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Chocolate cysts are one of the most common conditions in women of reproductive age, especially those between 30-50 years old. A chocolate cyst (endometrioma chocolate cyst) describes an ovarian cyst filled with old blood, giving it a dark-brown colour similar to chocolate. These cysts are not cancerous, but they can cause infertility if the conditions are severe enough.
Irregular menstrual periods and unusual period cramps frequently indicate chocolate cysts. Other signs and symptoms may differ for each individual. However, it is suggested that you seek a proper diagnosis and treatment from professionals.
What is Chocolate Cyst
Noncancerous, fluid-filled cysts called "chocolate cysts" generally develop deep in the ovaries. Their name derives from the brown, tar-like appearance that resembles melted chocolate. The chocolate colour comes from the old menstrual blood in the cysts. They are also known as endometrioma chocolate cysts. The condition may occur once or multiple times, depending on health conditions. Also, chocolate cysts can affect one or both ovaries.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, grows outside the uterus and onto other structures, such as the uterus and fallopian tubes. This overgrowth of endometrium causes severe pain and cysts, and it may result in infertility.
What is Cyst
Cysts are pouches or capsules that develop in the body or on the skin.
Chocolate Cyst Causes
Despite the fact that the causes of ovarian chocolate cysts are unknown, most doctors believe they are caused by endometriosis. The lining of the uterus is made up of endometrial tissue, and endometriosis causes this tissue to also proliferate outside the uterus. The tissue is trapped inside the cysts, making it impossible to normally shred itself as usual. Inflammation occurs and may disrupt the cysts, resulting in an endometrioma chocolate cyst. Hence, instead of a monthly menstrual period, women may experience severe cramps or heavy periods.
Chocolate cysts are usually formed because of endometriosis, which directly involves hormonal factors and the female reproductive process.
Symptoms of Chocolate Cyst
Chocolate cysts can be either symptomatic or non-symptomatic, depending on each woman. The presence of symptoms is not necessarily affected by the size of the cysts. Usually, the size of the cysts varies between 2-20 cm.
Generally, an endometrioma chocolate cyst may have similar symptoms to endometriosis, such as chronic abdominal pain during the menstrual period with increasing severity every month and pain radiation into the pelvis or the back. Some women may experience severe pain to the point of fainting. Irritable bowels, diarrhea, and pain in the stomach, legs, or back during sexual intercourse are also possible.
However, it is not always the case that women have severe symptoms as mentioned above. Here are some more common examples of chocolate cysts symptoms:
- pelvic pain not related to your menstrual cycle
- painful, crampy periods
- irregular periods
- infertility for some women
- pain during sex
When to see a Doctor
You should see a doctor when you have:
- severe menstrual cramp
- accidental finding adnexal mass from other causes
- repetitive pelvic pain
Chocolate Cyst Diagnosis
How to diagnose endometrioma chocolate cyst?
- You will get a history taking and physical examination, specifically a pelvic exam.
- You may have a chocolate cyst ultrasound if your doctor feels a cyst during a pelvic exam, or suspect that you have endometriosis.
Complications of Chocolate Cyst
Despite the fact that ovarian cysts occur during menstruation, most of them do not cause complications or infertility. If you have severe symptoms due to an endometrioma chocolate cyst, you may undergo surgery to remove the cysts. The result of surgery differs depending on the symptoms and procedure.
Hence, here are some complications of chocolate cysts.
- Infertility or a difficulty in getting pregnant (conception).
Treatment for Chocolate Cyst in Bangkok
Chocolate cyst treatment generally involves no treatment, but in some cases, the condition may require surgery. The doctor will discuss the goal of treatment with you first, regarding fertility and possible complications. The diagnosis has to be determined first in order to get you the proper treatment, so you may have to undergo a pelvic ultrasound or biopsy.
The severity of your symptoms, and the location of the cyst are considered as the contributing factors.
Chocolate cyst treatment without surgery:
- Since most cysts can go away on their own, a doctor may suggest you to monitor the condition and symptoms for a few months.
- If you have pain during periods, your doctor may prescribe you medications.
Chocolate cyst surgery:
Surgery is considered if you experience severe symptoms. Chocolate cyst removal may be needed if you have ruptured cysts or twisted ovarian cysts since it indicates emergency.
The type of surgery depends on factors contributing to your symptoms. You may need a long recovery period before going back to normal activity.
If you are now living in Bangkok and experiencing chocolate cyst symptoms, Nakornthon Hospital is a good choice for you. The Women’s center at Nakornthon Hospital offers you a thorough service, diagnosis and treatment, provided by experienced gynecologists. The hospital proposes a wide range of treatments for gynecological diseases, such as endometrioma chocolate cyst and pelvic inflammation. We recommended you pay a visit and have yourself examined, to ensure that you are in good health and will stay strong.
Chocolate Cyst FAQ
Chocolate cyst or Endometrioma chocolate cyst is a common condition in women. Nevertheless, there may be some questions regarding the condition. Here are some FAQs that you may interest in:
Can you treat chocolate cyst without surgery?
Yes, you can. Most women with chocolate cysts do not require surgery. However, it is different for each person. Consult your doctor regarding this matter to get a proper treatment.
What is surgery recovery time for chocolate cyst?
The recovery period varies. Normally, it lasts about a week, depending on your conditions.
Does chocolate cyst affect pregnancy?
The endometrial tissue frequently develops in a woman's ovaries and other reproductive organs, which may reduce her chances of getting pregnant.
Conclusion for Chocolate Cyst
One of the most prevalent conditions in women of reproductive age, particularly in those between the ages of 30 and 50, is a chocolate cyst. Period cramps that are odd or irregular often point to the condition, and are sometimes combined with other symptoms, such as pelvic pain and pain during sex. A chocolate cyst is treatable but needs a consistent follow-up treatment . The condition often improves itself over a period of time; however, the symptoms become more severe in some cases. It is recommended that you seek professional advice to get a precise diagnosis and proper treatment.
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