Ovarian cysts can also appear in menopause. Symptoms, tests to do and when they can favor a tumor – iO Woman
Land ovarian cysts are a phenomenon that can occur at various ages in a woman’s life, especially in childbearing age, when the activity of the ovaries is at its peak. However, they can also occur in adolescence and menopause, causing discomfort and dysfunctions of the genital and urinary tract that must be brought to the attention of the gynecologist. We talked about it with Doctor Raffaela Di Pace, gynecologist, PhD in Pathophysiology of Menopause and sexologist consultant.
What are ovarian cysts?
«They are an irregularity of the ovary, they can be of different origin because there are different tissues on the ovary. They can be solid, liquid or mixed. However, they must be ultrasonographically evaluated to establish their origin and decide if and when to intervene with pharmacological or surgical therapy “, explains Dr. Raffaela Di Pace.
Ovarian cysts in menopause and in childbearing age: the differences
“Ovarian cysts do not occur more frequently during menopause, there is no direct correlation. In childbearing age cysts are often of functional origin and they depend on whether the ovary is working. After menstruation, the cyst may disappear and not recur. In menopause, on the other hand, is less likely to go away on its own because the ovary is not as active as it was in childbearing age, ”explains the gynecologist.
When and why the pill can help
“Cysts of childbearing age are sometimes treated with pill, which rests ovarian activity and prevents cysts from growing. Sometimes, theendometriosis is manifested by the appearance of a endometriotic cyst: also in this case, putting the ovary at rest with the pill there is the probability that it resolves spontaneously », adds Dr. Di Pace.
Why do ovarian cysts form in menopause?
“There is no single reason, in menopause the appearance of cysts is often asymptomatic, unless they are particularly large. They can even measure 10 cm, and in this case they cause a sense of swelling of the abdomen, discomfort, pain », continues the gynecologist. If one or more of these symptoms occur, it is essential to contact the gynecologist for an examination and. an ultrasound evaluation.
Symptoms not to be underestimated
Ovarian cysts are almost always asymptomatic, unless they have grown over 10 cm and then easily cause pelvic pain, swelling of the belly, stinging.
What tests to diagnose them
“L’ultrasound – better if transvaginal –, while in some cases MRI is indicated instead. It is the gynecologist who, after a thorough examination, advises how to deepen the diagnosis », explains the expert.
When are ovarian cysts dangerous?
“When there is a suspicion that it may be an ovarian tumor, which can be ascertained with thetransvaginal ultrasound or with a blood test for the CA125 marker which should be performed only after an ultrasound suspicion and on the advice of the gynecologist. Its value, in fact, rises only in 60% of advanced ovarian cancers », warns Di Pace.
Ovarian cancer and menopausal cyst
«Furthermore, it must be considered that« the Ovarian cancer is more common after age 50, therefore, if ovarian cysts occur around this age, there could be a probability that it has a malignant origin », warns Di Pace. Also in this case, the visit and ultrasound examination performed early by the specialist are essential in order not to take risks.
Regular visits to the gynecologist
As far as the benign cysts are almost always asymptomatic, in case of symptoms it is essential to contact the gynecologist. It is important to make yourself regularly visit the gynecologist at least once a year, along with the Pap smear and transvaginal ultrasound. Check-ups are to be done more frequently for patients with a family history of ovarian cancer, ”she concludes Doctor Raffaela Di Pace, gynecologist, PhD in Pathophysiology of Menopause and sexologist consultant.
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