Many women will develop a simple or complex ovarian cyst at some point in their life. Most cysts will cause only minimal discomfort and are basically harmless. Many types of cysts will disappear on their own in two to three months and will not require treatment.
Complex Ovarian Cyst: A Look at Simple Cysts
An ovarian cyst is a sac that’s filled with solid or liquid material, or both. These cysts are found inside an ovary or they can grow on top of an ovary. They can be a complex ovarian cyst or a simple ovarian cyst. Cysts that are filled with fluid are simple. The two types of simple cysts are known as corpus luteum and graafian follicular cysts. The graafian follicle cyst is by far the most common type. These cysts develop if an egg isn’t properly released when a woman ovulates. They will grow quickly, lasting only one to two months. Typically, a woman will not know that she has this type of cyst because there are usually no symptoms and they completely vanish within a couple of months. Corpus luteum cysts can also develop if an egg fails to release properly. This type of cyst is larger than the graafian and has thinner walls, which means it’s more likely to rupture. After it has ruptured the cyst will release fluids into the ovary. Three to four months later the cyst will reabsorb into the system.
Common Types of Complex Cysts
The complex ovarian cyst contains liquid and solid materials. The most common types of complex cysts are known as dermoid and endometriomas. The dermoid cyst consists of a sac that’s filled with pieces of hair and skin, teeth and even pieces of bone. This kind is rarely cancerous, but if they grow too large they can cause the ovaries to move out of place, causing abdominal pain in the patient.
An endometrial cyst contains old blood that has become thick and jelly-like. The development of this type of cyst is due to the condition known as endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition that involves the lining of the womb growing in other areas of the body. This condition can commonly develop after a woman has delivered an infant via C-section. Patches will begin to form on the ovaries, which creates cysts. These cysts usually only bleed during menstruation. Because there is no place for the blood to drain, the cyst will grow large in size, causing heavy vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain and cramping and severe headaches.
Cystadenoma cysts are another common type of growth and they can be filled with mucous-like material or watery liquid. They can grow more than a foot long. These cysts typically do not cause any symptoms, but if they rupture or become twisted they can cause extreme pain, requiring emergency surgery.
One of the most painful types of growths is referred to as the hemorrhagic cysts. These cysts develop when blood vessels on the cyst rupture, draining blood into the cyst. This will release blood back into the ovary, causing pain. In extreme cases, surgery is required.
While many types of cysts are common and relatively harmless, annual gynecological checkups are necessary in order to manage extreme cases.