Ovarian Cysts Specialist

OriGYN

Roya Rakhshani, MD

OB-GYN & Medical Aesthetics Specialist located in Costa Mesa, CA

Late, irregular, painful periods, especially when your abdominal pain doesn't go away, are not normal. In fact, though most ovarian cysts go away without incident or medication, treatment is available for those that cause you discomfort. Call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Roya Rakhshani at OriGYN in Costa Mesa, California, to discuss your options.

Ovarian Cysts Q&A

What are ovarian cysts?

You have two ovaries in which ovulation occurs each month during your period, and an egg matures and gets released. Ovarian cysts, a sac or pouch filled with fluid and tissue, form as a result of ovulation.

The most common types of cysts include:

  • Functional -- most common type. Usually causes no symptoms and goes away without treatment in a month or two
  • Teratoma -- contains different kinds of tissue from your body, including skin and hair. Present from birth and grow during your reproductive years
  • Cystadenoma -- form on the outer surface of your ovaries. Often grow large, generally benign
  • Endometrioma -- form as a result of endometriosis

Ovarian cysts fall into two categories:

Follicle cysts

During your normal menstrual cycle each month, one of your ovaries releases an egg. The egg grows inside a tiny sac called a follicle. Then, when the egg matures, the follicle should break open and release the egg. Follicle cysts form when the follicle doesn't open. Instead, it continues growing and becomes a cyst. After a month or so, a follicle cyst goes away without incident.

Corpus luteum cysts

When a follicle breaks open to release an egg, the empty follicle sac should shrink into a mass of cells called corpus luteum and then make hormones in preparation for the next egg for your next menstrual cycle. Cysts form when the sac doesn't shrink. Instead, it gets resealed after releasing the egg and fluid builds up inside of it. Though most of these cysts go away in a few weeks, some grow, bleed, or twist your ovary, causing pain.

How are ovarian cysts diagnosed?

Most of the time, cysts do not cause symptoms and get found during a routine pelvic exam or through imaging testing. However, some ovarian cysts present with:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Hormonal blood tests, as well as non-invasive laparoscopic surgery, also help Dr. Rakhshani diagnose ovarian cysts.

How are ovarian cysts treated?

The two most common ways to treat painful ovarian cysts are:

  • Medication -- hormonal contraceptives keep ovarian cysts from recurring, don’t shrink existing cysts
  • Surgery -- recommended for cysts that continue growing through two or three menstrual cycles and cause pain; Dr. Rakhshani uses laparoscopic robotic surgical techniques

Treatment for ovarian cysts depends on your age, the size of your cyst, and your symptoms.