Most women develop ovarian cysts during their reproductive years; fortunately, many of these cysts largely go unnoticed. In fewer than 10% of cases, however, the cysts become problematic and require treatment. At OBGYN Westside, PLLC, the team of board-certified OB/GYNs has considerable experience helping women on the Upper West Side of New York City, manage troublesome ovarian cysts. For more information, please call or use the online booking feature.
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on your ovaries. There are many types of ovarian cysts, most of which are completely benign (non cancerous).
The two main types of ovarian cysts are functional cysts (i.e., they result from the “function” of your menstrual cycle) and nonfunctional ovarian cysts.
Functional cysts include follicular and corpus luteum cysts, while nonfunctional cysts are endometriomas (or “chocolate” cysts), dermoid cysts, and cysts that may be worrisome for precancer or cancer.
The vast majority of cysts are benign and functional.
Most ovarian cysts don’t present any outward symptoms and resolve themselves without you ever becoming aware of the condition. In fewer than 10% of cases, however, the cyst may not resolve itself and lead to:
If your cyst ruptures or twists around your ovary, you will likely experience severe pain and you should seek immediate treatment, but this is a relatively rare occurrence.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is different from functional cysts and is caused by a hormonal imbalance that leads to the formation of many small cysts on your ovaries that can interfere with their function. In fact, PCOS is the most common hormonal imbalance in women, and is one of the leading causes of infertility.
PCOS is strongly associated with high insulin levels and obesity and is linked to diabetes, hypertension, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Because PCOS is a hormonal problem, your symptoms have little to do with the cysts, but more to do with imbalanced hormones, and include:
If you have problematic ovarian cysts, your doctor at OBGYN Westside manages the condition through vigilant oversight and may recommend hormonal medications to prevent new cysts from forming.
If your cyst is large, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove it, but this is an uncommon development.
If you are diagnosed with PCOS, your doctor will work with you closely to first help you understand this complex condition and then manage it.
PCOS responds often to lifestyle and nutritional management and the effects can be reversed with proper guidance. Some women may need hormonal balancing or additional therapies, and those seeking pregnancy have a number of different options as well.
It is important to understand PCOS and gain the tools to improve it as it has such wide-ranging effects on your total health.
At OBGYN Westside, the team is committed to helping each patient with PCOS optimize not just their reproductive wellbeing, but also their overall health and vitality.
For more information about ovarian cysts and PCOS, please call OBGYN Westside or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.
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