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Ovarian Cysts: What Moms Should Know

Last week my OB/GYN found a rather large cyst on my right ovary. I’m not a stranger to ovarian cysts – I’ve had a ton of little ones throughout my teenage and adult years, plus one big one that ruptured back in 2008. But this time, the doctor suggested that we remove the cyst through laparascopic surgery. At this point, I’m so uncomfortable with this darn thing that I’m thrilled to have it out, although worried that I might lose one of my ovaries in the process. I’m also worried about recovery time since I have a very active 3 1/2 year old boy that loves to jump around - right now the plan is for him to spend lots of time with Grandma and Grandpa while I recover.

I wrote about the whole thing on my personal blog and what struck me was how often this happens. We poor mommas!  So I did a little research and reading – consider this a “Ovarian Cysts 101″ that I hope you never have to use or experience:


  • image-3527 1 of 8
    image-3527
    Click through to learn about ovarian cysts - the causes, symptoms, and treatment available.
  • Symptoms of an ovarian cyst 2 of 8
    Symptoms of an ovarian cyst
    The most noticeable symptoms are pain in the lower stomach area, swelling and bloating, back pain, and abnormal bleeding. Cysts can also cause pain during sex and unexplained weight gain, migraines, and nausea.
    Source: womenshealth.gov
  • What causes cysts? 3 of 8
    What causes cysts?
    Cysts are very common and are caused by ovulation, endometriosis, or abnormal cells. Most cysts are not symptomatic of cancer.
    Source: womenshealth.gov
  • What are the different kinds of ovarian cysts? 4 of 8
    What are the different kinds of ovarian cysts?
    Most cysts are "functional cysts" that occur during ovulation.
    Polycystic cysts occur when the eggs don't mature properly and cysts form.
    Endometriotic cysts develop from uterine cells forming outside of the uterus. Endometriosis is a very painful condition.
    Dermoid cysts have other types of body material in them - hair, teeth, etc. (gross!)
    Source: WebMD
  • How are cysts diagnosed? 5 of 8
    How are cysts diagnosed?
    Cysts can be found by pelvic exams and ultrasound and testing hormone levels.
    Source: WebMD
  • How do I get rid of it? 6 of 8
    How do I get rid of it?
    Most go away on their own and are so small you won't notice. For larger cysts, surgery may be required.
    Source: womenshealth.gov
  • What if it ruptures? 7 of 8
    What if it ruptures?
    Ovarian cysts can rupture when the pressure gets too great. It is extremely painful and can cause fever, bloating, vomiting, and weakness. See a medical professional immediately if one ruptures as it can lead to infection and internal bleeding.
    Source: Ovarian Cyst Center
  • How can I prevent ovarian cysts? 8 of 8
    How can I prevent ovarian cysts?
    Birth control can help with functional cysts, but otherwise, there's not a darn thing you can do to prevent cysts.
    Source: womenshealth.gov

 images: istockphoto

Source: WebMD
Source: womenshealth.gov
Source: Ovarian Cyst Center

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Beth Anne writes words & takes pictures at Okay, BA! You can also find her on the Twitters & Facebook.

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