Effective Ovarian Cyst Treatments You Should Know


Ovarian Cyst

The ovaries are a pair of small, oval-shaped organs in the lower abdomen. They produce female hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle and help with fertility and breast development.

Most ovarian cysts are harmless functional cysts that disappear independently without treatment. Others need to be surgically removed.

A cyst rupture can cause bleeding, or the ovary may twist on itself and cut off its blood supply (ovarian torsion). This is a gynecologic emergency that requires immediate surgery.

Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications

All women who ovulate grow “cysts” each month. These fluid-filled sacs usually go away within 1-3 menstrual cycles. Follicular cysts develop when a small follicle fails to release an egg and grows bigger. Corpus luteum cysts form when hormones from the strand cause the ovary to produce more fluid.

A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential for the health of the ovaries and may help avoid ovarian cysts. Additionally, some vitamins and dietary supplements might lower the chance of cysts.

Your OB/GYN (obstetrics and gynecology) doctor will probably perform a pelvic exam and order ultrasound tests to see what’s causing your symptoms. Other tests may include blood and urine to check for low iron or signs of infection.

Medicine such as hormonal contraceptives is one of the ovarian cyst treatments that might be recommended to stop your ovaries from producing follicles and creating more cysts. If the cyst is large, not functional and causing pain, your OB/GYN might recommend surgery to remove it. This could be done with a minimally invasive procedure (laparoscopy) through small cuts in your abdomen. If the ovary is enlarged or cancer is suspected, an open operation using larger amounts might be needed.

Heating Pads

Many women experience pain from ovarian cysts, and heating pads may help relieve the discomfort. Heat increases blood flow, which reduces the pressure that can cause pain from an ovarian cyst.

Medications like ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain relievers can also reduce the pain associated with an ovarian cyst. These medications do not shrink a cyst but provide short-term relief.

Suppose a functional ovarian cyst is found in a woman without menopause. In that case, she can usually be monitored with ultrasound and watchful waiting to see if the ovarian cyst disappears or gets smaller. It may also be advised to use hormonal birth control to stop the development of new ovarian cysts.

A postmenopausal woman with a large, persistent ovarian cyst may need to remove it surgically. This is typically done with a minimally invasive procedure, such as laparoscopic surgery. Surgery is also required if the cyst appears on ultrasound to be cancerous or at risk of rupturing or twisting.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most often prescribed medications worldwide, treating fever, pain, and inflammation. They come in tablet, capsule, cream, liquid, injectable, suppository, and tablet forms.

NSAIDs function by preventing the body’s cyclooxygenase enzymes from producing prostaglandins. These promote the platelet-mediated blood clotting process, protect the stomach lining, and aid the body in reducing inflammation and pain.

Non-selective NSAIDs such as aspirin may increase the risk of gastrointestinal ulcers and other GI problems, particularly in those with preexisting peptic disease or certain bleeding disorders like coagulopathy or von Willebrand disease. They can also reduce the activity of platelets, leading to bleeding. These side effects should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible. Swelling, hives, or itching are signs of an allergic reaction to NSAIDs and should be reported to the doctor immediately. Long-term, high-dose use can lead to kidney and cardiovascular complications.

Ovarian Surgery

Usually, a cyst forms as part of your menstrual cycle and goes away independently. But sometimes, you have pain, nausea or other symptoms of a cyst that may require treatment. Your provider will recommend follow-up imaging to ensure the cyst isn’t growing or causing problems.

A more serious complication occurs when a cyst’s wall ruptures and leaks fluid into the space around it. This happens more often in people with larger cysts – for example when a person plays tennis and makes jerky movements that twist the ovary and cut off its blood supply.

Doctors may prescribe medicine to help you stop ovulating or have surgery to remove any cancerous cells from the ovary (debulking). This is sometimes combined with chemotherapy. Surgery can be done through laparoscopy or an open procedure. Your doctor will remove the ovary or a portion of the omentum that hangs over your large intestine (the omentectomy). Depending on your situation, a nearby lymph node may also be removed (lymphadenectomy). By doing this, cancer may not spread to other organs.

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