Ovarian cysts are very common in women of all ages, developing develop on one or more ovaries. They contain fluid and in most cases are completely harmless, often disappearing without the need for any treatment.
There are two types of ovarian cysts, the functional ovarian cyst and the pathological ovarian cyst. The first one is common and develops as part of the normal menstrual cycle; the second is due to abnormal cell growth but is usually not cancerous.
Most cysts do not have any symptoms, if they do it will be because some change has occured in the cyst, such as it splitting, growing too large or affecting the blood supply to the ovary.
Symptoms can include: pelvic pain, difficulty going to the loo, pain during sex, frequency of urination, changes in the menstrual cycle, bloating, indigestion, dizziness and tiredness. Although these symptoms can be indicators of other health conditions as well.
Most cysts require no treatment and they are simply monitored for any changes on a regular basis. However, where treatment is recommened, it will usually be to remove either the cyst or the cyst and ovary – which is performed will depend on the size of the cyst. Usually the removal is done by laparascopy or a laparotomy.