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OBGYN – Ovarian Cysts: Causes and Treatments
Anytime a woman is experiencing unusual pain in the abdomen, it is important to see an OBGYN. It could be an ovarian cyst or something more serious. Ovarian cysts can be painful. Sometimes, the pain from these cysts is so intense that women have to take time off work or stay home from activities. It is important to get checked out whenever experiencing pain in the abdomen, particularly if it is severe or has lasted more than a couple of days.
Ovarian cysts are not unusual
Ovarian cysts are common. According to the Mayo Clinic, most women will experience at least one ovarian cyst in their lifetime. However, not all women will be aware of them.
Many ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms and are therefore relatively harmless. However, some cysts can cause pain and a sense of fullness in the abdomen. Women with ovarian cysts may also notice more bloating than normal. An OBGYN can confirm an ovarian cyst and provide treatment options.
Anytime a woman suspects a cyst and suddenly has severe pain, vomiting, or a fever, it is imperative to seek emergency treatment. If the cyst is large, surgery may be required, and there is a chance that the ovary will have to be removed.
Most of the time, ovarian cysts are the result of the monthly menstrual cycle. Cysts can also develop due to hormonal imbalances. Ovarian cysts are rarely cancerous, but anyone who develops cysts post-menopause is at a higher risk.
Women of childbearing age are the most likely to develop ovarian cysts. Those who have had one in the past are more likely to develop more in the future. Endometriosis, which is a condition causing uterine tissue to grow outside the uterus, can increase the risk as well.
An OBGYN will likely do a pelvic exam and order an ultrasound if a cyst is suspected. This can also help eliminate other more serious possibilities, such as an ectopic pregnancy. An ultrasound and exam can also show the size of the cyst and help the OBGYN diagnose the type of cyst. Blood tests can also be run to determine the risk of ovarian cancer if it runs in the family or if the cyst looks like it could be malignant.
When the cyst is not causing severe pain or any other complications, the health care provider sometimes waits a few months to see if the cyst goes away on its own. Birth control pills may help prevent cysts from forming in the future, which can be helpful for women with recurring problems. However, according to American Family Physician, this does not help with current cysts. In some cases, an OBGYN may suggest surgery to get rid of the cyst if it is causing problems or looks suspicious.
Ovarian cysts can be harmless, but they can also cause pain and internal bleeding. For this reason, it is vital to contact an OBGYN when experiencing pain in the abdomen. Getting a proper diagnosis can determine the treatment options and avoid complications.
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