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Pelvic Masses

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Pelvic Masses or Ovarian Cysts

Masses or cysts that form in the pelvic region, specifically on the ovaries are fluid-filled sacs or pockets. Most women in Central Florida, and around the world, have pelvic masses or ovarian cysts at some point in their lives. Though this is true, most women are unaware of the occurrence of pelvic masses or ovarian cysts, as they go away on their own during the menstrual cycle.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts

The gynecologists at the Center for Specialized Gynecology know how common pelvic masses are; they also know the problematic symptoms of ovarian cysts. If a pelvic mass or ovarian cyst stays attached to the ovary long enough, it can grow large enough to cause pain. The pain of an ovarian cyst is centered around the pelvic region, including pressing against the bladder.

The symptoms of ovarian cysts may include:

  • Difficulty emptying bladder
  • Frequent urination
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Nausea
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pressure in the entire pelvic region
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Tender breasts
  • Vomiting

Some symptoms of ovarian cysts require immediate medical attention:

  • Sudden, severe abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Pain accompanied by fever or vomiting
  • Cold, clammy skin, rapid breathing, and lightheadedness or weakness

Causes and Risk Factors of Ovarian Cysts

There are different types of pelvic masses or ovarian cysts. The most common ovarian cyst forms during ovulation when either the egg isn’t released or the empty follicle doesn’t dissolve after the egg is released. Other pelvic masses can form due to surgery, endometriosis and a variety of gynecologic issues.

Other types of ovarian cysts and masses include:

  • Polycystic ovaries, also referred to as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), occurs when the follicles in which the eggs normally mature fail to open and cysts form.
  • Endometriomas, also called endometrial implants, are solid masses of endometrial tissue that grows outside the uterus, including on your ovaries.
  • Cystadenomas form out of cells on the surface of the ovary and are often fluid-filled.
  • Dermoid cysts contain tissue similar to that in other parts of the body.

Tests to Diagnose Pelvic Masses or Ovarian Cysts

Sometimes ovarian cysts are discovered during a regular pelvic exam. If you are experiencing symptoms and your regular OB/GYN doctor suspects you have ovarian cysts, your doctor may recommend additional tests to determine how big the ovarian cyst is and whether it’s fluid filled, a solid mass, or both. Once the proper determination is made, the skilled surgical team at the Center for Specialized Gynecology can discern the best treatment plan.

To help in diagnosing pelvic masses and ovarian cysts your doctor may recommend the following tests:

  • Ultrasound to see the size and location of the cysts.
  • Laparoscopy to identify and even remove the cysts if possible.
  • Blood tests to check for elevated levels in hormones or certain antigens that can signal other serious conditions.

Treatment Options for Pelvic Masses and Ovarian Cysts

The specific treatment option for pelvic masses and ovarian cysts will greatly depend upon the size of the mass and the symptoms you are experiencing. It is very possible that the pelvic mass or ovarian cyst will clear up on its own as part of the menstrual cycle. However, if the mass is large or the cysts recur, other medical options should be explored. 

Other treatment options are available for pelvic masses and ovarian cysts include:

  • Birth control pills
  • Endometrial ablation
  • Hysterectomy
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Minimally-invasive surgery
  • Robot-assisted surgery

To learn more about ovarian cysts or the different types of cysts and treatments and therapies available for ovarian cysts, contact the Center for Specialized Gynecology at 407.303.4573 to make an appointment.