Chicago gynecologist explains when to see a specialist about your Ovarian Cyst
The ovaries are two oval-shaped organs on either side of the uterus. They hold the eggs as they develop and then release one each month during ovulation. Small, fluid-filled sacs called cysts can develop on the ovaries. Usually, an ovarian cyst is not a cause of concern. However, patients who experience symptoms or have a large cyst need medical intervention. The Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. team in Chicago, Illinois, provides treatment for ovarian cysts and explains when to see a specialist for treatment.
Understanding ovarian cysts
An ovarian cyst is a small sac of fluid that forms in or on one of the ovaries. Usually, cysts form without causing symptoms and are only 1-2 cm in diameter. Functional cysts are the most common. These form during a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle and disappear within two or three menstrual cycles.
When to see a specialist
The majority of ovarian cysts are not problematic. Many women develop an ovarian cyst at some point in their lives yet are unaware of the occurrence. These cysts do not cause problems and disappear on their own without treatment.
However, a cyst can grow and cause pain. Symptoms of a large ovarian cyst include:
- Pelvic pain
- Abdominal fullness or bloating
- Pain during sex
- Frequent urge to urinate
Patients who experience sudden, severe abdominal pain, fever and vomiting, lightheadedness, and fast breathing, should contact their specialist immediately for emergency attention. These may be signs of an infection or a ruptured cyst.
Treatment for ovarian cysts in Chicago, IL
Most of the time, a cyst does not require treatment. If an ovarian cyst does not go away on its own, if it gets large, or has concerning features on ultrasound a gynecologist may monitor it or it may need to be removed. Pain medication may help if the cyst is causing pain. Patients prone to ovarian cysts may take birth control to prevent future cysts. If a cyst is large or at risk of causing torsion or rupturing or looks concerning on ultrasound, laparoscopic surgery may be recommended.