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Bilateral Ovarian Cysts – Risks and Treatment Options

Imagine finding out that you don’t just have one cyst on an ovary but that both ovaries are affected?

Being told that you have bilateral ovarian cysts is one of the scariest things for a woman to hear and immediately the question start to pour in.

What does it mean? Will it affect your ability to have children? Does this increase your risk of having cancer? What conventional treatments are available and what natural treatments are available?

Let’s go through it step by step.

The ovaries are organs that are a part of a woman’s reproductive system. They are bilateral which means there are two of them with one on each side of the uterus. Now, many women experience a cyst on one ovary, but sometimes cysts can develop on both ovaries simultaneously. Although these cysts may differ, they are still classed as bilateral ovarian cysts.

Like all ovarian cysts, bilateral ovarian cysts can be as small as a pea or larger than a grapefruit. They can be either the same type of cyst or two differing ones. A selection of the common types of cysts are;

  • Corpus Luteum Cyst – this is your ‘normal’ functional fluid filled cyst that can grow toward the end of your cycle and will usually disappear on its own within around 3 months.
  • Hemorrhagic Cyst – This cyst is like the corpus luteum cyst, but instead of being filled with clear fluid, it is filled with blood. Most hemorrhagic cysts burst on their own and the only symptom may be a burning feeling as the content of the cyst leaves the body.
  • Dermoid Cyst – This type of cyst contains cells and may be filled with fat or other tissues like hair, bone, and cartilage. It is often the scariest looking but least harmful type of cyst.
  • Theca lutein cysts – these are rare forms of bilateral ovarian cysts that develop during a pregnancy when there is an excess of growth hormone, usually caused by a multiple pregnancy, or an excess of the steroid androgen. In rare cases it can also be an indicator of an abnormality within the placenta or development of the fetus.

No one knows exactly why any of these cysts occur and the only difference between other cysts and these is that the bilateral ones occur on both ovaries.

Are Bilateral Ovarian Cysts the same as PCOS?

A term that you may have heard is PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which basically means that each ovary contains many cysts. It is also possible to have bilateral PCOS – just to complicate things further!

Risk Factors

While most common in women of childbearing age, bilateral ovarian cysts can affect women of any age including those in utero and post menopausal women. 

Dangers of Bilateral Ovarian Cysts

Most cysts are relatively harmless, but the more of them you have (as in PCOS or bilateral PCOS) the greater the risk to your health. These can influence your menstrual cycle, your capacity to have children, the balance of hormones, your cardiovascular system and even your appearance due to the high levels of male hormones that can be associated with the condition.

In a minority of cases some cysts can jeopardize your ability to have children. If you have bilateral ovarian cysts that are damaging your ovaries then your chances of being able to have children is also severely damaged.

Further testing;

For those that are worried about a possible cancer risk regular blood tests can be used to determine if the protein that is an indicator of ovarian cancer, CA-125, is detected. While not cancer specific the CA-125 is a protein test and can give an indication whether cancer or other illness may be causing your cysts. This test in conjunction with other things like the size, their appearance on a scan, and whether they change over time may indicate to your physician that other precautions or tests may need to be done.

Treatment of Bilateral Ovarian Cysts

Conventional medicine says that because the majority of unilateral and bilateral ovarian cysts will disappear on their own within a few months there is little concern and monitoring the cysts or prescription of painkillers is the only requirement. Some are also prescribed the birth control pill in an effort to rebalance the hormone levels, unfortunately history shows that the vast majority of cysts will still recur. In some cases those whose cysts have grown particularly large will be advised to undergo surgery.

While this conventional treatment may suit the doctors it is very hard for the patient who has to live on painkillers and the BCP. Fortunately there are also a variety of well researched and proven natural treatments for bilateral ovarian cysts that have impressive records for not only shrinking cysts of all sizes, but for instantly relieving your pain and preventing further cysts from developing.

Functional Ovarian Cyst – Types and Risks

Read on to know all about functional ovarian cyst and understand it better

To release an egg, the ovary’s covering gets ruptured at the time of ovulation which soon gets healed while the cells inside the ovary develop a structure that is clinically termed as corpus luteum. Progesterone, which is a hormone that is responsible for preparing the lining cells of the uterus for the arrival of the fertilized egg, is made by the corpus luteum. In every woman the corpus leteum is active – however she needs to be having her monthly periods. However inside this corpus luteum, fluids can be produced by the cells, and this can lead to cyst formation. Such cysts are quite small (like a marble), but sometimes the amount of fluid can be quite a bit, and this is when it becomes big. However luckily, similar to follicular cysts, the ones that are formed by the corpus luteum do not remain for more than some weeks. Both the cysts of the corpus luteum and the follicular cysts are together known as functional cysts.

Functional ovarian cyst -causes

Functional ovarian cyst usually form on account of minor changes in the fashion the ovary makes in releasing the egg. However, functional ovarian cysts are found in two distinct types or forms, namely, (a) Follicular cyst that occurs when a sac in the ovary fails to release the egg, while the sac swells up with the fluid, and (b) Luteal cyst that occurs when the sac releases the egg and then re-seals and gets filled up with fluid.

The symptoms of functional ovarian cyst

The symptoms of the cyst tend to vary a lot and this depends on what its size is. Though the symptoms tend to be different from one female to another, but the most common ones are pain on the day 2 or 3 of the menstrual period, the menstrual cycle starting late, and also bleeding from the vagina even when she is not having her periods. Sometimes the female will also experience a feeling of nausea and vomiting. Often she will also complain of pain after sex or while having intercourse. The symptoms may either indicate a ruptured cyst or a twisted cyst.

Functional ovarian cyst – diagnosis & treatment

Functional ovarian cysts are diagnosed by making use of pelvic ultrasound as well as by laparoscopic method. While both the process can detect the presence of fluid in the cyst, the attending doctor carries out the process of rechecking after the patient has completed sevarl menstrual circles. The cyst mostly goes away by that time. The process may be hurried up if a holistic approach is used as a part of the treatment. If the bleeding becomes excessive, the doctor might advice the use of ‘Birth control’ pills, so that ovulation is stopped. This might also lead to the prevention of formation of a new functional ovarian cyst. In the mean time, the holistic approach should be strictly continued thus ensuring that the functional ovarian cyst can be removed painlessly and fast.

Why holistic approach

Since conventional medications used for functional ovarian cysts address only the symptoms and not the disease condition, holistic approach focuses on its removal through a natural process, ensuring no recurrence. It emphasizes on regularization of dietary habits, improvisation of immune system, physical and mental fitness, and many such aspects. No one can escape the fast life of today. All of us agree that this life bring with it lots of comforts. However, at the same time, it also brings stress that is invoked through an improper sleep, pressure or anxiety, emotional issues in the daily routine of yours, and many such factors.

Why ovarian cysts happen

The factors that have been discussed above can lead to PCOS and ovarian cyst – this is what the researchers will tell you. The cysts can happen when the natural immunity of the body is not working properly, there is an increase in the blood sugar levels, and also from anovulatory cycles. The use of birth control pills can affect the normal functioning of the ovary and so can the foods that have xenobiotics as it affects the metabolism. Prescription drugs too affect the menstrual cycle in a negative way – this happens because how the way the hypothalamus works gets modified.

What happens when the immune system is disturbed?

The natural immunity may get disturbed from many factors such as toxins that build up in the body over time (such as heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria, viruses and parasites), stress, nutritional deficiency, antibiotics and steroids. Because of these reasons the body becomes weak and exposed to the risks. When this happens, the body is unable to eliminate the toxins and control the hormones.

Functional ovarian cyst – the risks

While functional ovarian cysts pose very little or no risk to life, they may prove hazardous when they refuse to go. Laparoscopic removal may then be required for their removal along with the same holistic approach so that they do not reappear after a few months. Holistic approach works wonders for ovarian cyst and prepares the body in such a way that the illnesses and disease remain far away from it. Ovarian cysts can be avoided if the holistic approach is followed, as the above mentioned intricacies are the root causes of functional ovarian cyst. The holistic approach works so well because in it, the body is treated as a whole. This approach gives best results because the root causes of the disease are many. So all the causes need to be identified and treated, otherwise the cyst will make a comeback, which is often the case.