While simple ovarian cysts are generally more common and harmless, complex ovarian cysts can be dangerous if not diagnosed earlier in their life cycle because there is a possibility they can lead to ovarian cancer. When discussing this subject matter, it is important to first understand the different kinds of complex ovarian cysts and how they can affect your medical diagnosis. It is also crucial that the information is presented in a very simple format, without the complications of introducing medical jargons. This is one mistake doctors often make when talking with patients with complex ovarian cysts, and that is, to not provide a basic definition and move straight into the subject of the different kinds of treatment options available.
Unlike simple cysts, complex ovarian cysts are, well, more complex. There are 3 types of cysts that make up the latter group. The first type is called a Dermoid Cyst and it contains developmentally mature skin which includes hair follicles, sweat glands, and even hair, blood, skin, teeth, eyes, and thyroid tissue. The good news is that because it contains mature tissue, a dermoid cyst is almost always benign. Another type of complex ovarian cyst is the Endometrioid Cyst. Most women know this type of cyst as a chocolate cyst and it is most typically caused by endometriosis (a medical condition where the endometrial cells are deposited in areas outside the uterine cavity). It is usually formed when a small piece of endometrial tissue bleeds, becomes transparent, and grows inside the ovaries. The last type of complex cyst is a Cystadenoma and this is essentially a benign tumor derived from glandular tissue where secretions are retained and accumulate in cysts.
So you can understand now that complex ovarian cysts originates from different circumstances and can develop into various forms. So what are some of the characteristics of complex ovarian cysts? For one, they usually have septations (or thin membranes or walls dividing an area into a number of chambers). They are also echogenic (a term used in ultrasound that describes complex patterns within a cyst). In addition, they have the appearance of buds into the cyst cavity (also referred to papillary projections). Lastly, they are most commonly associated with cancer, especially after menopause. While this last characteristic may be the one women fear the most, remember that knowing the characteristics is only one step towards knowing if you have cancer so the best course of action would be to talk to your doctor immediately and run a number of additional tests. The good news is that if you are post-menopausal, there is no risk associated with ovarian cancer.
There are a number of reasons why complex cysts develop, and the most common are due to genetic predisposition, weakened immune system, obesity, ignorance/neglect, the existence of other conditions or diseases. When it comes to treating this type of cyst, the medical community is currently advocating surgery, or in less serious cases, the use of drugs or prescription medicine to manage the condition. Some patients, however, prefer to explore more natural remedies and turn to herbal treatments. If you have complex ovarian cysts and you are not sure which course of action to take, your first source of advice should always come from your doctor or physician.