One of the most common fears of women presenting for a gynecological exam is ovarian cysts.
It should be known that most women will develop a lifetime ovarian cyst, which is most commonly found in a routine check but not all cysts are a health problem.
What is ovarian cyst?
Ovarian cyst is a thin-walled, fluid-filled formation. In the ovary, such formations are normally present, but have a small size, in the order of millimeters, and are called follicles. Each month, such a follicle is recruited, rising to about 2 cm, at which point it breaks out of the ovum, in a process called ovulation.
Most ovarian cysts occur in connection with normal ovarian functioning and are called functional cysts, follicles or yellow body, do not give symptoms, are benign and often disappear without treatment after two or three months. A number of ovarian cysts, such as dermoid, endometriotic or mucous, are unrelated to normal ovarian functioning and undiagnosed in time can lead to complications.
Ovary cysts can be manifested by a feeling of pain or pressure in the lower abdomen on the side it develops, discomfort during sexual intercourse, intestinal transit disorders or frequent urination.
"Ovarian cysts are common and that is why the description of the type of discomfort is not enough to establish the diagnosis. Larger cysts can be detected by a pelvis examination. An ultrasound is always the best way to establish the diagnosis. Any ovarian follicle more than two centimeters can be called ovarian cyst, "explains Dr. Andrei Cucu, a obstetrician-gynecologist.
Acute complications of an ovary cyst consist of rupture or torsion and occur especially when the cyst is more than 5-6 cm. If the cyst breaks up, there is an acute, violent, severe pain. If the torsion occurs, the pain may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. In these cases, surgery is the only solution.
80% of women have ovarian cysts at least once in their life
Cysts are usually discovered after a routine consultation. In fact, about 80% of women will develop ovarian cyst at some point in their lives. When they receive the diagnosis, the patients are bullied due to frequent associated fears: surgery or the risk of cancerous tumors.
Although in most cases the presence of ovarian cysts does not affect procreation capacity, an important effect is that it disturbs ovulation and can cause low fertility, which most often depends on the type of cysts, size and number.
The situation changes completely when we talk about polycystic ovary syndrome (SOPC), complex hormonal disorder that associates irregular menstrual cycles, anovulation and excess of male hormones. The name of the syndrome comes from the presence of multiple cysts of 2-9 mm in the ovary.
There is the possibility of having SOPC in women who have less than 8 menstruation in one year, weight gain or obesity, acne, thick hair, black hair and increased in areas characteristic of men and difficulties in gaining a pregnancy.
"Polycystic ovary syndrome is manifested by irregular and anovulatory menstrual cycles and involves a specific echographic aspect of the ovaries. In this condition, the presence of ovarian microchips is not the main problem, but the hormonal disturbances that characterize this syndrome, "adds Dr. Andrei Cucu.
Diagnosis of ovarian cyst
To diagnose ovarian cysts, the following types of tests can be performed:
- CA 125 tumor antigen analysis: this blood test looks for a substance called CA-125 antigen, associated with ovarian cancer. It is used to determine the risk of ovarian cancer being cancerous or harmless.
"Treatment largely depends on the size and appearance of the cyst, but also on the patient's age. If surgical treatment is required, in the absence of contraindications, it should be minimally invasive, laparoscopic. Only in this way can a quick recovery with minimal pain and barely visible scars ensure, "the specialist added.