In every woman, there is a pair of gonads that lie nestled in their pelvic region. These are the ovaries, the makers of egg cells. Ovaries float so near the entrance to the falliopian tubes. Each time an egg cell matures, the surface of the ovary ruptures and releases the cell. It floats towards the tube and rolls towards the uterus. This process is called ovulation, which does not usually result to pain in the pelvic region.

However, there are women whose ovaries hurt during ovulation. This pain is called ovulation pain, or also known as Mittelschmerz (German for “middle pain”) or midcycle pain. It is a lower-abdominal pain that is felt near the time when a woman ovulates. The pain can take place on either side of the body, or just stay on one side.

Normally, ovulation pain doesn’t last, and may not even be there the next time the woman ovulates. If the pain in the pelvic region increases in intensity and duration, then it’s time to see the doctor. It is possible the woman may have ovarian cyst.

What is Ovarian Cyst?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs usually found on the surface of an ovary. They have many types, and each has a different underlying cause. Most of these ovarian cysts are harmless “functional” or “physiologic” cysts, and they develop during the childbearing years of a woman. There is, however, a small percentage of women who develop a metabolic dysfunction called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Normal Ovary and Ovarian Cyst Why Does my Ovary Hurt?

Types of Benign Ovarian Cysts

According to the website, Natural Health Solutions for PCOS, there are many types of ovarian cysts, and most of them are benign, or harmless. The most common types are the follicular cyst, and the corpus luteum cyst. They are functional cysts that develop during the woman’s menstrual and fertility cycles. Just like the functional cysts, the dermoid cyst, which is mainly fat, is also benign. It is small, and rarely become large enough to rupture and cause bleeding.

Unlike the dermoid cyst,  the endometrioma or “chocolate cyst”  can result to bleeding because of the blood inside it. When many cysts of this type form, the condition is called “endometriosis.” Although women with this type of cyst do not exhibit symptoms, they can feel pain, especially during their period or during intercourse.

If the endometrioma cysts develop inside the lining of the ovary, then the cystadenomas are cysts that develop on the surface of the ovary. They are usually benign. Occasionally, they can become quite large, and can interfere with abdominal organs and cause pain.

Aside from those types of cysts mentioned, multiple benign cysts can also develop in the ovary. This condition is called the polycystic ovary. Women who don’t ovulate on a regular basis can develop multiple cysts. The ovaries are often enlarged and contain many small cysts clustered under a thickened, outer capsule.

There are many factors causing a woman to not ovulate and develop polycystic ovaries. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complex condition that involves multiple hormonal and organ system dysfunction. Multiple ovarian cysts are just one facet of this disorder.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cyst

Aside from developing multiple cysts on the surface of the ovary, a woman with PCOS will also exhibit some of the following symptoms: hormonal disruptions that can result in persistent acne, excessive body hair, thinning scalp hair, infertility, obesity, and increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and uterine or breast cancer.’

In general, one or more of the following symptoms could be related to ovarian cysts:

  • Menstrual irregularities.
  • Pelvic pain – a dull ache, either constant or intermittent, possibly radiating to the low back or thighs.
  • Pelvic pain during intercourse.
  • Pelvic pain just before your period begins or just after it ends.
  • A fullness or heaviness in your abdomen.
  • Feeling of pressure on your bladder or rectum.
  • Nausea or breast tenderness similar to when you’re pregnant.
  • Continuous, creamy or clear-like-eggwhite vaginal discharge that persists unchanged for a month or more.

Pain during sexual intercourse

Ovarian cysts can cause discomfort, or even pain, during sexual intercourse. They may bleed, rupture, or twist the ovary, causing severe pelvic pain. Some ovarian cysts can also become cancerous. This cancer is rare, however, and is most common among women in their fifties. Cancerous ovaries are usually not painful unless they grow very large before they are discovered. To prevent this from happening, women should have annual pelvic exams for detecting gynecologic cancers in the early, most treatable stages.

Categories: Health

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