Conventional and Natural Treatments for Ovarian Cysts

Conventional and Natural Treatments for Ovarian Cysts

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  1. Ovarian cysts are very common during childbearing years, but can affect women of all ages. Most ovarian cysts are not harmful, and go unnoticed. However, some may cause pain and bleeding when ruptured, resulting in the need for surgical removal.

    Both ovaries, the size of walnuts, are located on each side of the uterus. The beginning of a woman’s monthly cycle is signaled by the first day the ovaries work at creating an egg for the ovarian follicle to release in order to become fertilized by male sperm. If the follicle does not release the egg, or if the egg released does not undergo fertilization; then the fluid can deposit in the ovarian wall and form a cyst.

    Noncancerous cysts in the ovaries are a fairly normal process, and usually dissolve themselves in a matter of weeks on their own.  Although, ovarian cysts are sometimes found in ovarian cancer cells; they are typically viewed as a common part of ovulation, and are considered to be benign or noncancerous.

    TYPES OF OVARIAN CYSTS

    1. Follicular cysts: are the most commonovarian cysts, also known as functional or simple. Functional ovarian cysts are the result of an ovarian follicle failing to release an egg, and the remaining fluid from the follicle’s egg forms a cyst inside the walls of the ovary; instead of breaking through the ovary walls to be released into the fallopian tubes for the fertilization process.  They are labeled “functional” because they are not associated with a disease. Usually, these cysts can grow to be close to 2.3 inches in diameter. About one-fourth of women experience pain during ovulation in the ovary where the cysts exits.

      Corpus luteum cysts: occurs when an egg, released from a follicle, is not fertilized and remains on the ovary to produce a fluid or blood filled cysts. This cyst usually doesn’t produce symptoms.

      Hemorrhagic cysts:  is simply a blood filled cyst that can cause pain in the abdomen.

    2. Dermoid cysts:  is very uncommon, and they usually occur in younger women. Growing up to 6 inches in diameter, this benign tumor can contain fat, bone, hair, and cartilage. They can become inflamed and cause pain by twisting around the ovaries.
    3. Endometriomas or endometrioid cysts: is associated with endometriosis. These cysts are formed when endometrial tissue develops and grows in the ovaries; sometimes growth can get up to 8 inches in diameter. Severe pelvis pain is associated with endometriomas cysts.
    4. Polycystic-appearing ovary: is usually twice the size of other ovarian cysts, with the presence of small cysts on the outside of the ovary. This common condition occurs in 4%-7% of reproductive age women, and causes an increase risk of endometrial cancer.  Pain, abnormal bleeding, and infertility are all associated with this polycystic ovarian disorder.
    5. Cystadenoma: is a benign mucus filled tumor made of ovarian tissue.  

    RISK FACTORS FOR OVARIAN CYSTS

    • Irregular menstrual cycles
    • Early menstruation (starting sooner than 11 years of age)
    • History of previous ovarian cysts
    • Increased upper body fat distribution
    • Infertility
    • Hypothyrodism or hormonal imbalance
    • Tamoxifen therapy for breast cancer

    SYMPTOMS OF OVARIAN CYSTS

    • Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
    • Lower abdominal or pelvic pressure or fullness
    • Irregular menstrual periods
    • Lower back pain
    • Pelvic pain after strenuous exercise or sexual intercourse
    • Pain or pressure during urination or bowel movements
    • Vaginal pain or spotting
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Infertility

    CONVENTIONAL TEATMENTS

    1. Oral contraceptives: are recommended to regulate the menstrual cycle, and prevent cysts from occurring in the follicles. In some cases contraceptives reduced the size of existing cysts.  
    2. Pain relievers: anti-inflammatory medications and narcotics are prescribed to relieve mild-to-severe pain.  
    3. Surgery:  cysts that grow to become abnormally large or last longer than usual (a few months), should be removed.
    • Laparoscopic surgery: small incisions are made, and a thin scope is inserted into the abdominal wall. Once the cyst is identified, the surgeon removes it or takes a sample of it.
    • Laparotomy:  is more invasive, because a larger incision is made through the abdominal wall to access and abstract, or take samples of the cyst.
    • Surgery for ovarian torsion: requires immediate emergency surgery to correct.

    NATURAL TREATMENTS

    1. Liver Cleanse: helps to cleanse the blood and regulate hormone levels in the body.
    2. Diet: foods that help to ease discomfort resulting from cysts, and reduce recurrence are green leafy vegetables (raw if possible), raw fruits, garlic, whole grains, legumes. Foods to avoid are processed or refined foods, red meats, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, white sugars, carbonated drinks, foods high in fat.
    3. Vitamins: A, E, and C
    4. Mild Exercise: should increase as pain lessens
    5. Herbs:
    • Blue Cohosh
    • Black Cohosh
    • Vitex
    • Dandelion Root
    • Black Haw
    • Milk Thistle
    • Pau d’ Arco
    • Chaparral
    • Bee Pollen
    • Yarrow
    • Wild Yam

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