Functional Ovarian Cysts, and What You Need to Know About Them

Most functional ovarian cysts tend to either cause little or no noticeable symptoms for the majority of women who suffer from them (at first). However, they are actually present in a vast part of the female population, and usually go unnoticed for quite some time before they are eventually picked-up as being there.

What causes functional ovarian cysts?

There are two different types of functional ovarian cyst:

1. Follicular cysts – occur when one of the sacs on the ovary does not release an egg and swells up with fluid.

2. Luteal cysts – occur when one of the sacs on the ovary releases an egg, but re-seals causing it to swell up with fluid.

What are the symptoms of functional ovarian cysts?

Although most functional ovarian cysts tend to show no symptoms at all – as they grow larger certain symptoms may become apparent. Such symptoms may include:

1. Aches and pains in the lower part of the abdomen (often during the mid-part of the menstrual cycle).

2. An inhibited or delayed start to the menstrual period.

3. Breakthrough bleeding (an abnormal uterine bleeding that occurs between regular menstrual periods).

4. A sudden severe pain accompanied with nausea or vomiting (indicating either a twisted, or ruptured [broken open and bleeding] cyst).

5. Pain during or after sex (also indicating as previously stated, a twisted, or ruptured [broken open and bleeding] cyst).

Ruptured cysts can result in heavy blood-loss, and where medical attention should be sought as soon as possible if suspected.

How are functional ovarian cysts diagnosed?

Often this type of cyst is found on a routine examination, such as: a routine pelvic exam, and where a pelvic ultrasound may be used to indicate as to whether the cyst is filled with fluid or is solid. If the cyst is found to be fluid filled (functional) it is probable that it will go away on its own; however, it is usual for the doctor to recheck it again after 2 – 3 menstrual cycles.

How are functional ovarian cysts treated?

Most of the time functional ovarian cysts will go away on their own; however, if this is not the case, various forms of treatment may be recommended.

1. Hormone Treatment – usually in the form of being prescribed the birth-control pill to re-balance the hormonal in-balances that caused the formation of the cyst in the first place; thus, curing it (although this treatment is not always successful).

2. Surgical Removal – usually when the cyst has grown in size, causes severe pain, or is bleeding.

3. Homeopathy – usually not recommended by most doctors due to it being an alternative treatment; however, certain homeopathic remedies have shown a good degree of success in curing these types of cysts.

4. Chinese Medicine – also an alternative treatment method where an excellent degree of success has been shown in curing functional ovarian cysts, and a treatment that some conventional doctors may even discuss with their patients.