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Women's Health

Ovarian Cysts

07/13/2010

Question:

I`ve been having ovarian cysts since i was 11, the bigest one I`ve ever had was the size of an oringe. They have been becoming more offen in the passed few years.I can get one almost every month, and more offen they will rupture. The Doctors say that I would be in surgery to offen, to have it. I`ve been on 6 or 7 different birth controls,I`ve changed my diet, and everything that I could do. Now I am 18 and my Doctors are not shur what to for me. The pain has been really bad. I don`t think that I can keep going the way I am. I want and have been trying to have a normal life but they keep interfearing, I hope not to do anything to drastic, but I fear thats what I`ve been left with.

Answer:

Ovarian cysts are not necessarily a sign of anything wrong.  Every month when a woman ovulates, the egg cell forms within a cyst.  The cyst can grow up to 5cm (about the size of a plum) at the time of ovulation, at which time it ruptures, releasing the egg cell.  While some women feel some pain at the time of ovulation, most do not.  Occasionally, there can be severe pain when the rupture causes some bleeding into the abdominal cavity. 

Women who are disturbed by the pain of ovulation can be treated with any number of hormonal regimens that are used to stop the ovary from forming cysts; the birth control pill is the most common of these.  Sometimes when a woman has pain in the pelvic area, a doctor might attribute it to "cysts", when really there is another cause of the pain and the cysts are just there coincidentally.  The list of possible causes of pelvic pain (ovarian, uterine, bowel-related, urinary, muscular, neurological) is too broad to go into here, but a thorough evaluation by a specialist might help you narrow down the possible causes.

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Response by:

Jonathan  A Schaffir, MD Jonathan A Schaffir, MD
Clnical Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University