What it is
An ovarian cyst is typically a follicular sac which as collected fluid within it and enlarged instead of dissolving. In some cases it may also be follicle which has failed to release the mature egg. In both cases these ovarian cysts are classified as functional cysts. Functional ovarian cysts are benign and do not pose as a threat. These can be left without any treatment and it disappears in three weeks to a few month’s time. However, in some cases ovarian cysts may grow at a place that blocks blood flow or be malignant containing cancerous cells. When this happens there is a need for the ovarian cyst to be treated.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Since most functional ovarian cysts present themselves as asymptomatic, it is not diagnosed, but for those ovarian cysts that may present themselves with symptoms doctors can diagnose this either with a pelvic exam, ultrasound or both. Pelvic exams are routine examinations which allow physicians to feel for masses within the vagina. In some cases a rectovaginal exam may be done. Ultrasounds can also be done. This can be performed either through a trans-abdominal ultrasound or a trans-vaginal ultrasound. This allows doctors to see the images and growths if there are any within the pelvic region.
For patients who are in their reproductive years and are asymptomatic doctors may opt for a watchful waiting treatment wherein the ovarian cysts are monitored over a three month period through ultrasounds to see whether or not they will reduce in size or dissolve on their own. If an ovarian cyst is able to reduce its size to less than 2 cm, or is eliminated completely then there is no need for other treatments.
Oral contraceptives, in the form of birth control pills may be prescribed to reduce the appearance of new ovarian cysts; because oral contraceptives prevent the onset of monthly menstruation cycles the productions of ovarian cysts are reduced. This however, can be more of a precaution rather than a treatment.
A form of surgery called oophorectomy can be performed to remove ovarian cysts, by removing one or both ovaries. Such a procedure can permanently alter the hormone production of a woman’s body this id often considered a last resort treatment.
Medical treatments for ovarian cysts may be very limited. This is why a number of women have turned to natural treatments that are both healing and preventive. Natural treatments may include the intake of antioxidant supplements like zinc, black currant oil, borage oil, vitamins E, A and C and evening primrose oil. Herbs like false unicorn root and blue cohosh can also be used for treatment. Natural pills, powders and liquids that contain plant, animal and mineral extracts are also used as homeopathic treatments.
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