uses sound wave technology to generate images of your internal organs and can determine the size, location, and shape of your ovarian cyst.
  • Blood Tests: In addition to your ultrasound, your specialist may also conduct a blood test to measure CA 125. An elevated CA 125 may raise concerns of ovarian cancer, especially if you’re menopausal.

After testing, your specialist develops a treatment plan to manage your ovarian cyst.

How Do You Treat Ovarian Cysts?

Treatment for an ovarian cyst varies and depends on the size and type of cyst, your age, whether you want to have children, family history of ovarian or breast cancer, and your symptoms. Because most ovarian cysts resolve on their own, your specialist at Women’s Healthcare Group may suggest monitoring your cyst with repeat ultrasounds and taking action if it grows or your symptoms worsen.

If your cyst is large, causes extreme pain, or looks unusual, your OB/GYN may recommend surgery. Your specialist may be able to remove only the cyst, referred to as an ovarian cystectomy, or your ovary with the cyst, referred to as oophorectomy.

If your cyst is benign, your specialist uses a minimally invasive procedure to remove the cyst with a small instrument called a laparoscope. If your cyst is too large or cancer is suspected, you may need open surgery in which an incision is made in your lower abdomen for removal.

To determine the best course of action for your ovarian cyst, call Women’s Healthcare Group today, or schedule an appointment online.