ZocdocAnswersWill I need surgery to remove my ovarian cysts?

Question

Will I need surgery to remove my ovarian cysts?

I'm a 33 year old mother of two with lupus and lupus nephritis. I have regular periods although they are very heavy due to ITP from lupus. I have had multiple cysts on each of my ovaries for a year now. They appear to have shrunk in size on the ultrasound and MRI but the pain from them is getting increasingly worse. If they do not go away and the pain does not go away will I need surgery to remove them or do I live with the pain?

Answer

Ovarian cysts are very common. There are multiple different types of cysts and different ways to manage each type of cyst. I would recommend that you discuss this with your OB / GYN. He or she can help you diagnose and treat these cysts. Various cysts are treated in different ways. The most common type of ovarian cysts are functional cysts. These are cysts that develop from the eggs in the ovaries that grow then shrink with each menstrual cycle. These do not often cause pain and do not need to be treated. Normally, your OB / GYN will have repeat ultrasounds to see if these cysts go away and are functional. If they do cause pain, sometimes controlling the hormones as with birth control pills. Other types of cysts are endometriomas, which are uterine lining cells in the wrong location. Known as chocolate cysts these can also be managed with birth control pills, other hormone pills or even hormone injections. Rarely, chemical menopause can be induced to stop the pain. Again, talk to your OB/ GYN about this. Other cysts include dermoid cysts or ovarian cancer. These can need surgery. Talk with your ob/gyn about what type of cysts these are. The type influences the treatment and if you need surgery. Good luck!

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