Ovarian cysts occur normally due to hormonal changes and resolve on their own. However, sometimes, few risk factors, such as PCOS, endometriosis, etc., increases the chances of their occurrence.
Why do ovarian cysts occur?
Ovarian cysts are of various types, and their etiology differs as per their type. Broadly, they are classified into functional cysts and pathological cysts.
Functional ovarian cysts are non-cancerous and harmless. Sometimes, they can cause pelvic pain. These are associated with the menstrual cycle. This occurs when a woman has not been through menopause. If, during a menstrual cycle, a follicle doesn’t release an egg or does not discharge its fluid and shrinks after the egg is released, it becomes a cyst. In most cases, they disappear in a few months without needing any treatment.
Pathological cysts are usually non-cancerous. However, sometimes, these can be cancerous. They are caused by abnormal cell growth and are unrelated to the menstrual cycle. These can develop before and after menopause.
They can occur from either the cells used to create eggs or the cells that cover the outer part of the ovary and may block the blood supply to the ovaries. These are surgically removed.
Are ovarian cysts normal?
Ovarian cysts are the fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries. They commonly occur in women of all ages. These cysts often develop due to normal hormonal changes during puberty or menopause. In some rare cases, they are already present at birth. Most of them form during ovulation. The most common type, functional cysts, form during the menstrual cycle.
Certain factors that increase the risk of developing ovarian cysts are hormone changes, consumption of fertility drugs, pregnancy, endometriosis and a severe pelvic infection that spreads to your ovaries.
Can ovarian cysts be harmful?
Sometimes. In most cases, ovarian cysts resolve on their own and do not always require treatment. In premenopausal women, they usually resolve within a few months without treatment. But, in postmenopausal women, they are less likely to resolve, which can make ovarian cysts dangerous. If these cysts are painful, malignant or large in size, then surgical removal of the cyst or the entire ovary is needed.
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