An ovarian cyst is a condition that happens commonly across many women. They are fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovaries, the essential organs of the female reproductive system. These organs produce the egg that needs to be fertilized for reproduction while also creating the various hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cysts occur naturally and usually go away in a couple of months without the need for any treatment. Yet the formation of these cysts could signal a potential imbalance in the normal functioning of the ovaries and other major organs of the female reproductive system.

In general, ovarian cysts are of two types:

∙        Functional ovarian cysts – This is the most common type. Developed along with the menstrual cycle and are generally harmless.

∙        Pathological ovarian cysts – These are rare and form because of abnormal cellular growth. They are usually cancerous.


Most of the cysts occurring inside the ovaries are not harmful and are naturally removed in a few months’ time. Their lack of any noticeable symptoms is one of the main reasons for their low detection rates in common medical examinations. The presence of ovarian cysts manifests itself as a symptom only if they rupture or break open. These can cause a range of symptoms like:

∙        Severe abdominal pain particularly in the pelvic region;

∙        Irregular periods rather than normal ones;

∙        Pains accompanied by vomiting and fever;

∙        Overall weakness and dizziness in the entire body;

∙        Frequent urge to urinate; and

∙        Bloating.


An ultrasound scan using a probe inserted into the vagina is the common way in determining ovarian cysts in women. If the scan turns positive with the detection of a cyst, further repeated ultrasound scans are prescribed to monitor the condition accurately.

Referring to a qualified gynecologist is also common in the diagnosis of ovarian cysts. In the case of any possibilities that the cyst is cancerous, blood tests are also conducted to look for any signs of chemicals in the blood indicative of ovarian cancer.


The treatment options suggested for ovarian cysts is dependent on many of the factors concerning the cyst. This includes the size and appearance of the cysts as well as the presence of any of the above-mentioned symptoms. The reproductive status of the individual being treated is also considered like the menopause stage.

Physicians commonly prescribe birth control medications to reduce the development of new cysts. However, surgery is recommended for the removal of the cysts, if they are found to be potentially cancerous or are larger and cause severe symptoms.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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