In order to take better care of their ovarian health and overall well-being, all women should have a basic understanding of the different types of ovarian cysts.
The most common type of ovarian cyst is a simple or functional cyst. Functional cysts are appropriately named because they develop as a normal function of the female menstruation process.
Functional Ovarian Cysts are Usually
Harmless but Can Become Serious
One example of a functional ovarian cyst is a hemorrhagic cyst. Also known as a blood cyst or hematocyst, this ovarian cyst is formed when a blood vessel in the wall of an existing ovarian cyst breaks allowing blood to flow into the cyst.
These types of cysts can require no treatment, and usually can be resolved without the need for surgery. Unless the hemorrhagic cyst causes ovarian torsion, ruptures, or presses on surrounding tissues, there will normally be no ovarian cyst pain.
This is an important item to note as the symptoms of ovarian cysts are often not noticeable …but, for the majority of problem cysts, the most common symptom experienced will be pain in the abdomen or lower back.
When a woman experiences symptoms of hemorrhagic cysts, the first sign is usually abdominal or pelvic pain. This hemorrhagic ovarian cyst pain usually develops only on one side of the body.
If a hemorrhagic cyst should rupture, it can bleed into the ovary …causing ovarian pain and the rapid stretching of the ovarian wall. The rupture can be confirmed through a sonogram, which can reveal blood clots that have formed in the ovary. Anemia-related signs and symptoms may also be present due to the loss of blood.
While a ruptured hemorrhagic cyst is quite painful, the possibility of these types of ovarian cysts rupturing is low. In some cases, even hemorrhagic cysts that have ruptured can be treated without the need for surgery. However, a very large hemorrhagic cyst may require surgical removal to prevent major blood loss if it should burst.
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Your Risk Factors
There are various risk factors to be aware of that may increase your chances of developing ovarian cysts that, in turn, could become a hemorrhagic cyst.
The first factor is your medical history. If you have developed ovarian cysts before, you are more likely to have new cysts develop than someone who has never had an ovarian cyst.
Your family history should also be considered. If the women in your family have had, or are currently having ovarian cyst problems, you are more likely to develop them as well.
Having an irregular menstrual cycle is another risk factor. Many women with this condition are prescribed oral contraceptives to help regulate their menstruation and reduce the chances of developing ovarian cysts.
Also, women who had their first period before the age of 11 are at a higher risk of having ovarian cysts during their lifetime.
Hormonal imbalances can also increase your chances of developing ovarian cysts. One example of a hormonal imbalance is hyperthyroidism.
If you feel that you have an increased risk of developing ovarian cysts, the smart thing to do is to keep regular tabs on your body. Your regular medical checkups should be enough if your doctor is on the look out for any type of ovarian cyst.
As always, early detection is the key in treating most medical conditions. With different types of ovarian cysts, complications can develop very quickly so it is particularly important to receive an early diagnosis.
An ovarian cyst that begins bleeding into itself, becoming a hemorrhagic cyst, can easily rupture and cause a number of problems.
If your physician suspects the presence of an ovarian cyst, further diagnostic options are available to you such as having an ultrasound performed. An endovaginal ultrasound can reveal the nature of any ovarian cysts that are detected, allowing you to decide what type of treatment may be necessary.
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