Unfortunately, stories like that of Lena Durham, who was recently hospitalized because her cyst had raptured, are very common. Health problems which are related to the menstrual cycle like ovarian cysts, fibroids, painful and difficult periods or no periods, fertility issues and problems all the way to menopause are not considered medical conditions which need a suppressive therapy like the birth control pill.
These problems indicate that there is a hormonal imbalance in the body. What needs to be done is balance the hormones and soothe these symptoms.
Types of Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are sacs which are filled with fluid and which grow on the ovaries. Lena Durham had an ovarian cysts called endometrioma, which is next to endometriosis. When it comes to endometrioma, the endometrial tissues relocates out from the uterine cavity and binds to other organs, like the ovaries. There are two usual types of ovarian cysts, luteum and follicle cysts, and they can be formed during a regular menstrual cycle and they usually disappear on their own.
- Follicle cysts. When the menstrual cycle is normal, an egg is released by the ovaries every month. This egg develops inside a little sac called a follicle. Once the egg becomes mature, the follicle opens to free the egg. If the follicle does not open to free the egg, follicle cysts are formed. Because of this, the follicle continues to develop into a cyst. These cysts usually go without symptoms and they disappear in one to two months.
- Corpus luteum cysts. When the follicle opens and frees the egg, the empty follicle egg contracts into a cells mass which is called corpus luteum and this makes the hormones to get ready for the following egg in the menstrual cycle. These cysts create if the sac does not shrink. As an alternative, the sac seals again after it releases the egg and then there is a fluid buildup inside. These cysts usually disappear after a couple of weeks.
These cysts are referred to as functional or physiological in nature since they have a body function. Furthermore, there are three more types of ovarian cysts, polycystic, cystadenoma and dermoid ovarian syndrome and they are referred as pathological in nature since they don’t have any body function.
- Dermoids are formed from cells which are present from birth and they don’t usually cause symptoms.
- Cystadenomas are cysts which are filled with water and they can sometimes enlarge.
- Polycystic ovaries are caused once the egg matures but is not freed. The cycle happens again. The sacs grow more and many other cysts form. This can cause irregular periods and can make pregnancy an issue if not treated.
However, most ovarian cysts are usually benign and they have been caused by menstruation. Nevertheless, if you are in a postmenopausal period and still have these symptoms you need to consult a doctor.
What Are the Symptoms?
Ovarian cysts do not manifest sometimes since many are very small. However, if the cysts become larger, women may experience sporadic pain which is dull or sharp in the lower abdomen on the side where the cyst is. Women may also feel bloating and pressure. Less usual symptoms are:
- Weak pain in the thighs and lower back
- Pelvic pain
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Difficulty in emptying the bowels and the bladder
- Pain throughout menstruation
- Sudden weight gain
- Need for urination, more often than normal
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Breast tenderness
What to do if you have an Ovarian Cyst
What you need to do first is consult with a doctor. If the doctor finds out that there is a cyst, your doctor could send you to do hormonal tests or an ultrasound. The usual solution for this is taking birth control pills. According to the National Institute of Health 5 to 10 % of women have surgically removed their cysts. Surgery is necessary when:
- The cysts grows
- Does not disappear after a few menstrual cycles
- Causes pain
- Does not look usual during the ultrasound
You should know that there are alternatives which are natural. Firstly, you need to resolve the issue of hormonal imbalance and to do this, you need to change your diet and lifestyle. You need to take in consideration the following:
- Estrogen levels are affected by environmental xenoestrogens. If the levels of estrogen are too high, it can cause ovarian cysts. These endocrine disruptors are present in pesticides, plastic bottles, detergents, metal food cans, cosmetics, toys, food, and flame retardants. You need to eat organic foods like peaches, apples, strawberries, nectarines, celery, grapes, bell peppers, spinach, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and peas in order to reduce exposure to pesticides.
- The liver is a vital organ which breaks down and then eliminates estrogen from the body. If some of the essential nutrients are not included in the diet, estrogen can accumulate in the body and can promote cyst formation. For a liver support you need to eat more cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. You also need to reduce the intake of alcohol and coffee.
- The hormonal function is also affected by the lifestyle. It is of vital importance to know what is affecting your hormones. It can be stress, lack of exercise, lack of sleep or bad eating habits.
An unbalance hormonal system can create a domino effect and can produce even more symptoms and more serious conditions. Consult a doctor and find the underlying cause of your problems.