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Some Ovarian Cysts Contain More Than Fluid

By HERWriter
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Some ovarian cysts are simple, fluid filled sacs that are relatively harmless and often go away on their own. However, there are some less common ovarian cysts that may be dangerous.

Endometriomas – These are cysts that form as part of endometriosis. In this condition, tissue that should be inside the uterus grows outside the uterus and may attach itself to other structures inside the abdomen, including the ovaries. This tissue looks and acts like the lining of the uterus, including bleeding during your period each month. This type of cyst can be painful, especially during sex or during your period.

Cystadenomas – These cysts form from ovarian tissue on the surface of the ovary. They can fill with watery or thicker liquid and may become very large – up to 12 inches in diameter. This can lead to painful twisting of the ovaries.
Dermoid Cysts – These cysts grow from the cells that produce human eggs. As a result, they can contain tissue such as hair, skin, or teeth. They can become very large and can also cause painful twisting of the ovary.

Ovarian Cyst Symptoms

In many cases, ovarian cysts don’t cause noticeable symptoms. Possible symptoms may include:

• Pain or abnormal bleeding with your period
• Pain during sex
• Problems emptying your bladder completely
• Pain, pressure, or swelling in your abdomen
• Pelvic pain
• Pressure on your rectum or bowels
• Breast tenderness
• Weight gain

If you have the following symptoms, get medical help right away:

• Pain with fever and vomiting
• Sudden, severe pain in your abdomen or pelvis
• Signs that you might be going into shock; i.e. rapid breathing, cold, clammy skin, weakness or lightheadedness

Treating Ovarian Cysts

Your doctor may initially choose to watch your symptoms and the size and characteristics of your cysts for several months to see if they continue to grow or go away on their own. Cysts that are very large and filled with something other than fluid, that cause pain, or that fail to go away after several months may need to be surgically removed. Your doctor may also recommend surgery if you are postmenopausal and still have ovarian cysts.

If you are over 35 years old, at risk for ovarian cancer, or have a cyst that is partly solid, your doctor is more likely to determine if the cysts are cancerous.

While some ovarian cysts can be left untreated, others require treatment to prevent further damage to your health. Only a medical professional can determine what kind of cyst you have to determine the appropriate treatment. Be sure to see your doctor if you think you might have an ovarian cyst.

National Women’s Health Information Center
Mayo Clinic

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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