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.

Introduction to Ovarian Cysts

Cysts are mostly considered like and confused with abscess but technically, cysts are closed sacs and may contain air, fluids or semi-solid material. If it is collection pus, it is not a cyst but an abscess. On the formation of a cyst, it has to be removed through a surgery if it does not go away on its own.

The ovarian cysts are the cysts that develop in ovaries of women. They are small fluid-filled sacs, which are generally harmless but they may cause problems like bleeding, rupturing or pain and then, surgery may be needed for its removal. One should be aware of the function of ovaries and the formation of cysts.

Women have two ovaries that store and release eggs, at each side of the uterus. One ovary produces one egg each month which is described as the monthly menses cycle. The lining of these ovaries may develop some cysts which may go away on their own or may have to be removed by surgery. The ultrasound image of the ovaries resembles cysts as bubbles and it contains only fluid, surrounded by very thin wall, known as functional or simple cyst.

Women of all age can get affected by ovarian cysts and mostly all of them are functional. They are mostly benign which means they disappear on their own and they are not cancerous and occur normally so they are not a part of any disease. Ovarian cysts occur mostly during a woman’s childbearing years. There are types of ovarian cysts and some of them are:

Follicular cyst is a simple cyst which usually gets formed in the time of ovulation and its rupture can create severe pain on the side of the ovary on which the cyst forms. The sharp pain occurs during the menstrual cycle while the ovulation is taking place. Only one-fourth of women with this type of cyst experience pain and the cysts produce no symptoms and disappear on their own.

Hemorrhagic cyst is functional which occurs when bleeding happens within a cyst. It may also happen that symptoms like abdominal pain may be present with it. Dermoid cyst is a benign tumor also referred to as mature cystic teratoma. It affects younger women and is abnormal in nature. Dermoid cysts can contain other type’s body tissues growth like fat, hair, bone or cartilage. The ultrasound of such a cyst may vary but its MRI and CT scan can show fat and dense calcifications. These cysts can also become inflamed and ovarian torsion can also occur, compromising the blood supply and severe abdominal pain.

One can obtain more information on different types of ovarian cysts with the help of online healthcare services.