A chocolate cyst, also called ovarian endometriomas, are fluid-filled, noncancerous cysts found in the ovaries of women who are reproductive age. Wondering why it is named chocolate; it’s because of their brown, tar-like appearance that looks like melted chocolate. It got in color from the old menstrual blood and tissues, which fills the cyst cavity. The chocolate cyst can affect one or both the ovaries, and even it may be singular or multiple cysts.
Women who have endometriosis may or may not suffer from chocolate cysts. Endometriosis is a medical disorder in which the uterus lining, also known as the endometrium, will grow outside the uterus and ovaries, fallopian tube and other reproductive tract areas. The overgrowth of the uterus lining can be responsible for causing severe pain and infertility.
Chocolate Cyst Symptoms Signs
The chocolate cyst symptoms vary from women to women, which means some women might experience severe symptoms, and others may witness no symptoms at all. Even the severity of chocolate cyst symptoms doesn’t depend on the size and duration of the cyst. Go through the list of endometriosis chocolate cyst symptoms:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting
- Painful menstrual periods
- Dark-coloured vaginal discharge
- Swelling and Extreme pain in the abdominopelvic area
- Pain while bending and stretching or strenuous activity
- Pain during sex
- Pain while urinating and passing stool
You need immediate medical attention when you have a ruptured chocolate cyst, and the content of these cysts will spill all over ovaries and other reproductive organs. It will cause the following chocolate cyst symptoms:
- Sharp pain on the side of the cyst.
How to Diagnose Chocolate Cysts?
Your gynecologists’ may order a pelvic ultrasound if
- You have unexperienced infertility
- You have endometriosis based on your symptoms
- Doctors feel you have a cyst during the pelvic exam
Ultrasound can identify if there is any cyst present or not, but it cannot tell what type of cyst it is. For probable diagnosis of the chocolate cyst, fluid and debris is extracted from inside the cyst via needle biopsy and then examined to diagnose the type of cyst.
How to Treat Chocolate Cysts?
Treatment of chocolate cysts depends on the following factors like your age, symptoms, how many ovaries are affected, one or both and whether you have children or not.
Your gynecologists’ may recommend a watch-and-wait approach if the cyst is smaller and not showing symptoms and can even advise a birth control pill that can help control pain and slow the growth of cysts. Your gynecologists’ can advise ovarian cystectomy surgery for removing cyst if you have:
- cysts larger than 4 cm
- painful symptoms
- cancerous cysts
You should discuss everything about the chocolate cysts and the surgery before the treatments begin to clarify all your doubts.
What Effect Does Chocolate Cysts Have On Fertility?
Chocolate cysts symptoms can interfere with the fertility of women in many ways. Sometimes cysts will imbalance your reproductive hormones leading to infertility. Other times sperm might not penetrate the barrier formed by the cysts on eggs releasing ovary, or these cysts can prevent ovary from forming eggs. Fallopian tube scarring can also cause fertility issues in women due to chocolate cysts.
What’s the Outlook?
Chocolate cysts symptoms can be managed with proper medication, but doctors need to remove the cyst in some cases. Chocolate cysts are very common in women with endometriosis. Consult a Meddo gynecologists’ to discuss the treatment option of chocolate cysts, and don’t forget to tell them whether you are planning to have children in the future or not. It will help develop a suitable treatment plan for you.