It’s not uncommon to develop ovarian cysts. They usually go away on their own, but in fewer than 10% of cases, these cysts grow large or cause symptoms that require treatment. If you have a problematic ovarian cyst, the experienced gynecologists at Gwinnett's Progressive Healthcare for Women offer treatments like ovarian cystectomy to help you find relief. Call the office in Lawrenceville, Georgia, or use the online tool to schedule an appointment today.
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that forms on an ovary. Your ovaries are two almond-shaped organs that sit on either side of the uterus and are responsible for egg maturation and release each month.
While ovarian cysts take many forms, the most commonly develop during the menstrual cycle and include:
Each month, your ovaries form a follicle around a maturing egg. If this follicle doesn’t burst open to release the egg for fertilization (or, if not fertilized, menstruation), then it becomes a cyst. These types of cysts usually resolve on their own in about three months.
When a follicle successfully breaks open and releases an egg, a mass of cells is left behind. Usually, this cell mass – the corpus luteum – shrinks away to prepare for the next month’s egg.
In the case of corpus luteum cysts, however, the mass reseals and accumulates fluid, creating a cyst. In most cases, these cysts go away without treatment within a few weeks.
More uncommon forms of cysts can also form on the ovaries. These include dermoid cysts, which are present from birth and contain skin or hair cells.
Cysts may also be caused by endometriosis or develop as cystadenomas, noncancerous growths on the outer side of the ovary.
Ovarian cysts usually don’t cause symptoms and disappear naturally on their own. If you do experience symptoms, they’ll likely include:
Although unlikely, it’s possible for a cyst to rupture and cause a severe onset of pelvic pain. In that case, you should seek care immediately.
An ovarian cyst discovered during a routine exam but that’s causing no symptoms isn’t a major cause for concern. Gwinnett's Progressive Healthcare for Women may recommend periodic ultrasounds to make sure the cyst doesn’t persist for a long time or grow.
If you do have an especially symptomatic or large cyst, you may need an ovarian cystectomy to remove it. This procedure is done using minimally invasive surgery. It involves your surgeon making a tiny incision near your navel and removing the cyst with small instruments.
If you have signs that suggest an ovarian cyst or you need to schedule your annual exam, contact Gwinnett's Progressive Healthcare for Women. Call the office to arrange an appointment or use the online tool to schedule today.