The ovaries are the sources of ova for reproduction and of the hormones that regulate female sexual life. The anatomic structure, response to hormonal stimuli, and secretory capacity of the ovary are different at different periods of life. The principal organs of the human female reproductive tract are the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, uterus and vagina.
Reproduction begins with the development of ova in the ovaries.
The normal reproductive years of the female are characterized by monthly rhythmical changes in the rates of secretion of the female hormones and corresponding changes in the ovaries and sexual organs. A single ovum is expelled from an ovarian follicle into the abdominal cavity in the middle of each monthly sexual cycle. This ovum then passes through one of the fallopian tubes into the uterus; if it has been fertilized by a sperm, it implants in the uterus, where it develops into a fetus, a placenta and fetal membranes. The rhythmic pattern is called the female sexual cycle or menstrual cycle. The duration of the cycle averages 28 days. It may be as short as 20 days or as long as 45 days even in normal women, although abnormal cycle length is frequently associated with decreased fertility.
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There are two significant results of the female sexual cycle. First, only a single ovum is normally released from the ovaries each month so that normally only a single fetus can begin to grow at a time. Second, the uterine endometrium is prepared for implantation of the fertilized ovum at the required time of the month.
A cyst is a bag or a sac of tissue that contains fluid. It is a collection of fluid that is surrounded by a thin wall. This sac like structure, which is filled with fluid when found in the ovary, is called the ovarian cyst. These cysts are very common particularly in women between the ages of 30 and 60.
The presence of these cysts may vary. It may occur in single for some or in multiple forms in either of the ovaries or both the ovaries. Mostly, they appear to be benign or non-cancerous cells. But a few percent has been reported to be malignant or cancerous.
During ovulation (the process during which the egg ripens and is released from the ovary) the ovary produces a hormone to make the follicles (sacs containing immature eggs and fluid) grow and the eggs within it mature.
Once the egg is ready, the follicle ruptures and the egg is released. Once the egg is released, the follicle changes into a smaller sac called the corpus luteum. Ovarian cysts occur as a result of the follicle not rupturing, the follicle not changing into its smaller size.
The other causes include a weak immune system, poor dietary habits, obesity, and collection of several toxic products in the tract of the digestive system and in the body. Other than this, research shows that ovarian cysts might also be caused due to genetic tendencies. i.e. you may suffer from the cysts if there is family history of ovarian cyst and the most commonly seen are those whose menstrual cycle pattern resembles like that of their Mother and sometimes the presence of the cyst among any of their relatives. Also sleeping during day time, awakening during night time, and erratic lifestyle are responsible for the development of cyst.
Many cyst are normal, these normal cysts are called functional cysts, which occur as a result of ovulation. This kind of cysts normally shrinks over time.
There are five (5) common types of ovarian cysts: functional cysts, polycystic ovaries, endometrial cysts, cyst adenomas and dermoid cysts.
There are two types of functional cysts - follicle cyst and corpus luteum cyst. Both of these types of cysts develop as part of the natural function of the ovary. i.e. it is a sac like structure that is formed in the surface of the ovary. The ovary releases a matured egg and the cysts are formed if the matured egg is within the sac itself and it is termed as functional cyst. It is of two types:
1. Follicle Cyst. - This cyst occurs during ovulation when an egg is released into the fallopian tube or when a developing follicle fails to rupture. It is nothing but when the sac does not release an egg and swells up with fluid. These cysts are harmless and will usually dissolve within one to three months.
2. Corpus Luteum Cyst. - This cyst is caused by a malfunction of the corpus luteum. Here, the sac releases an egg and then reseals itself. Unless a woman is pregnant, the corpus luteum disintegrates. But in the formation of a corpus luteum cyst, it fills with fluid and remains in the ovary.
'Polycystic ovaries' is a condition in which the follicles never erupt from the ovaries.
Under normal circumstances, follicles grow, mature, and rise to the surface of the ovary, where they burst and release an egg to the Fallopian tube, a process controlled by pituitary hormones. The remaining of the burst follicle then begin to make progesterone, which stimulates the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to grow thicker in case it requires to support a fertilized egg. The effect on the pituitary of an increase in progesterone production is to indicate it to stop stimulating the maturity of eggs.
In polycystic ovaries, the follicles grow just under the ovaries' surface, and are produced again and again because the pituitary has not been signaled to shut off. Both ovaries become filled with tiny cysts and can become enlarged.
Endometrial cysts (also known as endometriomas or "chocolate cysts" (filled with dark blood)) form as a result of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease in which the endometrial tissue normally found in the uterus grows in other areas. After successive menstrual cycles, this misplaced endometrial tissue bleed, gradually forming endometrial cysts. Over time the cysts grow and can become large.
Cyst adenomas are known as neoplasm's (abnormal new growth). Ovarian neoplasms are new and abnormal formations that develop from the ovarian tissue. There are two (2) types of cyst adenomas - serous and mucinous.
Serous cyst adenoma is filled with a thin watery fluid and can grow to be between 2 inches to 6 inches in diameter.
Mucinous cyst adenoma is filled with a sticky, thick gelatinous material and can grow to be between 6 inches to 12 inches in diameter. There have been rare cases where the cyst measured 40 inches in diameter and weighed over 100 pounds.
Dermoid cysts are also known as ovarian neoplasm's and consist of skin or related tissue such as hair, teeth or bone instead of fluid like the cyst adenomas. Dermoid cysts develop from the ovary's germ cells (cells that produce the egg and the beginnings of all human tissues). Dermoid cysts may be present at birth but are not noticed until adulthood. They generally measure between 5 to 9cms in diameter.
The symptoms are as such
When a cyst gets rupture, the women experience a sudden or sharp pain. It gives a raised chance to infection or inflammation. However, the symptoms varies according to each women's constitution, her lifestyle, history of other illness and various other factors and treatment varies accordingly.
However Ayurvedic Physicians suggest following proper diet and lifestyle along with certain Ayurvedic Medicines that are helpful in regulating the menstrual cycle and balancing the hormonal levels.
The Ayurvedic medicines usually vary depending on the cause and constitution of the person.
PCOD is found to be the most common among all and it is discussed below:
Poly cystic ovaries or Stein - Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal imbalance that causes women to suffer from various symptoms. It is a condition in which there are many small cysts in the ovaries and it is the most common hormonal disorder in women.
Girls who show signs of puberty in a much earlier age are found more prone to poly cystic ovarian disease.
In most women with PCOD, menarche occurs at the expected time, but uterine bleeding is unpredictable in onset, duration and amount.
This disease affects the hormonal cycles. Glands such as the pituitary, hypothalamus, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal cortex and ovaries etc. make up the endocrine system that produces hormones in women. Hormones regulate the normal development of eggs in the ovaries. When there is a malfunction or breakdown in the process, the menstrual cycle is affected.
Follicles are sacs within the ovaries that contain eggs. In poly cystic ovaries, there are many poorly developed follicles in the ovaries. The eggs in these follicles do not mature and therefore cannot be released from the ovaries. Instead, they form cyst in the ovary and this can enlarge in both the ovaries. The immature follicles and the inability to release an egg (ovulate) are likely caused by low levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and higher than normal levels of male hormones (androgens) produced in the ovary.
This can affect the women's ability to get pregnant.
The disease is diagnosed between the ages of 20 to 30.
Poly cystic ovarian disease is characterized by a complex set of symptoms and the cause cannot be determined for all types of patients.
Also women who become obese due to this disease are at the risk of hyper cholesterol and diabetes. A few of the women with PCOD are also at the risk of breast cancer and endometrial cancer.
The tests to determine PCOD include:
The Ayurvedic medicines usually vary depending on the cause and constitution of the person.