An ovarian cyst is a pouch or pocket that is filled with fluid; present within or on the exterior aspect of the ovary. A lot of women have ovarian cysts at some time during their lives; however, most cysts are harmless and have no presenting feature. A majority of the ovarian cysts fade away without any treatment within a couple of months; only a very small percentage of ovarian cysts may bleed.
Women have 2 ovaries situated on either side of the uterus. Eggs form and mature in the ovaries and get discharged in the monthly cycle during the childbearing years. For the most part, cysts present with little or no pain and symptoms and are not dangerous. They tend to go away without treatment within a few months.
On the other hand, ovarian cysts that rupture produce serious symptoms, such as hemorrhage. Thus, you should know the symptoms that may indicate a major problem, and ensure that you arrange regular pelvic exams.
Hemorrhagic Ovarian Cyst Causes
- Functional cysts
Ovaries normally grow cyst-like structures called follicles every month which release estrogen and progesterone hormones and discharge an egg during ovulation.
A follicular functional cyst develops when something goes wrong and the follicle fails to rupture and release the egg. In its place, it enlarges and becomes a cyst. When a follicle fails to discharge the egg, the ruptured follicle secretes estrogen and progesterone in preparation for conception. This changed follicle is called the corpus luteum. Now and then, the escape opening of the egg closes, and fluid builds up in the follicle, forming a cyst. Functional cysts are not dangerous, hardly ever causing pain and bleeding.
- Dermoid cysts may enclose skin, hair or teeth given that they emerge from cells which give rise to eggs.
- Cystadenomas develop from ovarian tissue and may be filled with mucus.
- Endometriomas develop due to endometriosis; some of that tissue may get attached to the ovary and form a cyst.
- Dermoid cysts and cystadenomas increase the chances of painful twisting of the ovary and hemorrhage.
Symptoms Of Hemorrhagic Ovarian Cyst
A good number of cysts do not cause any symptoms and tend to disappear on their own. A big cyst can trigger pain and discomfort. In case a cyst ruptures and bleeds, it can even become life threatening.
Commonly seen symptoms are:
- Menstrual irregularities.
- Pain and discomfort in the pelvis which radiates to the thighs and lower back.
- Pain before period or just before it ends.
- Pain in the pelvis.
- Pain during bowel movements.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Sensation of fullness in the abdomen.
- Severe sudden bleeding can cause shock.
- Slow bleeding will reduce hemoglobin level.
Hemorrhagic Ovarian Cyst Treatment
Treatment depends up on the age, size and type of cyst, and the clinical picture.
- In most cases, your doctor will ask you to wait and watch. Characteristically, this is an option; not considering the age. Your gynecologist will advocate that you get a follow-up ultrasound to see whether the cyst has changed in size.
- Your health care provider may advise birth control pills to lessen the risk of new cysts appearing. Oral contraceptives decrease your risk of ovarian cancer as well.
- In case of a very large cyst, which keeps growing and bleeding, and persists through 3 menstrual cycles, surgery is recommended. Cystectomy or excision of the cyst needs to be carried out. In some instances, your gynecologist may propose that you remove the affected ovary in a practice known as oophorectomy. If the mass is malignant, your doctor will recommend a hysterectomy.