What Does Ovarian Cyst Treatment Look Like?

If you have ovaries (or a single ovary), you probably already know that you can get cysts that develop on them and that these are known as ovarian cysts. Though sources such as the NHS point out that many ovarian cysts will cause you no symptoms and won't need to be treated because they'll go away on their own, that isn't always the case.

As mentioned by the Office on Women's Health (OWH), part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, there are some circumstances under which it's likely that your ovarian cyst or cysts will need to be treated instead of being left alone. Per OWH, these circumstances include if you have severe symptoms associated with the cyst or cysts, since it is possible that a ruptured cyst is the cause. Additionally, cysts that are sizeable or block the blood flow to the ovaries may also cause symptoms and will require treatment, as will those that get larger, do not go away, or look unusual and may be cancerous.

Wondering more about how ovarian cysts are treated? Here are the basics of what you need to know.

The surgeries to remove ovarian cysts

The University of Utah notes that there are two types of surgical procedures that are performed to remove ovarian cysts. Most commonly, ovarian cysts are removed via laparoscopic surgery, which involves a very small cut being made in the abdomen and a tool being inserted to remove the cyst. Though you will be under general anesthesia for the procedure, most patients will be able to return home later that day.

Sometimes, cysts have to be removed via open surgery, which is typically used in cases involving ovarian cysts larger than 20 centimeters. As a larger incision is made with this type of surgery, you will have a longer recovery period. However, most hospital stays associated with this type of surgery are only for one or two nights.

Even if you have an ovarian cyst that is causing you problems, there is a chance that you might not need to undergo a surgical procedure to remove it, per the OWH. Although your individual chances of needing surgery for your cyst will be based on your symptoms and diagnoses, there are other routes that your doctor could take, including prescribing you stronger pain medication or prescribing you a form of hormonal birth control.

Treating ovarian cysts at home

Provided that your ovarian cyst or cysts do not need to be removed via surgical means, there are some things that you can do at home that might help ease the symptoms caused by them (if you take any prescription medication or have been prescribed pain-relieving medication by your doctor, be sure to check what is and is not safe for you to do or take while on it before you attempt any of the following advice).

According to Healthline, some of the at-home treatments for relieving cyst-related cramps include using heat (such as a hot water bottle or heating pad). You can also consume dong quai, a plant which is used in some forms of traditional medicine to treat a variety of women's issues, per Mount Sinai. You can also use remedies such as ginger tea or chamomile tea to ease your symptoms.

If you develop any new symptoms or your existing symptoms worsen, however, it's important to seek medical advice to ensure that you do not have a ruptured cyst or another medical emergency that requires attention.