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Ovarian Symptom and Physiologic or Functional Cysts

Not Tumors and Certainly Not Cancer

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Updated April 10, 2014

Ovarian Cancers, Tumors OR ... Simply Cysts

Some ovarian masses are not tumors at all, rather they are cysts. This site mainly talks about cancerous tumors, but even noncancerous or benign tumors can be harmful and usually require surgery to remove them. All the medical or natural treatment in the world won't get rid of benign or cancerous tumors, BUT here's the good news. Almost 97% of ovarian masses, or suspected tumors, are "cysts" that you CAN get rid of and prevent "naturally." Here are some very common cysts and most asked questions about them.

Follicular Cysts

Follicular cysts are hands down the most frequent types of cysts that occur in the ovaries. These cysts can often be found more than one per ovary and measure from a few millimeters (tiny) to a 15-centimeter (6-inch) cyst. They are best diagnosed with ultrasound, because your doctor can see inside it to make sure there are no suspicious solid areas.

Why do follicular cysts form?


The short answer is, although we can explain what is going on, we don’t really know why it happens only some of the time. The long answer is beyond the scope of this article, but the details can be found in books on reproductive physiology. There are a lot of normal physiologic hormonal cycles in your body — many of which interact with each other. The main hormones, estrogen and progesterone, go up and down during the month in a very specific pattern. Slight changes in the timing of these cycling hormone levels can cause cysts to form.

What are the most common symptoms of follicular cysts?


In addition to the pain from fluid or blood leaking out and the abnormal uterine bleeding (abnormal periods), other symptoms can occur. Some of these are annoying, such as a pressure feeling in the pelvis, and some are basically surgical emergencies such as torsion (twisting of the ovary on it’s own blood supply), which is a wrenching pain that can double you over, cause nausea, then let go, only to repeat itself over an over. If this happens, you should act on it rapidly or you can lose one of your ovaries, because the blood supply to it is cut off.

How are follicular cysts treated?


The truth is that if you wait, almost all ovarian follicular cysts will just go away. Surgery is not needed in most cases, and most often your doctor will simply repeat the ultrasound in about 6 to 8 weeks. In the vast majority of cases, the cyst disappears on its own by silently leaking and rupturing.

What happens if the cyst does not go away?


While your doctor can take a good professional educated guess, there is no way to know for sure if the persistent ovarian cyst is a physiologic cyst or an ovarian tumor. There are some pretty good signs, though, that you have a cyst rather than a tumor. You do not want to miss the boat and be treating a “tumor” with natural means that will never work. You can even risk your life or at least cause a bigger surgery if you delay. So it’s VERY important to know which it is.

What about birth control pills?


Do they help treat functional follicular cysts? The short answer is no. They only help prevent future cysts from forming. How does this work? There is a complex reaction between your body and the synthetic hormones in birth control pills. They work. They do prevent cysts, just like they prevent pregnancy. There are also shortcomings of synthetic hormones, and it’s important to know those as well so that you can make the best decision for YOUR body. Unfortunately, at this time, there are no "bio-identical" or natural birth control pills.

  1. About.com
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  3. Ovarian Cancer
  4. Ovarian Cancer Basics
  5. Ovarian Symptoms and Treatment for Painful Ovarian Cysts

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