Ovarian Cysts – When to be Concerned

  • Ovarian cysts are growths on the ovary that often resolve on their own. You may need to see a doctor if the problem persists.
  • There are several ovarian treatments available. Your doctor can help you choose the right one.

While having an ovarian cyst may sound scary, it is a common medical condition that typically goes away without intervention. If you need treatment for an ovarian cyst that won’t go away on its own, Dr. Catherine Vanderloos can help resolve the issue quickly. Our practice is located on Ashley Ridge Boulevard near the Inner Loop Expressway and Ellerbe Road intersection, which allows us to provide cyst treatment to women anywhere in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the surrounding areas. Here’s what you need to know if you suspect you have an ovarian cyst.

What an Ovarian Cyst Is

An ovarian cyst is a mass or pocket attached to an ovary. These cysts may be either solid or filled with fluid, but they are usually harmless. Many women get one every month as a regular part of their menstrual cycle and never know they have a cyst. Although they are typically harmless, cysts need to be checked out if they begin causing severe pain or won’t go away because there is a slim possibility that they may be a sign of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cyst Symptoms

Most of the time, you won’t even notice that you have a cyst on your ovary. You may even attribute the symptoms to other causes because the most common signs of an ovarian cyst are bloating and pain in one side of your lower stomach. You may also feel a little pressure or notice some swelling in your stomach.

Types of Ovarian Cysts

Two types of cysts could develop on your ovaries. A functional cyst is one that occurs as part of your monthly cycle. It may be a follicle cyst, which usually lasts less than three months, or it may be a corpus luteum cyst, which goes away within a few weeks. Both types of cysts occur when your body releases an egg during your monthly cycle. A nonfunctional cyst is one that is not caused by your menstrual cycle.

How Ovarian Cysts Are Diagnosed

Although ovarian cysts can usually be detected during a pelvic exam, the doctor will have to run tests to determine which type of cyst you have. Your doctor may order any or all of the following tests to make an accurate diagnosis.

  • Laparoscopy
  • Pregnancy test
  • CA 125 blood test
  • Pelvic ultrasound

Risk Factors for Ovarian Cysts

While most ovarian cysts are benign, it is still a good idea to understand the risk factors so you can get screened regularly if necessary. You are more likely to have a cyst if you currently have a severe pelvic infection or endometriosis. Your chances of developing a cyst are higher if you have had one before. You may also be at risk if you are pregnant or taking the fertility drug clomiphene.

Possible Complications of Ovarian Cysts

Although it is uncommon, some women have complications with ovarian cysts. These problems can usually be diagnosed during a pelvic exam. Your doctor will check for the following problems.

  • Infected ovarian cyst: A cyst that develops as the result of a pelvic infection may form an abscess that could burst.
  • Ovarian torsion: Ovarian torsion occurs when the ovary moves or twists, causing intense pain that won’t go away.
  • Ovarian rupture: Cysts can sometimes break open, which causes bleeding a severe pain. Most ruptured ovarian cysts are medical emergencies and require surgery to fix.

When To See a Doctor for an Ovarian Cyst

Most ovarian cysts go away on their own. However, if you start experiencing rapid breathing with no explanation, have a fever with nausea or vomiting, feel dizzy or faint, or have sudden, severe stomach or pelvic pain, you need to seek immediate medical treatment from a physician as these could be signs of an ovarian rupture. You should also seek medical treatment if you have persistent mild symptoms of a cyst.

Ovarian Cyst Treatment Options

If you have ovarian cyst pains, your doctor may have to intervene. In many cases, pain medication is sufficient until the cyst goes away on its own. Your doctor may then prescribe birth control to keep cysts from forming in the future. For large cysts that refuse to go away on their own, the doctor may have to perform surgery. A laparoscopy is a simple outpatient procedure used to remove smaller cysts. Cancerous cells may require a more extensive and invasive procedure called a laparotomy.

Contact Dr. Catherine Vanderloos in Shreveport, LA Today!

Because most ovarian cysts are both painless and harmless and usually go away without treatment, you may not even know you have one. However, if a cyst becomes painful or you develop severe symptoms, it’s time to see a gynecologist for treatment. Dr. Catherine Vanderloos can provide you with quick treatment to resolve the issue. Located in the heart of Shreveport, Louisiana, near Highway 3132, our practice is in a convenient spot to provide you with prompt treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. You can also reach out by phone by calling (318) 865-4333.

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