A Chocolate cyst is a blood-filled sacks found in the ovaries. Many women are affected by this type of cyst at some point in their lives usually before menopause.
If a rupture occurs the fluid inside the cyst can spill into the ovaries and pelvis area and cause a number of problems. As well as being very painful, it can also cause some of the organs in the pelvis to bind together including the Fallopian tubes and ovaries and can ultimately lead to infertility.
There can be some complications if there are bigger, multiple cysts so it may be better to treat the cysts before planning a family.
Pictured here is a chocolate Cyst as it is about to be surgically removed. Notice the dark purple coloring.
Symptoms are similar to those of endometriosis but all cases are individual. As with most conditions we all react differently and with cysts some women, regardless to how long the cysts have been present, will have severe symptoms while other women will have little or no symptoms at all.
Some of the most common symptoms are:
•Abdominal cramping/swelling during the menstrual cycle
•Excessive vaginal bleeding
•Dark-colored vaginal discharge
•Pain when going to the toilet—both urinating and emptying the bowels
•Pain during sexual intercourse and
•Pain during exercising such as bending and stretching
Intense, sharp pain may indicate that the cyst has pressed on the ovary and caused it to twist and cut off the blood supply.
If you have any of these symptoms, your gynecologist may diagnose the condition by looking at your records, asking you questions about your symptoms performing a pelvic exam. Sometimes a transvaginal ultrasound, x-ray or blood test may be done as well. Some women do not have any symptoms so diagnosis could be made during other types of examinations.
If the cyst becomes problematic it will need to be treated and there are a number of options available through medication, surgery and alternative treatments . Our store has excellent treatment options for cysts.
Medical drugs such as danazol may not be able to cure chocolate cysts but can help to relieve symptoms temporarily.
Danazol once prescribed is usually taken orally for 6-9 months. It works by changing hormone levels in the body, namely by lowering estrogen levels. The drug puts the body into a menopausal state so that the ovaries stop releasing monthly eggs, shrinks growths and reduces pain associated with the cyst. This medication has a good improvement rate and this can last for up to a year after treatment is stopped. However there are some drawbacks and side-effects.
The danazol drug is not broadly used due to its side-effects which can increase cholesterol levels and introduce some male characteristics such as deepening of the voice (which can be permanent) and hair growth. It is important that it is prescribed properly and after correct diagnoses and should not be used by patients who are pregnant or breast-feeding, have liver, kidney or heart disease, have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding or porphyria.
Other side-effects of the drug can include weight increase, oily hair and skin, muscle cramps, flushing, acne, decreased breast size, depression and skin rash. Danazol can also increase the risk of ovarian cancer in this type of treatment.
If you have sexual intercourse whilst using the danazol drug it is ESSENTIAL to use a barrier method of contraception such as condoms because the drug is known to harm a developing fetus. It is also important that you start your course of treatment during your period so you know you are not pregnant before you begin.
There are a couple of surgical options available depending on how many cysts are present and the size and location of the cyst.
A cystectomy can be performed to remove one cyst, however, a doctor may opt for an oophorectomy, the removal of the ovary/ovaries.
Sometimes the surgical removal of the cysts can result in the removal of healthy tissue which can in some cases lead to lower fertility.
Scary fact: These cysts can grow in size from ½-4 inches in diameter.
(2009)Chocolate Cyst: The Endometriosis Cyst http://www.hellolife.net/womens-health/b/chocolate-cyst-the-endometriosis-cyst/#sharea [Accessed 05/13/2012]
Chocolate Cysts http://www.ovarian-cyst-symptoms.info/Chocolate-Cyst.html [Accessed 05/13/2012]
(2009) Danzol for Endometriosis http://women.webmd.com/endometriosis/danazol-for-endometriosis [Accessed 05/13/2012]
Chocolate Cysts http://ovarian-cyst-treatment.org/types-of-cysts/chocolate-cysts/chocolate-cysts/ [Accessed 05/13/2012]
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Chocolate cysts are debilitating! But do get better with a Holistic approach! Not rated yet
I first discovered I had a chocolate cyst when I had an internal ultrasound done at a women's clinic. At the time I had no insurance, but knew something …