Three Common Ovary Problems
Some ovary problems in women can influence fertility, at times making fertility or ovulation impossible. Other ovary problems do not necessarily affect fertility but can cause discomfort, while another problem, ovarian cancer, is naturally of greatest concern. Fortunately, of the various ovary problems a woman may encounter, ovarian cancer is not the one most likely to occur. Young women, especially those who are not old enough to menstruate, rarely suffer from any ovary problems. Ovary problems, if they occur, occur as a woman grows older, and are more apt to occur with age.
Premature Ovarian Failure - Premature ovarian failure is one of the ovary problems a woman may experience. The frequency of egg loss becomes inordinately high, with a total loss of fertility usually the result, especially if the condition goes untreated. A woman is born with all the eggs in her ovaries she will ever have, and if lost they will not be replaced. The cause of premature ovarian failure is not known, which makes a cure for the disorder difficult if not impossible. Fortunately, premature ovarian failure (POF) is a somewhat rare condition.
Ovarian Cysts - The most common ovary problems are cysts, of which there are several types. Ovarian cysts are almost always benign, and in most cases are small enough so as not to cause a problem. Depending upon the size, location, and nature of the cyst, some can cause ovary problems which in some instances can be severe. In such a situation, surgery is usually required to remove the cyst or cysts. Cysts often last only temporarily and disappear of their own accord. They are so common that they generally are not considered to be an abnormal condition unless they are causing a problem.
In most instances there are no symptoms associated with the formation of cysts unless the cyst should bleed or rupture. This is called a hemorrhagic cyst, and sometimes will cause a sharp abdominal pain. Follicular cysts sometimes cause pain during ovulation, in the middle of the menstrual cycle. This type of cyst will be monitored, but usually goes away on its own. Another type of cyst is the dermoid cyst, which can grow quite large, as much as 6 inches in diameter. The dermoid cyst is an abnormal cyst in every respect, but in spite of its size, and the fact that it may contain bone, hair, fat, and cartilage, is benign. It can cause extreme pain on occasion though, especially if it twists around the ovary, in which case surgical removal will be necessary.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - The third of the more common ovary problems is PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. Those affected with PCOS have numerous ovarian cysts, which generally makes ovulation irregular, an consequently a woman's periods irregular. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women, and carries with it a number of symptoms seemingly unrelated to the reproductive cycle. Women affected with PCOS may grow facial hair, gain weight, and exhibit other symptoms. PCOS is caused by a hormonal disorder, and is characterized by an excessive release of Androgens, the male hormone. An excessive production of Androgens does not interfere with the production of eggs, but makes ovulation impossible. Since the eggs cannot be released, lesions and cysts may develop in the ovaries.
Summary - It's fortunate that in spite of the fact that ovarian cysts are quite common in women, they for the most part do not cause ovary problems. Most cysts are small, most are benign, and most are temporary. It is primarily when they are large, or hemorrhage, that they cause pain and problems, and surgery will likely be needed to prevent further complications from occurring.