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What is a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst

  • Published on August 11, 2022
What is a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst

Ovarian cysts are solid or fluid-filled sacs or pockets that occur inside or on the surface of an ovary. Ovarian cysts are very common; most of them don’t cause any complications and disappear on their own without treatment within a few months. 

At times, internal haemorrhage occurs in functional cysts of the ovary, leading to hemorrhagic ovarian cysts. These cysts occur in women who are still menstruating and haven’t reached menopause yet. 

Hemorrhagic ovarian cysts are a result of ovulation. 

Hemorrhagic ovarian cyst symptoms 

Sometimes women with hemorrhagic ovarian cysts may not experience any symptoms. However, in case the cyst is large, it can lead to several symptoms, including:

  • Sharp or dull pain in the pelvic region on the side of the cyst
  • Heaviness in your abdomen/a constant feeling of fullness
  • Bloating/swollen tummy 
  • Painful sexual intercourse 
  • Difficulty in emptying your bowels
  • Frequent urge to urinate 
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Lighter than normal/scanty periods
  • Difficulty getting pregnant 

Severe hemorrhagic ovarian cyst symptoms

If you or a loved one is exhibiting severe hemorrhagic ovarian cyst symptoms, such as the ones listed below, immediately rush to a doctor.

  • Sudden, severe pelvic pain
  • Fever and vomiting along with pelvic pain
  • Feeling faint, weak, and dizziness
  • Irregular breathing
  • Heavy, irregular bleeding between periods  

Hemorrhagic ovarian cyst causes

Most ovarian cysts are functional and develop as a result of your menstrual cycle. Hemorrhagic ovarian cysts are also functional cysts. They could occur mainly due to two reasons, resulting in different types of cysts:

  • Follicular cyst: Normally, an egg bursts out of its follicle around the midpoint of the menstrual cycle and moves down the fallopian tube. However, in some cases, the follicle fails to rupture or release the egg and continues to grow until it becomes a cyst. 
  • Corpus luteum cyst: After releasing an egg, follicle sacs dissolve in normal cases. During this time, estrogen and progesterone are produced in the body for conception. However, if the follicle sac doesn’t dissolve, then additional fluids can build up inside the sac and lead to the development of what is called a corpus luteum cyst.

Hemorrhagic ovarian cyst diagnosis 

There are many ways to diagnose ovarian cysts. Here are a few tests your doctor might recommend if they suspect ovarian cysts:

Pregnancy test

Sometimes corpus luteum cysts can lead to false positives in a pregnancy test. So your doctor might recommend one if they suspect this kind of cyst.

Pelvic exam

Your doctor may find a cyst on your ovary during a normal pelvic exam. Depending on its size and type, they will recommend a few other tests to determine what kind of treatment you might need. 

Pelvic ultrasound

During a pelvic ultrasound, high-frequency sound waves from a transducer are used to create an image of your uterus and ovaries on a screen. By analyzing this image, your doctor can determine the presence of cysts and their location. 

An ultrasound can also reveal whether a cyst is solid, fluid-filled, or mixed. 

Laparoscopy

Your doctor may perform laparoscopic surgery to examine your ovaries and diagnose cysts. This procedure requires anaesthesia.

CA 125 blood test

If your ovarian cysts are partially solid, then your doctor may recommend a CA125 blood test to determine if the cysts are benign or malignant. Cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) levels often are elevated in the blood of women with ovarian cancer. This test is recommended for women who have ovarian cysts and are at high risk of ovarian cancer. 

High CA 125 levels may also occur in many noncancerous conditions affecting the uterus and ovaries.

Is there any difference between a left ovarian hemorrhagic cyst and a right ovarian hemorrhagic cyst?

Ovarian hemorrhagic cysts can occur in either or both the left ovary and the right ovary. The methods of diagnosis and treatment are the same irrespective of the side of the affected ovary. 

Hemorrhagic ovarian cyst treatment

In many cases, hemorrhagic ovarian cysts don’t require any treatment. They often go away by themselves within a few weeks or a couple of menstrual cycles. In other cases, your doctor may recommend any or a combination of the following treatment options:

Observation 

Since many ovarian cysts usually disappear without treatment, your doctor may just keep you under watchful observation for a few weeks. 

You may be required to have a follow-up ultrasound after a few weeks or months after your initial diagnosis to determine if the cyst has disappeared on its own. 

Medications 

Your doctor may prescribe certain medications, such as hormonal birth control pills, to stop ovulation. The cessation of ovulation typically prevents the formation of future cysts. 

Ovarian cyst surgery 

If your hemorrhagic ovarian cyst continues to grow bigger and is causing symptoms, then you may need surgery to resolve the issue. The type of surgery you require depends on the size and kind of the cyst. Different surgical hemorrhagic ovarian cyst treatments include:

  • Laparoscopy: This is a minor surgical procedure in which the doctor inserts a laparoscope into your abdominal area through a small incision and removes the cysts. This treatment is called ovarian cystectomy.
  • Laparotomy: If the ovarian cyst is large, then a laparotomy is performed to remove it. This procedure involves making a large incision in the abdomen area. If your doctor suspects cancer, you will be referred to a gynaecological oncologist to discuss the best treatment options for you.

When is an ovarian cyst a reason for concern?

Most of the time, ovarian cysts are harmless and painless and disappear on their own. However, if you have a cyst that keeps growing bigger and causes symptoms, then you have to consult a doctor so that your condition can be monitored. 

Track your symptoms regularly and report them to your health care provider periodically. Seek immediate medical help if you have ovarian cysts and the following symptoms also occur:

  • Sudden changes in your menstrual cycle
  • Unbearably painful menstrual periods 
  • Heavy bleeding between your periods
  • Abdominal pain that doesn’t go away 
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason 
  • Poor health and sickness in general 

Wrapping up

Hemorrhagic ovarian cysts are common and are often experienced by women in the reproductive age group. These cysts often present with little to no symptoms and are typically harmless. However, complications could arise if the cysts grow bigger, leading to issues like heavy bleeding, abdominal pain, and infertility. 

Visit Birla Fertility & IVF or contact Dr. ________ to avail state-of-the-art medical treatment for hemorrhagic ovarian cysts. 

FAQs

1. How serious is a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst?

These cysts are typically harmless and lead to complications only in rare cases. 

2. Should I worry about a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst?

You need to worry about a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst only if the cyst continues to grow bigger and causes complications.

3. How long does a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst last?

Hemorrhagic ovarian cysts often go away by themselves within a few weeks or a couple of menstrual cycles. 

4. What is the natural treatment for a hemorrhagic ovarian cyst?

Often, hemorrhagic ovarian cysts go away naturally without any treatment.

Written by:
Dr Puja Singh

Dr Puja Singh

Dr. Puja Singh has been a senior resident at the Hindu Rao Hospital and NDMC Medical College, New Delhi and has been previously attached with Nova IVF Clinic, Ahmedabad in fertility services. She completed her post-graduation in Obs & Gynae from Hindu Rao Hospital & NDMC Medical College, New Delhi. She completed her FNB training in reproductive medicine.She has done fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery from AMASI. Her main area of interest is reproductive medicine. She has done her MBBS & Internship at Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Hospital, Raipur. She is dexterous and precise in surgical treatment procedures. 

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