Ovarian Cysts

Most women develop ovarian cysts over their lifetime, but in most cases, the cysts naturally shrink and disappear. In some women, however, ovarian cysts cause pain and bloating. The doctors at Hill Country OB/GYN provide the highest level of medical care, and they’re experts in minimally invasive surgery, should that be needed to treat your ovarian cysts. If you have questions about your health, call one of the offices in Austin and Dripping Springs, Texas.

Ovarian Cysts Q&A

+ What are Ovarian Cysts?

Ovarian cysts are small, fluid-filled sacs that develop inside or on the surface of your ovaries. You can have cysts in one or both ovaries. Ovarian cysts are rarely cancerous. One type of ovarian cyst, called a functional cyst, occurs during your normal menstrual cycle. It develops when a follicle inside the ovary continues to grow rather than break down. This type of cyst shrinks within two or three menstrual cycles without causing health problems.

Other types of cysts can become large, cause pain, or lead to health problems. A few examples include:

  • Dermoid cysts: contain tissue such as skin and hair
  • Cystadenomas: filled with mucus and may become quite large
  • Endometriomas: abnormal growths of uterine tissue on your ovaries

You may have a higher risk of developing cysts if you’re pregnant or you have endometriosis or a pelvic infection.

+ What are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts?

You won’t have symptoms if your cysts are small. As they get larger, you’ll experience:

  • Pelvic pain (in your lower abdomen)
  • Bloating
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pain during menstrual periods
  • Frequent urination
  • A backache

A ruptured ovarian cyst can cause sudden, severe abdominal pain or abdominal pain with a fever. When these symptoms develop, seek immediate medical attention because ruptured cysts may cause severe internal bleeding.

+ What is the Difference Between Ovarian Cysts and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Having ovarian cysts doesn’t mean you have PCOS — the two conditions aren’t related and come from different causes.

Women with PCOS produce more androgens (male hormones) than normal, which affects their ovaries and causes symptoms such as ovarian cysts, irregular or absent periods, and excess body or facial hair.

+ How are Ovarian Cysts Treated?

If you don’t have symptoms, your doctor at Hill Country OB/GYN may recommend monitoring the cysts to see if they grow or shrink. Hormonal medications can help prevent future cysts, but they won’t shrink existing cysts.

You may need surgery to remove the cysts when they’re large or cause pain. The doctors at Hill Country OB/GYN are highly experienced in minimally invasive surgery to remove cysts while preserving your ovaries.

The procedure, a laparoscopic cystectomy, is performed through a few small incisions, which causes less postoperative pain, allows for a quick recovery, and leaves minimal scarring.

Don’t wait for your symptoms to worsen, call Hill Country OB/GYN today.