You went to the doctor for a normal health checkup. In the ultrasound, they found some growth on your ovaries. Now till the next visit to your doctor, you are all worried about what it could be. Is the growth too big to cause an effect on the surrounding organs? Will it cause fertility issues? What exactly is that growth?
When a fluid accumulates within a membrane in or on your ovaries, it forms an ovarian cyst. It is similar to a blister. Based on the size and some other factors there are different types of cysts. The symptoms and effects also vary according to it.
This topic gives insights into the symptoms, what size of the cyst is normal and what will be harmful. Also, it talks about the effects on your fertility, and what are the possible treatments available. Some growths can cause a threat to your life or harm your reproductive organs. Keep reading to identify when ovarian cyst can become a concern.
Fluid-filled sacs formed in or outside the ovaries is an ovarian cysts. They usually form around the time of ovulation. Most of the cysts are benign, which is non-cancerous. It is different from abscesses as it does not contain pus. Ovarian cyst size can range from less than 1 cm to greater than 10 cm. It can even be as big as over 15 cm.
Types of ovarian cysts and sizes
There are various types of ovarian cysts. The most common one is the functional or ovulatory cyst. Functional cysts further have two types. These are the follicle and the corpus luteum cysts. Some of the rare types are endometriomas, dermoids, and cystadenomas. Malignant or cancerous cysts are the rarest type. This is more common in older women.
Functional Cysts -Functional cysts may come with the menstrual cycle. The size of the functional cyst can vary between 2 to 5 cm. However, some may reach sizes up to 8 to 12 cm. They have no symptoms. Generally, they do not need any treatment and get cured on their own. The two types of functional cysts are: -
Follicle cysts-The follicle is a tiny sac inside which the egg grows. Every month the follicle breaks open and releases the egg. If it does not do so it continues to grow into a cyst. This type of cyst goes away within three months or so.
Corpus luteum cysts-The ovaries produce eggs alternatively every month. So, when the other empty follicle sac instead off shrinking gets sealed and starts to collect fluid it becomes a corpus luteum cyst. These cysts can grow up to 10 cm.
Endometriomas -These are the cysts caused by endometriosis. Endometriosis happens when the lining that is usually inside the uterus grows outside it. these tissues can get attached to the ovaries and result in cysts. Almost 7 out of 10 women with endometriosis may have this ovarian cyst.
Dermoid cysts-it is also called teratomas. This type of cyst is also a type of ovarian tumour. These are quite benign. They are present from birth and grow during the reproductive years. The growth rate of these cysts is around 0.18 cm. Some studies have reported that it can grow rapidly up to 0.8 or 2.5 cm per year. The largest one reported to date is over 15 cm in diameter. This type can cause complications if the cyst’s diameter increases.
Cystadenomas-These are non-cancerous growth on the surface of the ovaries. They are filled with either watery or mucus-like liquid. They are often mistaken as functional cysts initially. These cysts keep on getting bigger rapidly. They may initially be around 1 to 3 cm but later some may even become as big as a football.
We can easily detect something is wrong when the cyst is big. But what about the cases where they are around 3 to 4 cm. Keep an eye out for these symptoms. Immediately contact your healthcare provider if you face any of these symptoms.