What Causes Enlarged Ovaries, and How Are They Treated

What causes enlarged ovaries?

The most common cause of enlarged ovaries are:

1) Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is characterized by excess menstrual blood and irregular periods.

PCOS may affect 1 in every 3 women over age 40. Symptoms include acne, hirsutism, obesity, insulin resistance, polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility. Women with PCOS have an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer.

2) Cysts or cystic tumors.

These benign growths are usually found in the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, or other organs. They may cause pain during urination and bleeding between periods. If left untreated they can lead to infertility and even death if not treated properly.

3) Other conditions such as thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, adrenal insufficiency and others.

4) Genetic factors.

Some women are born with enlarged ovaries while some develop them later in life due to environmental factors like smoking or certain medications. There is no known cure for enlarged ovaries but there are treatments available including hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Surgery can also be performed to remove the cysts. If the cysts have become cancerous it might be too late to save your life. You should seek expert medical advice before starting any new treatment.

How are they treated?

Treatment options for an enlarged ovary include:

1) Resting and staying stress free, especially if you suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Getting enough sleep and relaxation can help decrease pain and inflammation.

2) Taking birth control pills (BCP) to help regulate periods, decrease pain and lower the size of cysts.

3) Using a vaginal pessary.

This is a medicated tampon-like device that you place into your vaginal canal to help relieve pain and shrink cysts. They can be purchased over-the-counter at most drug stores or online. Follow the directions for use on the package or consult your physician.

4) Taking over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or NSAID’s such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) to help with pain.

Never take these drugs without first consulting your doctor. Do not mix them with alcohol or other drugs without medical supervision.

5) Hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

This is only recommended if you suffer from PCOS. Speak to your physician if you think this may be an option for you.

If you suffer from frequent or severe pain, contact your physician immediately. Cysts can rupture and become life-threatening. In some cases a hysterectomy may be required.

What techniques or methods can be used to treat enlarged ovaries?

There are several treatment options available for patients suffering from enlarged ovaries. They include:

1) Birth control pills or other hormonal drugs.

These are the most common treatments for women with PCOS and other hormonal imbalances. The hormones regulate a woman’s monthly cycle and help prevent unwanted tissue growth.

2) Hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

This treatment is reserved for women who have completed their childbearing years and no longer produce enough estrogen on their own.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Medical implications of ultrasonically detected polycystic ovaries by M Swanson, EE Sauerbrei… – Journal of Clinical …, 1981 – Wiley Online Library

Postmenopausal hyperthecosis: functional dysregulation of androgenesis in climacteric ovary by E Krug, SL Berga – Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2002 – Elsevier

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Effects of” natural oestrogen” replacement therapy on menopausal symptoms and blood clotting. by J Coope, JM Thomson, L Poller – Br Med J, 1975 – bmj.com

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