Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs within the surface of an ovary that are surrounded by cells. While they are a common gynaecological problem, they cause concern for some women who fear ovarian cancer. All Woman that every woman at some point in her life will have cysts but may not present symptoms.
In the event the cysts leak some of the fluid or cause bloating, nausea or abdominal pain, then it becomes cause for concern.If it gets really big you may have symptoms of bloating, nausea or abdominal pain. The leak can also happen after sex. There is also something called a corpus luteum cyst that may rupture at the time of menstruation. After the egg is produced, it’s released. Corpus luteum is what is left back after release. What happens afterwards is determined by whether the egg gets fertilised by a sperm or not. If the egg isn’t fertilised by a sperm the corpus luteum will normally degenerate — break down — and disappear. If the egg gets fertilised it stays and helps to form the placenta. However, before it degenerates it may collect blood and fluid inside and form a cyst. That can get big and cause bloating, abdominal pain and ruptures or leak fluid.
- The first sign is usually pain on the side that the ovarian cyst is on
- That pain will usually be on just that one side, and it will be in your lower abdomen or pelvic region
- Most of the time people will say it feels ‘sharp’ and ‘focused, she explains, and the onset is usually pretty sudden, but it can be triggered by heavy exercise or intercourse
- In rare cases when there’s a lot of fluid released in the rupture, you might even feel pain in your upper abdomen or shoulders because that fluid irritates the nerves of the diaphragm. But it’s perceived as shoulder pain.
What will the doctor do?
Depending on the severity of symptoms and what the risk factors are will determine the treatment options.
- If the cyst is likely to be benign, asymptomatic and less than 4cm the doctor will probably reassure you and rescan in 12 weeks
- If over 6cm removal is usually recommended
- If more than 4 and less than 6cm, a repeat ultrasound in 4 to 6 weeks to check for a change in size.
The doctor may advise removing the cyst. Cysts are usually removed using laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, although not all cysts are suitable for removal in this way.