Q:

What does an ovarian cyst look like?

A:

According to the Center for Menstrual Disorders and Reproductive Choice, ovarian cysts range in size from small to large and are similar in appearance to minuscule balloons. Functional ovarian cysts are considered a normal part of the ovulation process. The cysts develop on the ovaries during ovulation and typically rupture on their own. Pathological ovarian cysts are considered abnormal and usually require medical treatment.

WebMD explains that types of nonfunctional ovarian cysts include dermoid cysts, cystadenomas and endometriomas. Dermoid cysts often contain skin cells, hair and teeth. Cystadenomas develop on the external cells of the ovaries and typically contain fluid. Endometriomas are painful cysts that present on the uterine linings in women who suffer from endometriosis.

Mayo Clinic notes that ovarian cysts are common and many types of cysts do not cause painful symptoms. However, ruptured or large cysts can cause symptoms such as nausea, bloating, bladder distension, difficulty when urinating, swollen breasts, painful bowel movements and back pain. Mayo Clinic also explains that it is important for women to seek immediate medical attention if they experience abrupt symptoms such as intense pelvic pain, vomiting or fever, as well as symptoms of shock that include weakness, accelerated breathing and dizziness.

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    What is the function of an ovarian follicle?

    A:

    Ovarian follicles store female egg cells and produce the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone, the Mayo Clinic states. Follicles grow every month, and during a woman's menstrual cycle a mature egg is released for potential fertilization.

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    What is the treatment for ovarian fibroids?

    A:

    Functional ovarian cysts are typically monitored through ultrasounds and often resolve themselves within two menstrual cycles, according to Mommy Docs. Taking birth control pills helps to prevent functional ovarian cysts from forming by stifling ovulation. Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can be taken to treat accompanying pain. In more severe cases, ovarian cysts pose a cancer threat and may require surgical removal.

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    What causes ovarian cysts?

    A:

    The most common type of ovarian cyst, called a functional cyst, is formed during ovulation when either the egg isn't released or the follicle, or sac, doesn't dissolve after the egg is released. Cysts, or fluid-filled sacs that form in the ovaries, are very common in women of child-bearing age, according to WebMD. Other cysts develop from unopened follicles or from cells on the surface of the ovary.

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    What is the treatment for a bartholin cyst?

    A:

    A Bartholin's cyst does not require treatment if symptoms are not present. According to the Mayo Clinic, soaking in a tub filled with a few inches of warm water can help the cyst to rupture and drain. Another treatment involves surgery, such as marsupialization, to drain the infected cyst. Antibiotics are prescribed if the cyst is not drained or if the patient has an STI.

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