Causes Of Endometrial Cyst: Symptoms And Treatment Options

Approximately 60 % of women who have endometriosis are known to develop cysts in the ovaries which may be just minuscule dots to as large as a tennis ball. When the cysts are small, the endometriosis growth looks like blood blisters and are usually, red-brown.

By and large, the cyst has a capsule around it.

The cysts are called endometriomas, endometrial cysts or chocolate cysts. These cysts are known to rupture. Even small cysts may break open and spill out their contents in to the pelvic cavity.  Cysts which do not rupture keep enlarging in the thickened capsule.

Signs And Symptoms Of Endometriosis Cyst

Endometrial cysts manifest as:

  • Pain during periods.
  • Pain during ovulation.
  • Pain during and / or after sexual intercourse.
  • Heavy bleeding during periods.
  • Spotting in between two periods.
  • Painful bowel movements.
  • IBS like symptoms – diarrhea alternating with constipation, nausea and vomiting and tummy cramps.
  • Body pain and tiredness.
  • Irregular periods
  • Painful urination
  • Infertility
  • Depression

In some cases, the cyst may grow quite painlessly, but in these cases the danger of rupture increases, given that the person is asymptomatic.  When huge cysts rupture, they produce symptoms of excruciating pain in the abdomen and shock which must be treated promptly with surgery.

Even a very small quantity of bloodshed during a cyst rupture will cause undue inflammation and pain. Smaller cyst ruptures more often than not occur during or just after a period, and are the chief suspect in triggering the pain of endometriosis.

What Causes Endometriosis?

The precise cause of endometriosis is not clear, however, possible explanations include:

  • Retrograde menstruation: In case the menstrual blood which contains endometrial cells flows backwards into the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity, instead of flowing outside, there is a risk of developing endometriosis. These endometrial cells adhere to the walls of the pelvis and grow.
  • Surgical scar implantation: After a hysterectomy or a C-section, the endometrial cells may stick on to the surgical incision.
  • Immune mechanism defect: The immune system may be unable to make out and destroy endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus.
  • Embryonic cell transformation: Hormones may convert embryonic cells into endometrial cell implants at puberty.

Treatment Options For Endometrial Cyst

Treatment is done with medications and / or surgery. The approach you and your doctor decide on, depends up on the intensity of symptoms and whether you hope to become pregnant. Conservative approaches are tried first, opting for surgical intervention as a last resort.

  • Pain medications: You will be given analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs to allay painful menstrual cramps.
  • Hormone therapy: Supplemental hormones are given to reduce or eliminate the pain of endometriosis. Hormone medications decelerate the tissue growth and prevent new implants of endometrial tissue. You may be prescribed contraceptives, patches or vaginal rings. These help decrease the pain of mild to moderate endometrial cysts.
  • Conservative surgery: If you are trying to conceive, surgery to get rid of as much endometriosis as possible whilst preserving the uterus and ovaries increases your chance of success.
  • Assisted reproductive technologies: Techniques such as in vitro fertilization to assist in pregnancy are preferable to conservative surgery. Your OB/GYN may recommend a reproductive technology in case conservative surgery fails to work.
  • Hysterectomy: In a severe case, surgery to excise the uterus and cervix as well as both ovaries is the best treatment. This is normally the last resort, especially for women still in their reproductive years.

It is essential that you confer with a physician with whom you feel comfortable. You may also want to get a second view before commencing any treatment to be absolutely certain that you know all of your options and the likely prognosis.