Understanding Ovarian Cysts: Can You Feel Them from the Outside?
September 10, 2023
Ovarian cysts are a common health concern among women of all ages. These fluid-filled sacs can develop on or within the ovaries and often go unnoticed due to their typically asymptomatic nature. However, an important question that many women have is whether it’s possible to feel an ovarian cyst from the outside.
The ovaries, which are two almond-shaped structures situated on each side of the uterus in a woman’s pelvis, are prone to developing little sacs filled with fluid called ovarian cysts. These cysts can range in size from being the size of a pea to being the size of a grapefruit.
Types of Ovarian Cysts
There are several types of ovarian cysts, with the two most common being functional cysts and dermoid cysts.
Functional cysts are the most prevalent type and typically form during the menstrual cycle. These cysts are usually harmless and often resolve on their own within a few menstrual cycles. They can be divided into two subtypes further:
Follicular Cysts: Follicular cysts occur when the follicle, which is supposed to release an egg during ovulation, does not rupture and continues to grow, forming a cyst. These cysts are usually small and rarely cause discomfort.
Corpus Luteum Cysts: Corpus luteum cysts develop when the follicle ruptures during ovulation, but the corpus luteum (a structure formed from the ruptured follicle) doesn’t resolve as it should. These cysts can be slightly larger and may cause mild pelvic pain.
Dermoid cysts, on the other hand, are less common and are more likely to be palpable externally due to their size and composition. These cysts contain tissues like hair, skin, and even teeth, as they originate from embryonic cells. While they are generally benign, they can sometimes grow quite large and cause discomfort.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts
In most cases, ovarian cysts do not produce noticeable symptoms. But when they do, the following symptoms might appear:
Pelvic Pain: Dull or sharp pain in the lower abdomen on the side where the cyst is located.
Bloating: A feeling of fullness or bloating in the lower abdomen.
Changes in Menstrual Cycle: Irregular cycles or modifications to menstrual flow.
Pain During Intercourse: Experiencing discomfort or agony when engaging in sexual activities.
Frequent Urination: Increased urgency to urinate.
It’s crucial to remember that these signs are not exclusive to ovarian cysts and can be caused by a number of different illnesses. Consult a medical expert right once for an accurate diagnosis if you have severe or persistent symptoms.
Can You Feel an Ovarian Cyst from the Outside?
Now, let’s address the core question: Can you feel an ovarian cyst from the outside? The answer largely depends on the type and size of the cyst.
Small Functional Cysts
Most small functional cysts, such as follicular or corpus luteum cysts, are typically not palpable from the outside. These cysts are usually too small and are located deep within the pelvic region.
Dermoid cysts, being larger and sometimes containing solid elements like hair and teeth, have the potential to be felt externally in some cases. However, this is relatively uncommon and not a reliable method for diagnosis. Attempting to feel for a cyst without proper medical training can be misleading and potentially harmful.
The Importance of Medical Evaluation
It is important to stress the need of visiting a healthcare expert if you suspect any ovarian cyst-related symptoms rather than attempting to self-diagnose by feeling for a cyst. A variety of diagnostic techniques, including pelvic ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs, can be used by medical experts to precisely determine the existence, size, and type of ovarian cysts.
In conclusion, although while some ovarian cysts, especially dermoid cysts, may be able to be touched externally, doing so is not a reliable way to make a diagnosis. A healthcare professional’s skill is required for the discovery and diagnosis of ovarian cysts since they are a varied collection of disorders with various features and sizes. It is always essential to get evaluated by a doctor if you have ovarian cyst symptoms or concerns in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and the best possible care.
Aahana Khan is a versatile content writer who skillfully combines her expertise in biotechnology with creative communication. Her strong educational background in biotechnology provides a scientific lens to her writing, making complicated ideas easy to understand for a wide range of readers. Driven by her passion for effective communication, she seamlessly transitioned from her biotechnology roots to a thriving career in content writing.