It is fairly common for most women to develop ovarian cysts. In many cases these cysts are relatively harmless, have no symptoms and will disappear without any specialized treatment. In some cases, however, a cyst is defined as a complex ovarian cysts. While these types of cyst are far less common they can be harmful to a womens health and need to be treated. Complex ovarian cysts are given this name because, in contrast to simple ovarian cysts, they are made up of solid and liquid elements. These growths fall into three main categories: cystadenomas, dermoid cysts and endometrioma.
A dermoid cyst develops from cells that produce human eggs, known as the ova. Since these are non-differentiated cells that can develop into any human tissue, dermoid cysts can contain a variety of tissue including hair, skin and teeth. Although dermoid cysts can be very painful as they grow larger and twist the ovaries, they are rarely cancerous.
A type of complex ovarian cyst which occurs when a woman has endometriosis is called an “endometrioma”. Women with endometriomas suffer from uterine cells that grow outside the uterus and become attached to their ovaries, creating a growth after several periods. An endometrial cyst could become very large, reaching the size of a tennis ball or even bigger. This disease may be partially blamed on genetics. The symptoms of endometriosis include painful periods, pain before or after one’s period or during intercourse, painful urination or bowel movements, general tiredness and erratic menstrual cycles.
Cystadenomas fall within the category of the complex ovarian cyst. They can cause intense pain if they become tangled in the ovary. There are two different types of Cystadenomas. A serous cystadenoma is generally somewhere between 2 to 6 inches in diameter and is filled with a thin liquid. A mucinous cystadenoma, on the other hand, is filled with a gluey, thick gelatinous liquid. The size of a mucinous cystadenoma can be anywhere from 6 to 12 inches in diameter.
Complex ovarian cysts may also manifest symptoms that mimic those of pregnancy: tender breasts, nausea and vomiting. If one experiences severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis, medical attention should be sought. Endometriosis or ectopic pregnancies can produce painful and noticeable symptoms similar to those of complex ovarian cysts. The symptoms are differentiated through pelvic pain, pain before or after menstrual periods, and pain during intercourse. They might also experience the absence of menstrual periods or unusual bleeding patterns.
Generally a pelvic examination is conducted to diagnose ovarian cysts. Pelvic ultrasounds can give a clearer picture of the diagnosis and confirm the condition. Doctors will often initiate a pregnancy test to eliminate pregnancy as the possible reason. They will also ask for blood tests to be conducted. Women who are diagnosed with complex ovarian cysts should be certain to get in touch with their physicians immediately any time they suffer intense pelvic or abdominal pain.
Complex ovarian cysts must be checked to determine whether they are cancerous or not. Complex ovarian cysts are not all always cancerous. However, a physician must determine whether cancer is present through testing. Doctors can include consideration of the patient’s age and symptoms in arriving at a diagnosis.