Bleeding Ovarian Cyst Requires Immediate Care

By Amanda Clark

Most women experience ovarian cysts but many never know them have them. When a bleeding ovarian cyst occurs, however, immediate treatment is required.

Understanding how ovarian cysts form, and what might cause them to bleed, can help a woman know her own body better. When she understands her body processes, she can better consult with her physician about the possibility of ovarian cysts. Women of all ages can have ovarian cysts. However women of childbearing age, still subject to the monthly menstrual cycle, tend to be more prone to them.

A woman's ovaries are two organs about the size of walnuts, located on each side of the uterus. Each month, an egg grows in a sac called a follicle inside the ovary. When levels of estrogen rise in the normal menstrual cycle, the egg ripens and is released from the ovary. At the same time the uterus lining thickens to prepare itself for the possibility of a pregnancy. When the egg isn't fertilized, the uterine contents are discharged in the menstrual period.

If the ovary doesn't release the egg for some reason, the follicle sac can close off and fill with fluid. This becomes what's known as a "functional cyst."

Ovarian cysts can be seen in an ultrasound image, looking like bubbles. Women of all ages can be affected by ovarian cysts, but they're particularly prevalent in women of childbearing age. Most cysts have nothing to do with any disease and most are not cancerous.

Unfortunately, ovarian cysts of any type can rupture and bleed, causing both pain and inflammation in the pelvic area. Bleeding ovarian cysts can occur at any time, resulting in spotting or bleeding between periods and severe pain.

Ovarian cysts can be detected during an examination involving an ultrasound test. The cysts look like bubbles in the ovaries. Most ovarian cysts are not to related to an illness, are not cancerous, and usually dissolve on their own within a few weeks. However, any time a bleeding ovarian cyst occurs, pain and pelvic inflammation result. A woman who suspects she may have a bleeding ovarian cyst should see her doctor right away, or go to an emergency room for treatment if the pain is severe. - 30540

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