An ovarian cyst is a fluid collection that forms in a woman’s ovary. Quite common during childbearing years, women may develop cysts that oftentimes resolve without pain or treatment. However, in some cases, ovarian cysts cause sharp or dull pain during certain activities such as exercise or sexual intercourse. Others may even rupture requiring prompt and proper medical treatment. Most cysts are benign (non-cancerous) but in rare cases, cysts are an indication of ovarian cancer.
An ovarian cyst may be found during a pelvic exam. Should Dr. Ricci find an enlarged ovary, they may perform further testing to determine the size and location of the cyst. A vaginal ultrasound may be performed where a transducer is inserted into the vagina and the shape, size, and location of the cyst may be seen. Exploratory laparoscopic surgery may also be used to diagnose as well as treat ovarian cysts in severe cases.
In most women, ovarian cysts will shrink and disappear on their own. For many women, taking hormonal birth control pills can reduce the likelihood of forming new cysts, but cannot remove existing cysts. In women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or in women who are experiencing a large or painful cyst in their ovary, surgery may be the best course of action. The type of surgery is largely dependent on the size and type of the cyst, the age of the patient, and the patient’s desire to have children. In some cases, the cyst can be removed without removing the ovary, but in severe cases, one or both ovaries may have to be removed.
For more information on ovarian cysts or to schedule an appoint contact Newport Beach OB/GYN Medical Group, Inc.
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