Ovarian Cyst Treatment in Auburn, AL
Your ovaries are almond-shaped glands that sit on either side of the uterus and are responsible for producing hormones—estrogen and progesterone—which play a key role in your reproductive abilities and overall wellness. The ovaries are also responsible for producing and releasing eggs into the reproductive tract during your menstrual cycle. One of the most common ovarian disorders you may experience in your lifetime is an ovarian cyst.
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac which develops in or on the ovaries. Most ovarian cysts are painless and resolve on their own; however, some women experience ovarian cysts which cause pain, discomfort or other gynecological complications like infertility. Ovarian cysts are caused by a number of factors including hormonal imbalances, irregular menstrual cycles, pelvic infections, smoking, obesity, endometriosis and pregnancy, but are treatable.
To schedule a consultation with a women's health professional in Auburn that specializes in ovarian cyst treatment, call (334) 781-7319 or contact Dr. Ryan McWhorter online.
Types of Ovarian Cysts
Most ovarian cysts are noncancerous; in rare cases cysts are malignant (cancerous) or may become cancerous over time. Functional ovarian cysts are the most common type of ovarian cyst and form during childbearing years (when a menstrual cycle is still present). They are classified either as a follicle or corpus luteum cyst.
A follicle cyst forms when the follicle—a tiny sac in which the egg grows—does not open to release the egg, causing fluid within the follicle to form into a cyst. A corpus luteum cyst forms when a follicle sac fails to shrink into a corpus luteum—a temporary mass of cells left after ovulation—after releasing an egg, causing fluid to build up as the sac reseals. Other forms of noncancerous ovarian cysts include:
- Dermoids: Present at birth, a dermoid cyst in the ovary typically consists of various tissues like hair, teeth and bone.
- Endometriomas: Caused by endometriosis, an endometrioma cyst occurs when tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows outside of it, attaching to the ovaries and leading to cyst formation.
- Cystadenomas: This type of ovarian cyst typically attaches itself to the ovary rather than growing within it and can become large in size.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can cause the formation of many small, benign ovarian cysts. PCOS can create many gynecological and overall health concerns like menstrual irregularity, weight gain and hormonal imbalances, and may lead to troubles with fertility if left untreated.
Ovarian Cyst Symptoms
Often, an ovarian cyst is asymptomatic, meaning that you do not experience any symptoms. In other cases, as an ovarian cyst grows, you may experience the following ovarian cyst symptoms:
- Bloating, swelling or pain in the lower abdomen
- Difficultly urinating
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Painful intercourse
- Lower back pain
Rarely, an ovarian cyst can rupture, and the fluid from within the cyst expels into the pelvic cavity. This ruptured ovarian cyst may cause severe abdominal or pelvic pain, dizziness or rapid breathing, and require immediate medical attention to ensure it is not a more serious condition such as appendicitis or an ectopic pregnancy.
Treating Ovarian Cysts
If you suspect you have an ovarian cyst, your healthcare provider can perform a pelvic examination to confirm its presence by checking for swelling on your ovary. Other tests that are helpful in diagnosing and evaluating your ovarian cysts include an ultrasound, and blood, urine and hormone level tests.
The treatment approach your healthcare provider takes for your ovarian cyst(s) will depend on your age, size of the cyst, pain levels and whether or not it is cancerous. If your cyst does not require surgery, common treatment plans include:
- Monitoring the cyst for change in size
- Hormonal birth control like the pill, vaginal ring, patch or shot
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Dietary changes to limit exposure to estrogens and xenoestrogens (endocrine disrupters that have estrogen-like effects) such as limiting soy intake and non-organic meat.
Should your ovarian cyst require surgery, your healthcare provider may recommend removing the cyst itself or the entire ovary. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure to remove a small, benign cyst which uses a thin, lighted tube guided through a small incision in the abdomen to remove the cyst. A laparotomy is a surgical procedure to remove larger cysts which may be cancerous. A laparotomy requires a larger surgical incision to remove the cyst. A biopsy is then performed on the cyst to determine if it is cancerous. If the cyst is malignant, your healthcare provider will discuss your options, which may include a hysterectomy to remove both the ovaries and the uterus.
Conditions relating to women's health are often ignored or overlooked. If you suspect you have an ovarian cyst, it is important to seek care from a medical professional to evaluate your overall gynecological health. Schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional in Auburn that specializes in ovarian cyst treatment today. Call (334) 781-7319 or contact Dr. Ryan McWhorter online.
Alabama Functional Medicine
Address7040 Sydney Curve
Montgomery, AL 36117
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