Ovarian cysts: Causes, symptoms, and treatment 

Contrary to what many may think, ovarian cysts are actually fairly common. According to WebMD, many women will have ovarian cysts at some point during their childbearing years. Some cysts appear and disappear without any symptoms, but some women experience extreme pain and other serious symptoms.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs, or pocked which form on or within an ovary. Women have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. Ovaries are the part of the female reproductive system that releases the eggs during a woman's monthly cycle. Sometimes these cysts form on the ovaries, and while some of these cysts are harmless others can cause serious complications.
Types of ovarian cysts
The most common type of ovarian cyst is called a functional cyst, according to WebMD. This cysts forms when the egg is not released, or when the egg's sac doesn't dissolved after being released. WebMD says other types of cysts include:
Polycystic ovaries. In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the follicles where the eggs normally mature fail to open, causing cysts to form. 
Endometriosis. In women with endometriosis, tissue from the lining of the uterus grows in other areas of the body. This includes the ovaries. It can be very painful and can affect fertility.
Cystadenomas. These cysts form out of cells on the surface of the ovary. They are often fluid-filled.
Dermoid cysts. This type of cyst has tissue similar to that in other parts of the body. That includes skin, hair, and teeth.
The Mayo Clinic explains that most cysts don't cause symptoms, and that they go away on their own. But, large ovarian cysts can cause discomfort in the abdomen as well as these other symptoms:
- Pelvic pain, like a dull ache that may radiate to your lower back and thighs
- Pelvic pain shortly before your period begins or just before it ends
- Pelvic pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Pain during bowel movements or pressure on your bowels
- Nausea, vomiting or breast tenderness like that experienced during pregnancy
- Fullness or heaviness in your abdomen
- Pressure on your bladder that causes you to urinate more frequently or have difficulty emptying your bladder completely
Some cysts are very severe, and it's important that you get medical attention right away if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Sudden, severe abdominal or pelvic pain
- Pain accompanied by fever or vomiting
These severe reactions could be signs of shock and may also include cold clammy skin, rapid breathing, lightheadedness, or weakness. If this is the case, see a doctor right away.
Treating ovarian cysts
A lot of times ovarian cysts heal on their own, so if one is discovered our doctor might recommend keeping a watchful eye on it. The Mayo Clinic says this means you might be reexamined again within a few weeks or months by using an ultrasound to determine how the cysts is progressing. 
Another option is birth control pills. The Mayo Clinic says birth control pills can reduce the chance of new cysts developing during menstrual cycles, so your doctor might consider this as an option for certain types of cysts and considering your other health needs.
Finally, surgery is also an option for removing large cysts that don't seem to be disappearing on their own, or are actually growing and causing pain.
There's no real way to prevent ovarian cysts from happening, but it's important that you go to your doctor regularly for pelvic exams that can help increase the diagnosis of cysts. It's also important to be aware of any changes in your cycle, including any new symptoms that come along with it. Be sure to discuss any changes in your cycle that concern you with your doctor.
Resources Mayo Clinic and WebMD

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