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The ovaries, the sex organs among females, are one of the most vital parts of the body. If they do not function normally, it could give rise to many issues including, but not limited to ovarian cancer and infertility. Problems occur when either the ovaries are not working to their optimum, there is some kind of imbalance of hormones, or because of tumor development.
Most of the time, signs and symptoms of ovarian disorders are quite clear. If you think you might have some issues going on with your ovaries, read on to learn more.
Ovaries: It’s Hormones and Functions
Ovaries are the main organ of the female sex anatomy. They are responsible for the protection and release of the oocytes or eggs, the secretion of sex hormones, and for the production of the egg in order to generate fertilization. There are two ovaries in the human body which become mature when a female goes through puberty. They are believed to be the size of a large grape.
It is in the ovaries that the female reproductive hormones are formed, estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for fertility, enlargement of breasts and hips, and produce the monthly menstrual cycle. When a problem occurs, the ovaries are either unable to produce eggs, produce low quality eggs, give rise to miscarriage, cause irregularity in periods, or infertility. There are also times that the imbalance of hormones can lead to low libido and problems in reaching orgasm.
Ovarian Disorder and Conditions
Studies show that majority of the problems that arise in the ovaries are because of some kind of cysts. But you will be relieved to know that mainly these problems are common and most women will get them at some point in time. Most women don’t even find out about them because they neither cause any pain nor show any specific symptoms.
Here are the most common ovarian problems that occur among women.
Endometriosis is a commonly occurring medical problems where the tissue that is generally produced inside the womb, starts growing outside the womb as well. For some, the condition is totally harmless and women don’t even know it is taking place. But for others, the disorder can turn chronic with severe pain and problems with fertility.
Even when women do have excruciating pain, they think it is a normal part of menstrual pain and continue to deal with it, without getting it checked. Some common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Very painful periods
- Pain during or after sex
- Pain with urination or bowel movements
- Excessive bleeding during periods
Ovarian cysts are made up of follicles combining together to form large water filled sacs inside the ovary. Most of the cysts that occur in the ovaries are benign and not dangerous. There are two types of cysts, functional and non-functional ovarian cysts.
Non-functional cysts are the ones that are formed within as well as outside the ovary, like ones caused by endometriosis.
Functional cysts are further divided into follicular and corpus luteum cysts. Follicular cysts are common and take place when a follicle with ovum does not rupture during ovulation. The cyst becomes 2.5 cm in diameter and can cause problems with the menstrual cycle. Corpus luteum cysts occur after ovulation and are the residues of the follicles that do not degrade within 5-9 days.
Depending on what kind of cysts you develop, the problems and symptoms can range from very mild to severe such as difficulty conceiving or becoming infertile. Your primary doctor or OBGYN can evaluate you.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PCOS is one of the most commonly occurring problems of the modern world. Studies show that 5-10% of women in US alone are suffering from PCOS. PCOS symptoms can range from mild to severe, as they can give rise to obesity, heart issues, diabetes, miscarriages, and infertility.
Even though PCOS can be treated with medication, it is best managed with diet, exercise and weight loss. When you lose weight, the less likely your PCOS will act up or cause any kind of health issues.
Ovarian Germ Cell Tumor
Ovarian germ cell tumors are cancerous cells that form in the germ or eggs of the ovaries. This can happen to teenage girls or young women and often only affects one ovary. These cancers have a variety of forms and need different kinds of treatments. The severity also depends on their type and how soon they are detected in the body. If not treated in time, the cancer can spread and even cause infertility.
Cancers that form within the tissues of the ovaries are known as ovarian cancers. There are different types of cancers and they have differing treatment options. If the ovaries are removed surgically to save the patient, they can give way to infertility. But there are sometimes other options where the ovary is saved and patient is still able to become pregnant. Every person is different. Please consult with your doctor.
Ovarian Epithelial Cancer
Cancers can occur in the tissues of the ovaries or the linings of the fallopian tube. They are called ovarian epithelial cancer, fallopian cancers, and peritoneal cancer. Women who have a history of ovarian cancers are more at risk. They are also at higher risk if their mother, grandmothers, sister or aunts had ovarian cancer.
Treatment is possible, but it all depends on severity of the cancer and the time it is diagnosed. The sooner cancer is diagnosed, the better it can be treated. Please consult with your doctor as every person is different. It is also important to have the support of your close friends and family members during this time.