Every woman is endowed with two ovaries on either side of the uterus. The ovaries secrete the female hormones and also bear the eggs.
The ovaries are a pair of small, almond-shaped organs in the female reproductive system. They are present in the female pelvis on the right and left of the uterus. They are responsible for releasing an egg on a monthly basis during a woman’s reproductive years. One other important function of the ovaries is to produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are necessary for a woman’s menstrual cycle, pregnancy, if present, body shape, bone health and overall health.
Functional Ovarian Cysts
Before the egg is released from the ovary, it forms a small fluid-filled sac called a follicle. If the follicle does not break open and the fluid is not released, a follicular ovarian cyst may develop. If the follicle reseals after it bursts and the fluid re-accumulates, a corpus luteum cyst will form. Bleeding inside the follicle results in a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst. These types of cysts are called functional cysts, as they may develop monthly during the normal function of the ovary. Functional cysts are the most common types of ovarian cysts, and they usually resolve within one to two months.
Benign Ovarian cysts
Ovarian cysts that are not part of a menstrual cycle are known as ovarian tumors. Some tumors can be cystic or filled with fluid, some can be solid, and some can have both cystic and solid components. Ovarian tumors usually do not resolve and require surgical removal.
Parijatham Clinics & The Surgical Centre – Our specialists are rated as Best Ovarian Cyst Specialists based on thier more than 20 years of Experience in Laparoscopy and Gynaecological Surgery.
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Benign Ovarian Mass
- Dermoid Tumor – This tumor is also known as a Mature Cystic Teratoma and has both a cystic and solid component. It is filled with tissue from other parts of the body such as hair, teeth and fat. These tumors most commonly occur in teenage girls and young women.
- Mucinous Cystadenoma – This is an ovarian cyst that contains mucous material. It is the most common benign ovarian tumor and can grow very large.
- Serous Cystadenoma – This is an ovarian cyst that contains clear yellow fluid.
- Endometrioma – This is also known as chocolate cyst. It is filled with endometriotic fluid, which has a thick brown consistency.
- Fibroma – This is a solid ovarian tumor resembling a fibroid. It can often be mistaken for a pedunculated fibroid on the ultrasound or MRI.
A pelvic mass is a general term for any growth or tumor on the ovary or in the pelvis. A pelvic mass from ovary can be cystic (cystadenoma), solid (fibroma), or both (dermoid). A pelvic mass can be benign or malignant.
Do remember that pelvic masses can arise from other structures in the pelvis like intestines, soft tissue etc.
Ovarian cancers also present as masses from the ovaries. Most common form ovarian cancer is commonly seen in women after 50 years. But germ cell tumors occur in young girls and women under 30 years.
These tumors present as solid masses causing abdominal discomfort and sometimes in an emergency due to torsion or rupture.
Differentiation from benign non malignant masses of the ovary is based on radiology, blood tests and sometimes only after surgery. It is important to get evaluated by Ovarian Cyst Specialists
Blood markers like Ca125, Bhcg and AFP etc are commonly done when ovarian masses look suspicious.
WHAT ARE COMMON SYMPTOMS THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE WITH AN OVARIAN CYST OR PELVIC MASS?
In most cases, ovarian cysts are small, harmless and produce no symptoms. In other cases, cysts may cause problems if they get larger, if they twist (ovarian torsion), or if they burst and cause internal bleeding. Immediate attention and treatment is then needed. If you have an ovarian cyst, you might experience any of the following symptoms:
- Menstrual irregularities or abnormal bleeding
- Dull ache in your lower back or thighs
- Pelvic pain shortly before or after the beginning of your menstrual cycle
- Pelvic pain with intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Fullness or heaviness in your abdomen
- Nausea, vomiting or bloating
- Pressure on your bowel or pain during bowel movements
- Difficulty emptying your bladder completely
It is always important to remember that some ovarian cysts may be cancerous. Although very rare in younger women during their reproductive years, the risk of ovarian cancer increases with age.
The surgeons at Parijatham have a niche focus: techniques for GYN surgery that facilitate optimal care and rapid recovery. Because we are so focused on GYN surgery, and with additional expertise on gynaecological cancers, we are better prepared in case the ovarian mass is maligant!
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