A fluid-filled tissue mass that develops as a result of normal ovarian function is known as an ovarian cyst. In most cases, these cysts are not harmful and typically disappear within a few months. Functional ovarian cysts form during the regular function of the ovaries and usually resolve on their own. However, pathological ovarian cysts that go unnoticed can persist for an extended period of time and may become cancerous if left unchecked. This article discusses whether some women are more likely to get an ovarian cyst and the risk factors that increase the likelihood of its occurrence.
Are some women more likely to get an ovarian cyst?
It is possible. There are certain risk factors which increase the likelihood of the occurrence of ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts are more common in the childbearing years between puberty and menopause. Ovarian cysts occur less frequently in women after menopause. However, postmenopausal women who do develop ovarian cysts are at a higher risk for ovarian cancer. Other risk factors include hormonal imbalance, age, PCOS, Endometriosis, pregnancy, and infertility treatment.
What are the predisposing factors for an ovarian cyst?
Several predisposing factors can increase the likelihood of developing an ovarian cyst. A few of these factors are as follows-
- Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, particularly an excess of estrogen or androgen, can disrupt the normal menstrual cycle and contribute to the development of ovarian cysts. The most common ones are functional cysts.
- Age: Ovarian cysts are very common in women of childbearing age but uncommon in women after menopause. However, young girls can get them, but this is fairly less common.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that can cause multiple cysts to form on the ovaries.
- Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. In some cases, it can cause ovarian cysts to form. These are called endometriomas.
- Pregnancy: Ovarian cysts are common during the early stages of pregnancy. However, in some cases, they can continue to grow later on as well.
- Previous ovarian cysts: Women who have had ovarian cysts in the past are at a higher risk of developing them again.
- Infertility treatments: Some fertility treatments that stimulate ovulation can increase the risk of developing ovarian cysts.
It’s important to note that in many cases, ovarian cysts are benign and don’t cause any symptoms or complications. However, if you have symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, or changes in menstrual bleeding, you must seek medical advice to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
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