We resolve the source of pain and other symptoms promptly and detect asymptomatic cysts proactively
Pain. Each of us experiences discomfort differently. Some of us have higher tolerances for pain than others. Generally, pain is your body’s way of saying, “I’m hurt.” The nervous system produces pain sensations to protect you from behaviors that may lead to severe injuries. Additionally, pain can aid in detecting underlying health problems.
Gynecological problems may be associated with discomfort, including ovarian cysts. A cyst forms in (or on) an ovary. These common, fluid-filled sacs or pouches are often non-cancerous.
Northwestern Women’s Health Associates in Chicago, Illinois, accurately pinpoints sources of pain and other symptoms. If cysts are the cause, treatment varies depending on the nature and type of cyst present. Our associates may recommend the removal of the cyst. Even benign cysts can affect your quality of life. So, we may warrant removal.
Potential signs of ovarian cysts
Functional cysts, the most common type, may be “silent” or asymptomatic. They may go away on their own in around six to eight weeks (or within one to two menstrual cycles). Teratomas are benign cysts that contain different bodily tissues, such as the skin. Women may be born with them. They tend to grow during the reproductive years and rarely become cancerous. Cystadenomas are cysts that form on the outer surfaces of the ovaries. While benign, they can be problematic as they may grow quite large. Cysts may also develop as a complication of endometriosis. These endometriomas form on the ovaries from endometrial tissue. Filled with old blood, endometrial cysts may grow and rupture.
Cyst pain may be described as either a sharp or dull ache in the abdomen. Depending on the type of cyst present, some women may experience pain during certain activities; for example, dyspareunia is defined as “recurring pain in the genitals or pelvis during sex.” Pain may be sharp or intense and can occur before, during, or after sex. Some women with cyst-related pain also describe the pain and a feeling of fullness during bowel movements or before or after their periods.
Large cysts produce characteristic pain. Since a large cyst can result in the ovary becoming twisted, pain may be isolated to one side of the body, start suddenly, and may come and go periodically. Severe pain that comes on without warning may be a red flag that the cyst has bled or ruptured.
Trust our expertise
We want every woman to get into a healthy habit of regular “well” visits to our office. We can apply our knowledge and advanced diagnostics to identify cysts and other problems you didn’t know you had, as they may have produced subtle (if any) symptoms. If we find a cyst, it may be monitored during follow-up exams. We are looking for any changes to the size and overall appearance of the cyst. As noted, cysts can subside seemingly as quickly as they appear. Surgical removal of the cyst (a cystectomy) may be warranted in cases of large cysts or symptoms such as pain or continued growth, or when a patient’s family has a history of ovarian or breast cancer(s).
Women throughout the Chicago area turn to Northwestern Women’s Health Associates as true partners to support their long, full lives and overall quality of life. Request an appointment by calling 312-440-9400. Or, for your convenience, you may book an appointment online.