Cease on ovaries: Ovarian cysts – Symptoms and causes
What Helps Prevent the Development of Ovarian Cysts?
Lifestyle Changes Can Prevent Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are more common than one might think. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled or solid pockets on a woman’s ovary and are often presumed to be more serious than they really are. They’re typically painless and won’t cause any harm. However, an ovarian cyst can become an issue if it does not go away on its own or continues to grow larger—they can also become cancerous in rare cases. Ovarian cysts are common among pregnant women and occur mostly in women who regularly experience their menstrual cycle. As common as ovarian cysts can be, there are still ways women can prevent them from developing.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
A woman’s overall health plays a big role in whether or not she will develop ovarian cysts, which is especially true when it comes to weight. Maintaining a healthy weight, based on age and body mass index, is important for all women. When a woman is overweight she is at a higher risk for developing conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can subsequently increase the risk of ovarian cyst development. What’s the good news? If overweight women with PCOS lose 10 percent of their weight, it can resolve issues and decrease the chances altogether. In order to maintain a healthy weight and prevent ovarian cysts, women should practice healthy eating habits and follow a normal exercise routine at least five days a week.
Rule Out Fertility Medication
Similar to weight gain, there are other underlying issues that can contribute to a woman developing ovarian cysts. If a woman is experiencing infertility and is taking fertility medication to increase her chances of becoming more fertile, she may get cysts over time. There are certain fertility medications, like clomiphene, that cause a woman’s body to ovulate more and often create this unwanted result. Although it is strongly advised to consult with a doctor before stopping any fertility medications, doing so will greatly decrease a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cysts.
Steer Clear of Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking is never advised, especially for those who wish to live a long, healthy life. Since the nicotine in cigarettes promotes conditions such as cancer and emphysema, it also increases a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cysts. Cigarette smoking affects both ovarian hormones and ovarian function. As multiple studies have shown, cigarette smoking links to a significant increase in ovarian cyst risk. Women who smoke cigarettes should cease the bad habit altogether by joining a smoking cessation program or taking another positive step to quit as soon as possible.
Think About Birth Control
Birth control can help with a myriad of issues, from acne to period regulation. Fortunately, birth control can also help prevent ovarian cysts and can even help to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. If women have been diagnosed with ovarian cysts, or are at an increased risk, they should strongly consider taking birth control. Birth control, in all its forms, suppresses ovarian function and prevents ovulation. The pill, a patch, ring, injection and implant all work to achieve these goals and prevent ovarian cysts from occurring in women.
Schedule a Gynecologist Appointment
There is no one better to help a woman with ovarian cyst prevention than a medical doctor who is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. A gynecologist has the ability to diagnose, treat and educate patients on ovarian cysts from what they are to the best ways to prevent them. In the event that a woman does develop ovarian cysts, she can also receive an ovarian cystectomy from her doctor. This surgical procedure removes cysts from one or both of the ovaries. An ovarian cystectomy not only diagnoses ovarian cysts, it also reduces any painful symptoms a woman experiences and rules out the risk of cancerous growth.
Women living in the New Jersey and New York areas who are looking to prevent or treat ovarian cysts should schedule an appointment at the office of Anthony C. Quartell, M.D. & Associates. Contact the office to explore your treatment options and learn more about the conditions a local OBGYN can treat today.
An Overview of the Ovaries
- The ovaries maintain the health of the female reproductive system.
- They secrete two main hormones—estrogen and progesterone.
- Diseases associated with the ovaries include ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, menstrual cycle disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
The ovaries are a pair of ova-producing organs (that is, they produce egg cells) that maintain the health of the female reproductive system. The ovaries, like their male counterpart, the testes, are known as gonads. This simply means they are the primary reproductive organs.
In addition to their role in producing ova, the ovaries also have the distinction of being an endocrine gland because they secrete hormones—primarily estrogen and progesterone—that are vital to normal reproductive development and fertility.
Anatomy of the Ovaries
The ovaries are oval shaped and about the size of a large grape. They are located on opposite ends of the pelvic wall, on either side of the uterus. The ovaries are each attached to the fimbria (tissue that connects the ovaries to the fallopian tube).
Hormones of the Ovaries
Ovaries produce and release two groups of sex hormones—progesterone and estrogen. There are actually three major estrogens, known as estradiol, estrone, and estriol. These substances work together to promote the healthy development of female sex characteristics during puberty and to ensure fertility.
Estrogen (estradiol, specifically) is instrumental in breast development, fat distribution in the hips, legs, and breasts, and the development of reproductive organs.
To a lesser extent, the ovaries release the hormone relaxin prior to giving birth. Another minor hormone is inhibin, which is important for signaling to the pituitary to inhibit follicle-stimulating hormone secretion.
Progesterone and Estrogen Production and Function
Progesterone and estrogen are necessary to prepare the uterus for menstruation, and their release is triggered by the hypothalamus.
Once you reach puberty, the ovaries release a single egg each month (the ovaries typically alternate releasing an egg)—this is called ovulation. The hypothalamus sends a signal to the pituitary gland to release gonadotrophic substances (follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone). These hormones are essential to normal reproductive function—including regulation of the menstrual cycle.
As the egg migrates down the fallopian tube, progesterone is released. It is secreted by a temporary gland formed within the ovary after ovulation called the corpus luteum. Progesterone prepares the body for pregnancy by causing the uterine lining to thicken. If a woman is not pregnant, the corpus luteum disappears.
If a woman is pregnant, the pregnancy will trigger high levels of estrogen and progesterone, which prevent further eggs from maturing. Progesterone is secreted to prevent uterine contractions that may disturb the growing embryo. The hormone also prepares the breasts for lactation.
Increased estrogen levels near the end of pregnancy alert the pituitary gland to release oxytocin, which causes uterine contractions. Before delivery, the ovaries release relaxin, which as the name suggests, loosens the pelvic ligaments in preparation for labor.
More hormones are released during pregnancy than at any other time of a woman’s life, but during menopause—which marks the end of fertility—estrogen levels fall fast. This can lead to a range of complications.
Diseases and Disorders of the Ovaries
- Ovarian Cancer: Ovarian cancer is an extremely serious, but rare, disease. Its symptoms usually don’t become apparent until the cancer has progressed into the later stages.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer include: persistent abdominal pain, indigestion, bloating, abnormal uterine bleeding, and pain during sexual intercourse. These are common problems, so in the great majority of cases, they will not indicate cancer. However, it’s important you pay attention to your body and discuss anything out of the ordinary—no matter how insignificant you think it may be—with your doctor.
- Ovarian Cysts: Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that affect women of all ages, though mostly women of child-bearing age. Cysts are very common—and they can range in size from a pea to a grapefruit. The majority of cysts are harmless, though larger cysts (those larger than 5 cm in diameter) may need to be surgically removed because large cysts can twist the ovary and disrupt its blood supply.
Cysts can form for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes, they’re simply part of normal menstruation. You may experience no symptoms, and the cysts will go away after a few cycles. These are known as functional cysts.
The great majority of cysts are benign. But abnormal or pathological cysts, such as those in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), may cause painful symptoms.
Treatment for ovarian cysts depends on the size and type of cyst. If you’re experiencing pain, talk to your doctor. He or she will determine what treatment is best for you.
Below are some common symptoms of pathological cysts:
- The most telltale symptom is pain and discomfort in the abdomen, vagina, low back, or thighs
- Breast tenderness
- Increased hair growth on your face, back, and chest
- Pain before or after your menstrual cycle and irregular periods
- Weight gain
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Polycystic means “many cysts.” Interestingly, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria for diagnosing PCOS do not require the presence of polycystic ovaries by pelvic ultrasound. The NIH criteria are based on signs of hyperandrogenism (or elevated androgens) and oligo/amenorrhea. Other key characteristics include infertility, irregular menstruation, acne, and increased hair growth on the face and body.
PCOS is essentially caused by a hormone imbalance—many of the symptoms are caused by increased production of androgens. These patients usually have high free testosterone levels.
It’s not uncommon for those diagnosed with PCOS to be overweight, insulin resistant, and have type 2 diabetes. Many of the symptoms of PCOS fade with weight loss.
The ovaries have an immensely important role not only in the female reproductive system but in the endocrine system as a whole. The hormones they secrete ensure the proper development of the female body and promote healthy fertility.
Updated on: 04/08/15
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment
Ovarian Cancer & Ovarian Pathology
Historically defined as disease recurrence within 6 months of completion of first-line platinum-based chemotherapy, although this is now more broadly applied to also include patients progressing within 6 months after multiple lines of chemotherapy.
(of cells or tissues) Obtained from the same individual.
The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans.
This chemotherapy technique delivers chemotherapy drugs directly into the abdominal cavity through a catheter (thin tube).
A surgical procedure that removes your uterus through an incision in your lower abdoman.
Also known as a BSO, is a surgical procedure in which both of the ovaries and the fallopian tubes are removed.
A surgical procedure designed to remove the omentum, which is a thin fold of abdominal tissue that encases the stomach, large intestine and other abdominal organs.
Removal of the affected ovary and fallopian tube.
A primary ovarian tumor with features similar to those of the kidney tumor of the same name.
Also called sonography or diagnostic medical sonography, is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within your body. The images can provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions.
A multidisciplinary meeting of the physicians and caretakers involved in cancer care, including pathologists, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, nurses and genetic counselors to discuss the treatment plans for individual patients.
A mass or a lump. A tumor mass can be nonneoplastic and be due to something like swelling or inflammation. A tumor mass can also be neoplastic, and includes both benign and malignant tumors.
The process by which the body reads the code in RNA to make proteins.
An inflammatory mass found in the fallopian tube, ovary and adjacent pelvic organs.
Thecomas are stromal tumors containing a significant number of cells with appreciable cytoplasm resembling to varying degrees theca cells.
The process by which DNA is copied to make RNA.
A type of treatment that specifically targets a single molecule or pathway involved in cancer cell growth and progression.
A mature teratoma composed either exclusively or predominantly of thyroid tissue.
Any change noted by a patient that could be caused by a disease.
A disease that widely affects the entire body.
A treatment that can reach cancer cells that have potentially spread throughout the body. Examples include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy. Systemic therapies can have side effects due to effects on normal body cells, such as hair loss or gastrointestinal distress.
A tumor composed entirely of cells resembling steroid-secreting cells that lack Reinke crystals.
A non-neoplastic, benign proliferation of ovarian stromal cells without associated luteinized stromal cells.
Presence of luteinized cells in the ovarian stroma, typically associated with stromal hyperplasia.
A gene mutation that occurs spontaneously in the body tissues or in the cancer cells that cannot be passed on to offspring (i. e., it cannot be inherited).
A measure of how much a cancer has grown and/or spread in the body (i.e., how advanced a cancer is). The most common staging system is the TNM system, which stands for Tumor, lymph Nodes, and Metastasis. FIGO stage is based on the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics system.
The term for the usual treatment given for a particular disease, which is based on past research and experience proving the treatment’s efficacy and safety.
An uncommon, sex cord-stromal tumor with a distinctive pattern of simple and complex annular tubules.
A benign, stromal tumor containing cells with signet-ring morphology but without intracytoplasmic mucin, glycogen or lipid, in a background fibromatous stroma.
An undifferentiated neoplasm, predominantly composed of small cells, but occasionally with a large cell component, and which is often associated with paraneoplastic hypercalcemia. The tumor is unrelated to small cell carcinoma of neuroendocrine (pulmonary) type.
These tumors are characterized by epithelial cell types resembling those of the fallopian tube, including ciliated cells. The epithelial component may be associated with a prominent component of stromal cells (cystadenofibroma, adenofibroma), may lack a stromal component (cystadenoma) or be entirely a surface papillary lesion (surface papilloma). Combinations of these growth patterns occur.
A neoplasm composed of Sertoli cells arranged in a variety of patterns, but most commonly as hollow or solid tubules.
Tumors are composed of variable proportions of Sertoli cells, Leydig cells and in the case of moderately and poorly differentiated neoplasms, primitive gonadal stroma and sometimes heterologous elements.
The process of having a second set of doctors look at your unique medical situation to provide a second opinion on the diagnosis and/or treatment plan.
A benign cystic neoplasm with two or more Müllerian cell types, all accounting for at least 10% of the epithelium. Rare tumors have more prominent fibrous stroma (adenofibroma).
A carcinoma composed predominantly of serous and endocervical-type mucinous epithelium. Foci containing clear cells and areas of endometrioid and squamous differentiation are not uncommon.
mRNA molecules are a copy of the genetic information encoded in DNA, and the RNA copy is then used to create proteins.
A cancer that arises from the connective tissue of the body. Examples include angiosarcoma (arising from blood vessels) and leiomyosarcoma (arising from smooth muscle cells).
A benign, stromal tumor composed of admixed rounded and spindled cells, arranged in cellular nodules in a hypocellular, edematous or collagenous background stroma.
A term used to describe testing used to look for a disease before it has caused symptoms.
A research study in which patient records and files are reviewed to look for results (outcomes) that already occurred in the past.
The chance or probability of developing a disease in a given period of time.
Anything that increases the risk of developing a disease. For ovarian cancer, these include family history and age.
A reduction is size.
Resident physicians are physicians who have finished medical school and are now studying a specific area in depth, such as pathology, internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, radiology, and more.
A type of research study in which patients are randomly assigned into treatment groups, either to receive an experimental treatment (“intervention group”) or standard treatment (“control group”).
When a cancer returns after previously having been eliminated. This can be a local recurrence in the area where the cancer was first detected, or a distant recurrence when the cancer metastases to a new organ.
A treatment for some forms of cancer that uses high energy radiation to damage the DNA of the cells. This is a form of local therapy
A physician who specializes in using targeted radiation therapy to kill tumor cells in a specific area.
Round microscopic calcific collections.
A term used describe treatments that are done before a disease occurs to prevent the disease from happening.
A research study that is conducted using new patients and following their course to observe the outcome.
A term used to describe continued growth of a cancer.
A measure of how rapidly a tumor is growing by assessing how many cells are dividing. The measure ranges from 0% (no cells dividing) to 100% (all cells dividing). (See also Ki67.)
A term used to describe the expected outcome of a cancer or disease (i.e., favorable or unfavorable).
A test result that can be used to help predict a patient’s prognosis. For instance, the expression of the estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) are favorable prognostic features.
The protein responsible for binding to and detecting progesterone in the body; the receptor is located in the nucleus of many cell types. Some cancers express the progesterone receptor and are termed “hormone receptor positive” cancers.
A sex hormone made by the body that is part of the estrogen signaling pathway.
One or more hyperplastic nodules of large, luteinized cells developing during the latter half of pregnancy and involuting spontaneously during the puerperium.
A term that describes variation in size and shape of a cell’s nucleus.
A hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. The cause of polycystic ovary syndrome isn’t well understood, but may involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms include menstrual irregularity, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity.
A type of imaging study that uses a radioactive element attached to a sugar molecule to detect parts of the body with rapidly growing cells (which consume more sugar), such as cancer cells.
Near and around the time of menopause.
A method of processing tissue to evaluate it under the microscope; the tissue is formalin fixed and paraffin embedded so that it can be thinly sliced and made into slides to review under a microscope.
A physician who specializes in the diagnosis of disease; pathologists use a microscope to examine the cells from tissue to determine if the tissue is normal or cancer.
A description for how a cancer has responded to therapy, as seen under the microscope.
A surgical procedure where the ovary is removed.
Ovarian torsion is a condition that occurs when an ovary twists around the ligaments that hold it in place. Ovarian torsion can cause severe pain and other symptoms because the ovary is not receiving enough blood.
Treatments given to relieve pain and symptoms rather than to cure the disease.
The part of a cell that contains the cell’s genetic material, DNA.
Hidden, or not known.
The size ratio of the nucleus to the cytoplasm. In many cancers, the nuclear becomes markedly and abnormally enlarged, leading to the abnormal feature of a “high N:C ratio.”
A histologic measure of how closely a cancer cell nucleus resembles that of a normal cell, or a measure of how abnormal a cancer nuclear is. It is generally graded as 1 (resembles normal), 2 (moderately abnormal), and 3 (markedly abnormal).
Relating to the nucleus of a cell.
Peritoneal lesions associated with serous borderline tumor were originally classified as “non-invasive” or “invasive” implants based on whether the lesions were confined to the surface of organs (noninvasive) or infiltrated the underlying tissue (invasive). Implants that display hierarchically branching papillae or detached clusters of cells associated with non-fibrotic stroma that do not invade have been termed “epithelial-type non-invasive implants,” whereas, those composed of clusters of cells embedded in reactive-appearing or dense fibrous tissue that overshadow the epithelial component and appear “tacked on” to the peritoneal surface, have been termed “desmoplastic-type non-invasive implants.” Single cells with eosinophilic cytoplasm may be present in the stroma in the latter type but are not indicative of invasion.
A non-invasive tumor displaying a nonhierarchical branching architecture featuring micropapillary and/or cribriform patterns composed of rounded cells with scant cytoplasm and moderate nuclear atypia.
Therapy that is given to the patient before surgery to attempt to shrink the tumor size. Neoadjuvant therapy is typically chemotherapy or targeted therapy, but can also include hormonal therapy or radiation therapy.
An abnormal growth of cells that are clonal, that is, they arose from each other and share genetic material. Neoplasms can be benign or malignant.
A change in a cell’s DNA. Some mutations lead to a favorable change in a gene or a protein’s function, an unfavorable change, a loss of function, or no change at all (see also genetic mutation).
An approach to patient care that incorporates several disciplines of medicine and allows for communication between physicians and caretakers of different specialties. In ovarian cancer care, this includes genetic counselors, medical oncologists, nurse navigators, pathologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and surgical oncologists. By sitting everyone down at one time, medical providers can better coordinate care, leading to better patient care.
A malignant epithelial tumor composed of gastrointestinal-type cells containing intra-cytoplasmic mucin.
An imaging technique that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures of tissue deep in the body.
A benign, cystic tumor lined by mucinous gastrointestinal-type epithelium or rarely, having prominent fibrous stroma (adenofibroma).
A tumor with two or more types of malignant, primitive, germ cell components. The most common admixture is that of dysgerminoma and yolk sac tumor.
A count of number of dividing cells in a sample. Mitotic counts are generally measured by number of mitotic cells per 10 high power fields (HPF). The more mitotic cells present, the faster the cells are growing.
A device used by pathologists to examine tissue on slides; the microscope magnifies the tissue so that pathologist can examine the individual cells and make a diagnosis.
The process by which a cell divides into two cells. Under the microscope, dividing cells can be identified by their exposed chromosomes.
For serous borderline tumor, the term has been applied to clusters of cells in the stroma with abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, similar to the eosinophilic cells on the surface of papillae, that measure < 5 mm in greatest dimension. These cells are less likely to express estrogen and progesterone receptors and have a significantly lower Ki-67 labelling index, suggesting they may be terminally differentiated or senescent.
The focus of tumor cells in the stroma occupying most of the field measures < 5 mm and represents low-grade serous carcinoma.
Mucinous borderline tumor with microinvasion is defined as small foci of stromal invasion measuring less than 5 mm in greatest linear extent, with no requirement regarding the number of such foci allowed in a given tumor. It is characterized by single cells, glands, clusters/nests, small foci of confluent glandular or cribriform growth displaying mild to moderate atypical mucinous epithelial cells within the stroma. Similar growth patterns with cells displaying more marked cytological atypia should be classified as “microinvasive carcinoma”.
The spread of and presence of cancer cells that have spread to other organs in the body outside of the primary site.
A rare, benign, ovarian tumor which is probably of stromal origin and characterized by a distinctive microcystic appearance.
Triad of benign ovarian tumor with ascites and pleural effusion that resolves after resection of the tumor. Ovarian fibromas constitute the majority of the benign tumors seen in Meigs syndrome.
A natural process during which a women ceases to have a menstrual period; this typically occurs in the late 40s-50s. The ovaries no longer ovulate (i.e., no longer produce eggs) and no longer produce estrogen hormone.
A doctor specialized in the treatment of cancer using hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
A lump or swelling. A mass can be due to excess fluid or an abnormal growth of cells; the growth of cells can be benign or malignant.
An ovarian carcinoma usually of transitional cell type, resembling an invasive urothelial carcinoma. Rarely, the tumor is of squamous type. In either case the tumors are associated with a benign or borderline/atypical proliferative Brenner tumor.
The presence of cancer cells spreading into lymphatic channels.
Cancer cells with the ability to invade surrounding tissue and with the potential to metastasize (spread) to lymph nodes and distant organs.
The small channels that carry the lymph fluid throughout the body and drain through lymph nodes.
A type of white blood cell belonging to the immune system. Lymphocytes have many functions, including fighting viruses and cancer.
Small organs comprised of groups of lymphocytes (immune cells) that filter the lymph fluid that flows through the lymphovascular or lymphatic channels through the body. Cancers often first use the lymphatic channels to spread through the body.
A steroid cell tumor composed of Leydig cells, as proven by the presence of cytoplasmic crystals of Reinke. The diagnosis is occasionally tenable in the absence of crystals when other classic features are present.
An invasive carcinoma, usually with distinctive patterns showing low-grade malignant cytological atypia.
An immunostain that marks a gene that is involved in cell proliferation or growth. The degree of Ki67 labeling in a cancer cell correlates to how quickly the tumor is growing and how aggressive it is. The measure ranges from 0% (no cells dividing) to 100% (all cells dividing). See also proliferation index.
Refers to metastatic signet-ring cell carcinomas, which may originate from many anatomic sites, stomach most commonly.
Implants display the features of invasion, specifically small, solid nests of cells surrounded by a space, micropapillae and/or cribriform growth, behave in a similar manner to clear-cut invasive carcinoma. As such, invasive implants are equal to invasive low-grade serous carcinoma.
A distinctive type of granulosa cell tumor that occurs mainly in children and young adults.
A pattern of growth where the cancer cells grow into (invade) the surrounding tissues (see also infiltrating).
The result of the presence of immune cells (“inflammatory” cells) to a part of the body. Areas of the body that are inflamed often look swollen and red.
Something that occurs during an operation. For instance, a frozen section is done intraoperatively.
A pattern of growth where the cancer cells grow into (invade) the surrounding tissues (see also invasive).
A type of laboratory test that can detect the proteins expressed by a cell. The test uses special antibodies (“immunostains”) that each binds to a particular protein in question; the immunostain will change the color of the tissue to show whether a protein is present. Examples include immunohistochemistry to look for the expression of the estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) in ovarian cancer cells.
A type of treatment that uses the immune system to fight cancer; these therapies target proteins expressed by immune cells or on the cancer cell.
A teratoma containing variable amounts of immature (typically primitive/embryonal neuroectodermal) tissues, including, in its most primitive forms, embryoid bodies.
The body’s natural defense against infection with microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. The immune cells are constantly on the lookout for cells that look “foreign.” In addition to microorganism, immune cells can also recognize cancer cells as “foreign,” since the cancer cells may express abnormal proteins. In this way, the immune system can sometimes be a part of the body’s attack against cancer.
A substance released into the blood that influence how other tissue behave and grow. Examples include estrogen, progesterone, and androgen.
A receptor protein that binds hormones within a cell in order to affect changes within the cell. Tumors with high numbers of hormone receptors need hormones to grow.
Relating to appearance of cells and tissues under the microscope.
A form of systemic treatment that blocks hormones from getting to the cancers that have hormone receptors.
A carcinoma composed of epithelial cells displaying papillary, glandular (often slit-like) and solid patterns with high-grade nuclear atypia.
The area of tissue that is seen at a microscope’s highest magnification (i.e., the most “zoomed in”).
A steroid cell tumor composed of Leydig cells. Ovarian Leydig cell tumors have been divided into two subtypes by some pathologists, the hilus cell tumor and the Leydig cell tumor, nonhilar type. The former, which is much more common, originates in the ovarian hilus from hilar Leydig cells, which have been identified in 80–85% of adult ovaries.
A type of dye that is applied to tissue sections so that the cells absorb the color and can be seen with the eye when looking under the microscope. This dye turns the nuclei blue and the cytoplasm pink.
A histologic description of how closely the cancer cells resemble their normal cell of origin. In general, the overall grade score is calculated by looking at the mitotic rate, the nuclear grade or atypia, and the degree of gland formation. The final grade will be either grade 1, 2 or 3 or low-grade and high-grade. In general, a higher tumor grade is associated with more aggressive behavior.
A small, thin rectangular piece of glass where tissue slices from a biopsy or a surgical specimen are placed and stained with dye so that the tissue can be evaluated under a microscope.
A tumor consisting of a mixture of immature sex cord cells and germ cells which can be viewed as an “in situ” form of malignant germ cell tumor.
Tissues in the body that make protein secretions; glands are shaped like small round structures. Cancers that arise from glands are called “adenocarcinomas” (see also mammary gland).
A mutation in DNA that is present at birth and that can be transferred from parent to child.
A change in a cell’s DNA. Some mutations lead to a favorable change in gene or protein’s function, an unfavorable change, a loss of function, or no change at all (see also mutation).
A test of a patient’s DNA to look for specific gene mutations or other abnormalities that might cause cancer or other conditions.
A meeting between a patient and a medical geneticist or counselor to discuss the potential impact of a genetic test result on the health of a patient and for their family.
A member of the healthcare team specialized in diagnosing and interpreting genetic test results. A geneticist might be consulted to help understand germline or somatic mutations.
A method that pathologists can perform intra-operatively (i.e., while a surgery is underway) to quickly freeze a piece of tissue from the patient in order to take thin slices and make a slide to evaluate “in real time” while the surgery is still ongoing. The results are only preliminary, however, and must be confirmed with review of the final FFPE sections.
A sequence of nucleotides in DNA that encodes the synthesis of a gene product, either RNA or protein.
A physiological cyst lined by granulosa cells, usually underlain by theca cells.
A term used to describe how fresh tissue samples are processed and stored so that slides of the tissue can be made and examined by a pathologist. The fresh tissues are “fixed” in a preservative called formalin, so that the tissues will not degrade or decompose. They are then “embedded” into paraffin wax, which means they are placed into a little block or wax similar to candle wax so that they can be easily sliced into thin slices and placed on a glass slide for a pathologist to review.
The medical history of all of the biological (blood-related) members of a family; this family medical history can show patterns of shared diseases. Because you share genes with your family members, a “positive family history” of certain diseases may be considered a risk factor for an individual to develop the disease.
A benign stromal tumor composed of spindled to ovoid fibroblastic cells producing collagen.
A rare, primitive, germ cell neoplasm that shows rudimentary epithelial differentiation and is morphologically identical to its testicular counterpart.
A primitive malignant germ cell tumor characterized by a variety of distinctive histological patterns, some of which recapitulate phases in the development of the normal yolk sac.
The major female sex hormone, responsible for many physiologic functions in the body. Estrogen is made by the ovaries and adrenal gland. Estrogen causes the normal growth of many cell types. Some cancers require estrogen to grow.
The protein responsible for binding to and detecting estrogen in the body; the receptor is located in the nucleus of many cell types. Many gynecologic cancers express the estrogen receptor.
The layer of cells that lines the outside of the body, lines the inside of the body cavities, and lines the outside and inside of body organs. Epithelium is one of four types of tissues in the body; the other three types are connective tissue (like fat and fibrous tissue), muscle tissue, and neural/nervous system tissue. The epithelium lining each of the surfaces in the body has different names; for instance, the epithelium lining the outside of the body is called skin, and the epithelium lining the inside of the chest cavity is called the pleura.
A malignant, epithelial tumor resembling endometrioid carcinoma of the uterine corpus.
A type of cell in the body that makes up many different tissue types that line the body surface (such as the “squamous epithelium” of the skin) and the body cavities. The epithelial cell is the cell or origin of carcinomas.
Cystic forms of endometriosis. They may or may not be associated with endometriosis elsewhere in the pelvis.
Endometrioid cystadenoma is a cystic lesion lined by benign endometrioid epithelium lacking the stroma, typical vasculature and other stigmata of endometriosis. When associated with a dense fibromatous component the tumor is an endometrioid adenofibroma.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that normally lines the uterus, known as endometrium, grows in areas outside the uterus, such as on the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
A primitive germ cell tumor composed of cells showing no specific pattern of differentiation
Swelling of a part of the body from excess fluid (see also lymphedema).
The molecule which contains all of your genes, located within a cell’s nucleus, a long, complex molecule with which your genes are encoded.
A tumor composed exclusively of mature tissues derived from two or three germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm). Tumors are usually cystic (mature cystic teratoma), but rarely solid (mature solid teratoma).
A cystic corpus luteum > 3 cm in diameter.
A type of imaging that uses X-rays to take 3-dimensional images.
The portion of a cell outside the nucleus, but still within the cell membrane.
A malignant tumor composed of clear, eosinophilic and hobnail cells, displaying a combination of tubulocystic, papillary and solid patterns.
A study organized by a hospital, organization, or other group to systematically and thoroughly investigate a new medication, technique, or other approach to treatment. Clinical trials are extensively monitored to make sure that they are conducted in a safe, ethical, and equitable manner.
A consultation in pathology occurs when a specimen is sent to a second (or sometimes third) institution to review the findings. This can occur when other pathologists need assistance with a particularly challenging or rare case, or if a patient or clinician would like a second opinion on a case.
A systemic medication used to treat cancer that kills cells that are dividing. Sometimes this results in undesired side effects, such as hair loss, because the chemotherapy drugs also kill normal body cells that are dividing.
A tumor composed of glands or cysts lined by bland cuboidal to flattened cells with clear or eosinophilic cytoplasm embedded in a fibromatous stroma.
A type of cancer arising from an epithelial cell.
A non-invasive, clonal proliferation of epithelial cells that has does not have the capacity to invade into the normal tissue or to spread through the body. This is sometimes called “pre-cancer.”
Biphasic neoplasm composed of high-grade, malignant, epithelial and mesenchymal elements.
A neoplastic (clonal) growth of cells with the potential to metastasize (spread throughout the body). Cancers can arise from epithelial cells (“carcinomas”), melanocytes (“melanomas”), stromal or connective tissue cells (“sarcomas”), and lymphoid cells (“lymphomas and leukemias”).
Well-differentiated neuroendocrine neoplasms that resemble carcinoids of the gastrointestinal tract.
Follicle-like small eosinophilic fluid-filled punched out spaces between granulosa cells. The granulosa cells are usually arranged haphazardly around the space.
A tumor composed of nests of bland, transitional-type cells (resembling urothelial cells) within a fibromatous stroma.
A member of the mucin family glycoproteins. Testing of CA-125 blood levels has been proposed as useful in treating ovarian cancer.
A human tumor suppressor gene responsible for repairing DNA. BRCA2 germline mutation is related to hereditary breast–ovarian cancer syndrome.
A tubular structure that carry blood both to and from various parts of the body. This includes arteries, veins, and capillaries.
A human tumor suppressor gene responsible for repairing DNA and regulating transcription. BRCA1 germline mutation is related to hereditary breast–ovarian cancer syndrome.
Involving “both sides”, such as both ovaries and fallopian tubes. This is in contrast to unilateral, which means on one side only.
A surgical procedure in which a surgeon removes both ovaries.
Any chemical or protein created by the body that can be measured, and can be used to provide useful information such as whether a cancer is growing or shrinking during treatment. Biomarkers can also provide information about the prognosis of a cancer (prognostic biomarker), as well as whether a cancer will respond to certain therapies (predictive biomarker).
Non-cancerous. A benign tumor cannot invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body.
Non-invasive tumors that display greater epithelial proliferation and cytological atypia than benign serous tumors but less than low-grade serous carcinoma (LGSC).
A solid or cystic tumor composed of crowded glands lined by atypical endometrioid-type cells and lacking destructive stromal invasion and/or confluent glandular growth.
Tumors composed of mild to moderately atypical gastrointestinal-type, mucincontaining epithelial cells that show proliferation greater than that seen in benign mucinous tumors. Stromal invasion is absent.
A non-invasive, proliferative, epithelial tumor composed of more than one epithelial cell type, most often serous and endocervical-type mucinous; however, endometrioid, and less often, clear cell, transitional or squamous may be seen.
A neoplasm of transitional cell type (resembling non-invasive, low-grade, urothelial neoplasms) displaying epithelial proliferation beyond that seen in benign Brenner tumors and lacking stromal invasion.
Clear cell adenofibromatous tumors with atypia of the glandular epithelium but without stromal invasion.
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a glycoprotein that is produced in early fetal life by the liver and by a variety of tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatoblastoma, and nonseminomatous germ cell tumors of the ovary and testis.
Ascites is the abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen. It can be caused by cancer such as ovarian cancer.
Adjuvant therapy is any treatment given in addition to surgery. It can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other treatment. This is in contrast to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which is given before surgery.
A low-grade malignant, sex cord-stromal tumor composed of granulosa cells often with a variable number of fibroblasts and theca cells.
A rare biphasic tumor with malignant mesenchymal and benign to atypical epithelial components.
A biphasic tumor composed of an admixture of Müllerian epithelium and stroma, both components being benign.
A type of carcinoma (cancer) that arises from glandular epithelial cells.
The collection of excess amounts of fluid in the abdominal cavity (belly). It often is a sign that the cancer has spread to either the liver or the portal vein that goes to the liver. If normal liver function is affected, a complex set of biochemical checks and balances is disrupted and abnormal amounts of fluid are retained.
Analysis to determine the presence, absence, or quantity of one or more components.
Usually a protein or carbohydrate substance capable of stimulating an immune response.
A condition marked by a diminished appetite and aversion to food. Often results in physical signs of wasting.
Any of a large number of proteins that are produced normally by specialized B cells after stimulation by an antigen and act specifically against the antigen in an immune response.
A condition characterized by a deficiency in red blood cells. This can lead to fatigue, among other symptoms.
A radiographic technique used to visualize blood vessels. A contrast medium (a dye) is usually injected into the vessels to make them appear white on the x-rays.
Cancer cells that divide rapidly and revert to an undifferentiated form with no orientation to one another.
A pus-filled cavity.
A benign (non-cancerous) tumor made up of cells that form glands (collections of cells surrounding an empty space).
Chemotherapy given to patients after their cancers have been surgically removed. It is a secondary treatment given to supplement surgical treatment. (see Neoadjuvant chemotherapy)
A series of x-ray pictures taken of the abdomen by a machine that encircles the body like a giant tube. Computers are then used to generate cross-sectional images of the inside of the body.
You and Your Hormones from the Society for Endocrinology
Where are the ovaries?
Artwork of the female reproductive system, showing the location of the ovaries.
The ovaries form part of the female reproductive system. Each woman has two ovaries. They are oval in shape, about four centimetres long and lie on either side of the womb (uterus) against the wall of the pelvis in a region known as the ovarian fossa. They are held in place by ligaments attached to the womb but are not directly attached to the rest of the female reproductive tract, e. g. the fallopian tubes.
What do the ovaries do?
The ovaries have two main reproductive functions in the body. They produce oocytes (eggs) for fertilisation and they produce the reproductive hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. The function of the ovaries is controlled by gonadotrophin-releasing hormone released from nerve cells in the hypothalamus which send their messages to the pituitary gland to produce luteinising hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. These are carried in the bloodstream to control the menstrual cycle.
The ovaries release an egg (oocyte) at the midway point of each menstrual cycle. Usually, only a single oocyte from one ovary is released during each menstrual cycle, with each ovary taking an alternate turn in releasing an egg. A female baby is born with all the eggs that she will ever have.This is estimated to be around two million, but by the time a girl reaches puberty, this number has decreased to about 400,000 eggs stored in her ovaries. From puberty to the menopause, only about 400–500 eggs will reach maturity, be released from the ovary (in a process called ovulation) and be capable of being fertilised in the fallopian tubes/uterine tube/oviduct of the female reproductive tract.
The ovarian phases of a 28-day menstrual cycle. Ovulation occurs mid-cycle.
In the ovary, all eggs are initially enclosed in a single layer of cells known as a follicle, which supports the egg. Over time, these eggs begin to mature so that one is released from the ovary in each menstrual cycle. As the eggs mature, the cells in the follicle rapidly divide and the follicle becomes progressively larger. Many follicles lose the ability to function during this process, which can take several months, but one dominates in each menstrual cycle and the egg it contains is released at ovulation.
As the follicles develop, they produce the hormone oestrogen. Once the egg has been released at ovulation, the empty follicle that is left in the ovary is called the corpus luteum. This then releases the hormones progesterone (in a higher amount) and oestrogen (in a lower amount). These hormones prepare the lining of the uterus for potential pregnancy (in the event of the released egg being fertilised). If the released egg is not fertilised and pregnancy does not occur during a menstrual cycle, the corpus luteum breaks down and the secretion of oestrogen and progesterone stops. Because these hormones are no longer present, the lining of the womb starts to fall away and is removed from the body through menstruation. After menstruation, another cycle begins.
The menopause refers to the ending of a woman’s reproductive years following her last menstruation. This is caused by the loss of all the remaining follicles in the ovary that contain eggs. When there are no more follicles or eggs, the ovary no longer secretes the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which regulate the menstrual cycle. As a result, menstruation ceases.
What hormones do the ovaries produce?
The major hormones secreted by the ovaries are oestrogen and progesterone, both important hormones in the menstrual cycle. Oestrogen production dominates in the first half of the menstrual cycle before ovulation, and progesterone production dominates during the second half of the menstrual cycle when the corpus luteum has formed. Both hormones are important in preparing the lining of the womb for pregnancy and the implantation of a fertilised egg, or embryo.
If conception occurs during any one menstrual cycle, the corpus luteum does not lose its ability to function and continues to secrete oestrogen and progesterone, allowing the embryo to implant in the lining of the womb and form a placenta. At this point, development of the foetus begins.
What could go wrong with the ovaries?
Any medical conditions that stop the ovaries functioning properly can decrease a woman’s fertility.
The ovaries naturally stop functioning at the time of menopause. This occurs in most women around the age of 50. If this happens earlier, before the age of 40, it is called premature ovarian failure or premature ovarian insufficiency.
The most common disorder of the ovaries is polycystic ovary syndrome, which affects 5–10% of women of a reproductive age. In a polycystic ovary, the follicles mature to a certain stage, but then stop growing and fail to release an egg. These follicles appear as cysts in the ovaries on an ultrasound scan. Any abnormality that causes a loss of normal development of the ovaries, such as Turner syndrome, can result in the ovaries not functioning correctly and the loss of a woman’s fertility. The ovaries can be damaged by treatments for other conditions, particularly chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer treatment.
If a woman stops having menstrual periods during her reproductive years, this condition is called amenorrhoea. It can be caused by a number of factors. These include hypothalamic amenorrhea, which may be caused by having a lean/athletic build, high levels of regular exercise, and psychological stress. In these cases, fertility can be restored by reducing the intensity of exercise, weight gain and psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioural therapy. Disorders of the pituitary gland can affect normal ovarian function because a lack of the hormones normally released from the pituitary gland will reduce the stimulation of hormone production and the development of follicles in the ovaries. Thyroid overactivity (thyrotoxicosis) can lead to amenorrhoea, as can any severe illness.
Last reviewed: Feb 2018
Cease Preventative Ovary Removal in Younger Women, Study Warns
Ovary removal is commonly used in premenopausal women as a preventive measure against the development of ovarian cancer, but researchers now recommend this practice to be discontinued if women are not at high risk.
The study, “Accelerated Accumulation of Multimorbidity After Bilateral Oophorectomy: A Population-Based Cohort Study,” published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, shows that ovary removal in young women is associated with higher incidence of several chronic conditions that markedly affect their health.
Although a number of studies suggests that the long-term risks of ovary removal before menopause are greater than the benefits, some researchers still argue that in the absence of a randomized clinical trial, the evidence against ovary removal is not sufficient to change the practice.
In this study, researchers aimed to address if ovary removal could accelerate the accumulation of multiple chronic diseases, and whether estrogen therapy could modify this accumulation.
Researchers analyzed data from 1,653 premenopausal women included in the Rochester Epidemiology Project records-linkage system. All had undergone removal of both ovaries (or bilateral oophorectomy). Each woman was randomly matched to a woman born in the same year, who had not removed her ovaries.
After a median follow-up of 14 years, removal of both ovaries in women under 46 years old was found to be associated with a significantly increased risk of developing eight out of 18 chronic health conditions investigated, such as depression, hyperlipidemia (excessive levels of fat in the blood), cardiac arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, arthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and osteoporosis.
Researchers believe that removal of both ovaries triggers an early loss of estrogen, which interferes with several natural aging mechanisms, and leads to the development of diseases that affect multiple systems and organs in the body. Consistently, hormonal therapy with estrogen was found to reduce some of the risk in women who had undergone surgery.
“This study provides new and stronger evidence against the use of bilateral oophorectomy for prevention in young women,” Walter Rocca, MD, and lead author of the study, said in a news release. “Bilateral oophorectomy should not be considered an ethically acceptable option for the prevention of ovarian cancer in the majority of women who do not carry a high-risk genetic variant.”
“The clinical recommendation is simple and clear,” he added. “In the absence of a documented high-risk genetic variant, bilateral oophorectomy before the age of 50 years (or before menopause) is never to be considered and should not be offered as an option to women. ”
Many women have unexplained chronic pelvic pain for years before they are diagnosed with endometriosis. Traditional endometriosis treatments often involve the removal of the ovaries to minimize pain. At Johns Hopkins, our expert physicians use minimally-invasive techniques to help her manage endometriosis pain and also potentially save her ovaries, increasing the chances of conceiving her own child if she wishes.
What is endometriosis?
Causes of endometriosis
Symptoms of endometriosis
Diagnosis of endometriosis
Johns Hopkins approach to treatment
Research at Johns Hopkins
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a benign disorder characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue (the tissue that lines the uterus) outside the uterine cavity where it grows on the surface of reproductive, chest, abdominal and/or pelvic organs.
Endometriosis implants are often superficial (coating the surface) but can invade surrounding structures or even grow into a mass, such as an ovarian cyst or tumor, within the uterus or abdominal wall. It is associated with inflammation which results in adhesions, scar tissue, and distorted anatomy. Cysts may range from the size of a pinhead to the size of a grapefruit; cysts, scars, and adhesions may all lead to infertility.
Endometriosis is a common disorder, most prevalent between the ages of 25 and 40. Symptoms vary and are not strictly correlated with the severity of the disease; they may worsen with time, but tend to diminish during pregnancy and cease with menopause. Many women have no symptoms at all. Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms, the age of the woman, and whether she wishes to have children.
Causes of endometriosis
The cause of endometriosis is unknown. Hereditary factors may be involved. Hormonal changes or recent pelvic surgery may promote endometriosis.
Symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Pain in the pelvis, lower abdomen, and lower back. Pain often begins just prior to monthly periods, continues during menses, and worsens just after the cessation of blood flow.
- Abnormal or heavy menstrual bleeding
- Vaginal pain during sexual intercourse
- Diarrhea, constipation, or pain during bowel movements
- Bleeding from the rectum or blood in the urine during menses
- Nausea and vomiting just prior to monthly periods
- Pressure related symptoms impacting the bladder or bowels due to a large mass of endometriosis
- Infertility or subfertility: Endometriosis is one of the most common causes of infertility.
A pelvic examination may reveal a suspicion of endometriosis. The doctor presses upon the uterus and ovaries to feel for any abnormalities. A definitive diagnosis requires:
- Direct visualization of endometrial tissue
- Biopsy or sampling of the extrauterine endometrial tissue. This is usually done by laparoscopy (the insertion of a thin, lighted camera into the abdomen through a small incision at the belly button).
- If you are diagnosed with endometriosis while undergoing laparoscopy, your doctor may remove the endometrial tissue during the procedure.
Laparoscopy has several benefits:
- It provides many women with symptomatic relief for a number of years
- Increases a patient’s fertility and subsequent chance of pregnancy by minimizing scar tissue formation (adhesions)
- Results in minimal scarring and a speedier recovery period than a traditional open surgery
Treatment options include:
- Your doctor may prescribe low-dose oral contraceptive pills. They work by suppressing ovulation and menstruation, thereby keeping symptoms under control. Evidence also suggests that this treatment may reduce the endometriotic implants. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be taken for mild menstrual pain.
- Danazol, progestins, or Gn-RH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) agonists may be administered to halt menstruation for three to six months in an effort to shrink endometrial tissue.
- Surgical removal of the tissue may be required to relieve severe symptoms or to allow impregnation. Tissue may be destroyed by heat (electrocautery) or removed with lasers during laparoscopy (usually done on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia). A hysterectomy, the surgical removal of the uterus (and sometimes other reproductive organs), may be advised in severe cases. Hormone replacement is required if both ovaries are removed.
- Minimally-invasive or robotic surgery is available at Johns Hopkins for treatment of endometriosis. Advantages of a minimally invasive approach include less bleeding, infection, less pain, faster recovery and return to normal function.
Our Approach to Endometriosis
At Johns Hopkins, we use the very latest technology to diagnose and treat endometriosis. We also rely on a team of experts that extends beyond the gynecology department to manage this and other conditions that result in chronic pelvic pain. Our multidisciplinary team includes professionals in:
- Reproductive endocrinology
- Physical therapy
Whether a woman is planning to have children is the most critical question our endometriosis team at Johns Hopkins will ask. This will define future treatment options and the optimal approach to treatment.
In our physicians’ experience, too often women are offered surgery as a way to minimize their pain by removing the ovaries. At Johns Hopkins, our physicians will always try the conservative treatment option, saving the ovaries, which can save child bearing potential and prevent menopausal symptoms.
Our physicians will operate on the ovaries conservatively and rely on experienced colon rectal surgeons who can provide assistance and guidance during the surgery. Further, Johns Hopkins provides minimally invasive surgery for removing cysts.
While endometriosis cannot be cured, our physicians can help women learn to manage the pain without unnecessary sterilization. Further fertility treatments are available at the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center.
Research at Johns Hopkins
Understanding the causes of pelvic pain and finding innovative treatments for endometriosis are priorities among Johns Hopkins gynecological researchers. Learn more about our endometriosis research.
Learn What to Eat to Prevent Ovarian Cysts
For the most part, you’ll not realize you have ovarian cysts until they start to bring about symptoms as the result of growing larger or rupturing. The choices you begin to make today can help you to avoid this from happening if you do currently have smaller cysts. The early warning signs of hormonal imbalance as a precursor to ovarian cyst growth are period and cycle-related issues like PMS, missing periods, irregular cycles, and cramps.
Any woman who is experiencing estrogen overload or estrogen dominance – one of the most common hormonal imbalance situations – is at risk of developing ovarian cysts that become symptomatic. The symptoms of ovarian cysts range from bloating to frequent urination. Oftentimes, a woman who experiences a ruptured ovarian cyst will go to the ER with a lot of pain and a fever and, due to a lack of women’s health awareness, will be treated for appendicitis instead. The best way forward is to take control now for yourself, so you are not dependent on receiving emergency treatment down the line.
How to shrink ovarian cysts naturally
Natural remedies from a functional nutrition standpoint are highly effective as preventing cysts and shrinking those cysts you may already have. Here at FLO Living I have seen, time and time again, women reverse their diagnosis of ovarian cysts, shocking their doctors and themselves by how elegantly and effectively their body is capable of resolving this issue, when given the tools it needs to do so.
Any woman with a hormonal imbalance can take these actions with her diet as a preventative care measure, even if you currently do not know if you have ovarian cysts. Here I will outline the 5 strategies you can take to combat ovarian cysts.
Release excess estrogen – green vegetables like brussel sprouts, kale, collards, broccoli, cabbage contain DIM (Di-Indolyl Methane) which is very effective at helping the body process and eliminate excess estrogen. Try to have a side of these veggies at every meal – whether that’s sauted collard greens with your eggs at breakfast or broccoli with your bison burger for dinner.
Detox your liver – while so many products are marketed to us as detoxifying, the truth is quite simple – you need to eat to support your liver function and the best way to do this directly is with foods. So forget the detox teas and fancy supplements and instead eat more eggs for essential bio-available protein, glutathione-heavy veggies like avocados and asparagus, and selenium super foods like brazil nuts and oatmeal.
Fiber up – a diet high in fiber has been shown to decrease the reabsorption of estrogen in the body, lowering the incidence of estrogen-related health issues including cysts and breast cancer. Fruits and veggies are the best sources of fiber for this purpose. Add fiber-rich flax seeds to your salads, soups, and smoothies. Chomp on a fiber-full pear every day in your fruit salad.
Be good to your gut – fermented foods, be that sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickles help your body manage estrogen levels. The estrobolome (a set of gut bacteria or gut genes) produces an essential enzyme that helps metabolize your excess estrogen. Giving your gut what it wants and needs to process estrogen and maintain hormonal balance is vital.
Cycle-Sync your nutrients – there are 2 peak estrogen surges during your cycle that need to be responded to and controlled with your food choices. The Cycle-Syncing method of eating targets these surges with foods and supplements that contain the micronutrients your body wants in order to benefit from the estrogen it does need, while processing the excess it doesn’t need. This ensures these surges stay as spikes in estrogen and do not become long term estrogen dominance. You simply frontload your fridge and pantry with foods specific to each phase of your hormone cycle to address this common hormonal problem.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
To your FLO,
We believe that no woman should suffer simply because she has a period.
90,000 Symptoms and treatment of ovarian wasting syndrome
The ovarian wasting syndrome is called the premature termination of ovarian function in women of childbearing age. This condition can develop in women under the age of forty, who had a previously normal menstrual cycle and the ability to conceive. Ovarian wasting syndrome is also called premature menopause.
If this problem touches you, you may notice that your sexual desire has decreased, that hot flashes occur as with menopause, your mood has become unstable.All this happens against the background of the absence of menstruation due to the fact that less female sex hormones are being produced in your body.
Ovarian wasting syndrome is characterized by the fact that the number of follicles decreases, which means that ovulation ceases to occur.
Mechanism and causes of ovarian wasting syndrome development
It is worth noting that the exact reasons for the development of ovarian wasting syndrome in women have not yet been identified, but medical scientists suggest that this may be facilitated:
- Certain congenital chromosomal abnormalities;
- autoimmune processes;
- lesions of the central nervous system.
In addition to these physiological factors, there are a number of other influences that can trigger the development of primary and secondary ovarian wasting syndrome. You may be at an increased risk of developing primary ovarian wasting syndrome if your mother:
- was exposed to radioactive radiation;
- has had rubella, flu, mumps;
- took medication or had contact with chemicals that could harm the fetus.
The following factors can affect the development of the secondary form of ovarian wasting syndrome:
- exposure of your body to radiation or harmful chemicals;
- previous chemotherapy;
- a history of ectopic pregnancy;
- multiple independent ovarian stimulation.
90,019 grueling diets, starvation;
It is important to say that one of the main factors influencing the development of ovarian wasting syndrome is heredity.Studies have helped to establish that a similar pathological condition occurs much more often in those women whose close relatives had similar symptoms of ovarian depletion.
Signs of ovarian depletion
The main symptom of this pathological condition is the cessation of menstruation. In some cases, the complete cessation of menstruation may be preceded by a period of oligomenorrhea, in which menstruation becomes scarce and irregular.However, if your period stops suddenly, it could also be a sign of wasting ovarian syndrome. In this case, you will most likely have clinical manifestations characteristic of menopause:
- Hot flashes in conjunction with increased sweating, as well as redness of the skin in the chest and neck;
- dryness in the external genital area, discomfort and even pain may occur during intercourse;
- decreased libido;
- irritability, frequent mood swings, depression;
- memory impairment, general decrease in performance.
All of the above symptoms significantly contribute to a decrease in a woman’s quality of life. However, on the basis of one clinical picture, the diagnosis of ovarian depletion is not made. If you notice the symptoms described above, contact our clinic – experienced doctors will conduct all the necessary diagnostic studies and help you cope with unpleasant symptoms.
Diagnostics in our clinic
If you suspect ovarian wasting syndrome, our doctors will offer you a comprehensive examination, which will include:
- collecting a detailed anamnesis – you need to tell the doctor in detail what worries you (absence of menstruation, hot flashes, etc.)as well as about previous illnesses;
- study of hormonal status – using this analysis, our specialist will be able to reveal that the level of gonadotropic hormones has increased 3 times from the basal rate, the anti-Müllerian hormone is critically low;
- research of metabolism, blood biochemistry, bioimpedance analysis;
- Ultrasound of the pelvic organs – the method of transvaginal ultrasound will allow the doctor to assess the condition and size of the uterus, ovaries, and also notice the absence of primordial follicles;
During these studies, our specialists will be able to identify signs that indicate ovarian wasting syndrome.These signs certainly include: the absence of menstruation, a decrease in the uterus and ovaries in size, the absence of follicles in the ovaries, and symptoms characteristic of menopause.
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian failure syndrome, be sure to contact our specialists so that they will appoint you competent substitution therapy. If you do not do this and let the disease take its course, it can be fraught with the following consequences:
- Premature aging of the whole organism;
- an increase in the risk of developing severe diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- osteoporosis, in which the level of calcium decreases and there is increased fragility of the bones;
- decrease in the overall quality of life, including intimate.
90,019 serious psychological problems up to severe depression;
To date, the only treatment for ovarian wasting syndrome is a well-chosen hormone replacement therapy. Your doctor may prescribe natural estrogens and gestagens, and high doses of oral contraceptives may also be used. Along with hormonal treatment, you can be prescribed physiotherapy, vitamin therapy, metabolic therapy, physiotherapy exercises.
If you want to have children, but you have been diagnosed with ovarian failure syndrome – assisted reproductive technologies can become the solution to the problem.In our clinic, IVF is possible for this pathology using donor oocytes.
If you are at risk of developing ovarian wasting syndrome, it is very important to adjust your lifestyle now before the first signs of pathology appear. The following tips will help you with this:
- eat well and rationally, avoiding all kinds of exhausting diets;
- treat any viral infections on time;
- Try to exclude exposure to your body of chemical and radioactive substances;
- Take any medications under the supervision of an experienced physician;
- Do not use ovulation stimulation without serious indications;
- Check your anti-Müllerian hormone level;
- Visit your gynecologist for a routine check-up every six months.
Following these guidelines will help you minimize the risks of developing ovarian wasting syndrome.
90,000 When Ovulation Stops | Libresse
With the cessation of ovulation, menstruation gradually stops. There are no more eggs, and the need for the formation of the endometrium disappears.
Menopause occurs when the body can no longer produce eggs and the ovaries stop producing estrogen. For some women, this happens gradually, while for others it happens almost instantly, which means that the symptoms of menopause will be more pronounced.
Most women do not know when they stop ovulation, but you can find out about this by certain signs. For example, menstruation becomes irregular, hot flashes and night sweats appear. In other words, these are symptoms traditionally associated with perimenopause, which occurs before menopause.
Irregular periods during perimenopause can be characterized by heavy bleeding in one month, and there may be little in the other; the duration of bleeding may increase or decrease.You can often get confused when determining the beginning and end of menstruation, and the ovulation calendar will not help here, since the cycle has become irregular, and you can no longer rely on it. In some women, menstruation persists for several years after the cessation of ovulation, but comes unpredictably.
Similar to menstruation, hormone levels change unpredictably during perimenopause. Often in women by the age of 50, ovulation is absent, that is, progesterone is not produced, as a result, estrogen levels continue to rise.This can lead to bleeding during the cycle or severe periods.
With chaotic menstruation and bloody discharge, you need to be prepared for them in any situation. Always carry pads and panty liners (for example, Libresse DailyFresh) in your purse, then no surprises are scary.
And remember that while irregular bleeding during perimenopause is normal, it can also be a symptom of uterine cancer. Therefore, be sure to consult your doctor.
90,000 Endocrine infertility. Causes and symptoms.
Endocrine infertility is a fairly broad term. This includes a whole group of hormonal disorders in the regulation of the menstrual cycle.
The problem can be at different levels: hypothalamus-pituitary-ovaries, TSH-thyroid, ACTH-adrenal glands and some others. But no matter what factor underlies endocrine infertility, disturbed ovarian function always plays an important role in the mechanism of pathology development.And this is manifested either by the complete absence of ovulation (anovulation), or by irregular ovulation.
Causes of endocrine infertility in women
Such a phenomenon as anovulation is usually associated with the work of the nervous system, immune mechanisms, endocrine or reproductive organs. Anovulation, causing infertility, occurs most often in the presence of such factors:
– Hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction. It is usually associated with hyperprolactinemia.The production of prolactin is increasing. Because of this, the pituitary gland slows down the cyclic production of FSH and LH. The activity of the ovaries is inhibited. Menstruation in a woman becomes rare (oligo-, opsomenorrhea). As a result, a persistent anovulation is formed and then we can talk about endocrine infertility.
– Adrenal or ovarian hyperandrogenism. There is a certain amount of male hormones in a woman’s body. They play an important role in puberty and regulate ovarian function.But their level should be very low. But there are times when the adrenal glands or ovaries produce too much of these hormones. Because of this, ovarian dysfunction occurs and problems with conception are possible.
– Problems in the thyroid gland. Patients with toxic goiter or hypothyroidism often experience lack of ovulation. If pregnancy occurs, it can result in a miscarriage. Disorders in the development of the fetus are often noted.
– Overweight.As you know, adipose tissue has endocrine properties. She is able to influence non-exchange processes by regulating the activity of the reproductive organs. In obese women, the hormonal background is inevitably disrupted, there are disruptions in the menstrual cycle, which threatens endocrine infertility.
– Deficiency of adipose tissue. Being underweight is just as dangerous as being overweight. Dramatic weight loss and a lack of fat in the diet have an extremely negative effect on the work of the ovaries.
– Imbalance of female hormones. If the level of progesterone and estrogen is reduced in the body, the secretory transformation of the endometrium is disrupted. Obstacles are created for the fixation of the ovum in the uterus. The result of such a pathology is the inability to endure pregnancy or infertility.
– Serious diseases of other organs. So, the ovulatory function is impaired in liver diseases, for example, in hepatitis. Other causes are autoimmune and malignant processes in the body.
– Resistant ovary syndrome. This is a condition in which the communication mechanism between the pituitary gland and the ovaries is destroyed. Their receptors lose sensitivity to gonadotropins. Therefore, ovulation is not stimulated. A woman begins amenorrhea, endocrine infertility develops. At the same time, sexual characteristics are well developed, and the level of gonadotropic hormones is sufficient. Receptor disorders in the ovaries can occur as a complication of influenza, rubella.Also, the reasons can be chronic malnutrition, lack of certain vitamins, nervous stress, and an unfavorable course of pregnancy.
– Ovarian wasting syndrome – premature cessation of ovarian function in women under 40 years of age who previously had normal menstrual and reproductive function. The ovarian wasting syndrome is manifested by secondary amenorrhea, infertility, and vegetative-vascular disorders.
Symptoms of endocrine infertility
Endocrine infertility can be assumed with the following signs:
– violation of the cycle and non-occurrence of pregnancy with regular sexual activity.
– The mammary glands are tense, they feel heaviness. Galactorrhea (nipple discharge) often occurs due to an increase in prolactin.
– premenstrual syndrome, when on the eve of menstruation, the state of health significantly worsens.
– the appearance of acne, hypertrichosis (excess hair growth) and hirsutism, alopecia (hair loss).
– a set of extra pounds or, conversely, weight loss.
– rapid heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, feeling of a lump in the throat.
To identify endocrine infertility, the following diagnostic measures are performed.
1. Laboratory research (study of hormonal levels)
2. Instrumental research (ultrasound, MRI)
3. Hormonal tests.
Treatment of endocrine infertility
Treatment of endocrine infertility is carried out by an endocrinologist, most often in conjunction with an obstetrician-gynecologist.
90,000 causes, diagnosis and treatment
Ovarian cyst, the treatment of which is sometimes painful, is one of the most common diseases, and looks like a cavity in the form of a “bag” filled with contents of a liquid or semi-liquid nature. It arises in the ovary and noticeably increases it in volume, sometimes several times.
Most often, this cyst is found in women of childbearing age, after the onset of menopause, the likelihood of an ovarian cyst decreases.
In medical practice, functional cysts are distinguished, which arise as a result of ovulation disorders. This is the ovarian cyst, which is usually not treated, and over time it disappears on its own. Although there is a danger here, too. there are always circumstances that can provoke rupture and torsion of the cyst, which will require immediate surgical intervention.
Another type of cyst is “abnormal”, which develops as a result of hormonal changes and does not shrink for several months.This is already an unsafe ovarian cyst, its treatment is mandatory. One of the ways to treat it is surgery to remove the ovarian cyst.
Types of possible neoplasms:
- Follicular cyst. It occurs during puberty, in cases where ovulation does not occur, i.e. the matured egg cannot leave the ovarian follicle.
- Cyst of the corpus luteum. Formed as a result of excessive accumulation of cells (“yellow body”) that produce the hormone progesterone.
- Other types of cysts. Dermoid cyst, endometrioid, etc.
Causes of ovarian cyst
The main reasons that lead to the formation of a cyst are hormonal disorders or inflammatory diseases.
An ovarian cyst in a woman’s body can develop both asymptomatically and with signs that are easy to notice (pain in the lower abdomen, disruptions in menstruation, weight gain).
Diagnostics and treatment of ovarian cysts
A doctor can identify a cyst during an examination. In this case, the patient is usually sent for an ultrasound scan, and hormone analysis is prescribed to determine the causes of tumor formation. In more complex cases (suspicion of a ruptured cyst or torsion of the cyst leg), an ovarian cyst laparoscopy is performed in St. Petersburg. If the diagnosis of “ovarian cyst” is confirmed, the operation to remove the formation is carried out immediately. Laparoscopy is a simple operation that is performed on an outpatient basis, is non-traumatic, does not give complications, it can be used to diagnose and remove an ovarian cyst.The cost of a laparoscopy of an ovarian cyst in St. Petersburg at the American Medical Clinic (AMK) depends on the complexity of the operation.
If an ovarian cyst is found, surgery to remove it surgically is indicated in cases of dermoid, endometrioid, and mucinous formations. The operation to remove the ovarian cyst in the AMK is carried out on modern equipment by specialists of the highest category.
However, if an ovarian cyst is diagnosed, surgery is not always required.If the case is not difficult, medicine provides for medical treatment with hormonal drugs.
Polycystic ovary disease. Treatment
Polycystic ovary disease, its treatment can be determined only after a thorough diagnosis using ultrasound. The disease looks like enlarged ovaries with multiple growths (cysts). Its treatment is also carried out both conservatively and surgically. The choice of the method of dealing with the disease after assessing its complexity is made only by the doctor.Self-medication for polycystic disease is unacceptable.
Ovarian cyst removal
If the ovarian cyst does not go away within 3 menstrual cycles, surgery is necessary. Also, surgical interventions are indicated if anti-inflammatory therapy remains ineffective, depressing situations are formed, such as “torsion” of the cyst leg, suppuration, and suspicion of a malignant tumor. But if the ovarian cyst is functional, which occurs due to ovulation that did not occur or the accumulation of excess fluid after ovulation, in most cases, doctors do not recommend surgery.During the next period, it may disappear on its own. But it is worth remembering that any neoplasms speak of a general imbalance in the body.
Today, removal of an ovarian cyst in St. Petersburg is mainly carried out with the help of laparoscopy, which is considered the “gold standard”, since it is characterized by minimal trauma to the abdominal wall and does not lead to the formation of adhesions in the small pelvis.
The operation on the cervical cyst is performed on the basis of the following principles:
- the minimum performance of coagulation allows you to preserve the follicular reserve;
- the use of suture technique preserves ovarian function;
- the use of modern anti-adhesive agents.
The fact is that the removal of the ovarian cyst does not eliminate the cause of the disease, but only allows to solve the visible manifestation of pathology.
If the ovarian cyst has reached too large a size, then there may be practically no healthy tissue left, so the entire ovary is removed. But such removal does not have a serious load on the change in hormonal levels, therefore, in the future, provided that the second ovary is working normally, it is possible to conceive and give birth to a child.
Our clinic employs surgeons with vast experience who will perform a high-quality ovarian cyst removal operation.Thanks to the professionalism of doctors, the use of the most modern equipment and advanced techniques, the success of the surgical intervention is guaranteed, and any risks are minimized.
Surgical menopause occurs after oophorectomy, i.e. surgery to remove the ovaries. The ovaries are the main source of the production of sex hormones in a woman’s body. Removing them causes menopause at any age.
Is the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) menopause?
- Is when the ovaries have been removed from the uterus.
- However, if the ovaries remain, they continue to produce hormones. Despite the cessation of menstruation after removal of the uterus, with preserved ovaries, menopause will occur naturally.
What are the risks of surgical menopause?
Surgical menopause has a number of side effects:
- hot flashes, hot flashes
- mood changes, depression
- weight gain
- hair loss, dry skin, the appearance of wrinkles
- decrease in bone density, which leads to the development of osteoporosis and its most formidable complication – bone fractures;
- decreased libido itching, vaginal dryness
- risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (blood pressure changes, atherosclerosis develops)
What are the risks of surgical menopause?
Surgical menopause causes hormonal imbalances.After the onset of natural menopause, hormones decrease gradually. Even many years after menopause, the ovaries continue to produce testosterone, the male sex hormone that is responsible, in particular, for sex drive. Small amounts of estrogen are produced, mainly in the form of estrone. When the ovaries are removed, the synthesis of all sex hormones stops abruptly. Therefore, this process is so difficult. Therefore, in surgical menopause, menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is indicated for the prevention of the above complications.It will protect against many of the unpleasant consequences of ovarian removal. Of course, it is necessary to take into account the contraindications to its appointment.
How long to take MGT?
It is recommended to take it before the age of natural menopause, i.e. at least up to 50-55 years. 90,000 Polycystic ovary syndrome – symptoms, causes, features, diagnosis and treatment in medical centers “K + 31
How does polycystic ovary syndrome manifest?
Disruption of the production of sex hormones in the ovaries leads to a decrease in estrogen levels.As a result, menstruation becomes rare until they disappear completely. In some cases, on the contrary, uterine bleeding is noted due to the formed hyperplastic process of the endometrium.
An excess of androgens in the body leads to the development of hirsutism (excess hair growth on the body and face). At the same time, there may even be baldness or hair loss with bald patches on the sides of the forehead and on the crown. Many women develop acne, seborrhea, and the skin becomes oily.One of the main reasons for seeking medical attention in patients with PCOS is infertility due to the lack of ovulation.
A characteristic symptom of polycystic ovary disease is male obesity, in which the bulk of adipose tissue is deposited in the lower abdomen and in the abdominal cavity. As a result of a rapid increase in body weight against the background of hormonal imbalance on the skin of the abdomen, hips, buttocks, stretch stripes appear – striae.
Patients with PCOS often have:
- decreased libido,
- often sleepy,
- complaints about “fog in the head”.
With this pathology, there is a dysfunction not only of the ovaries, but also of other organs: the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, adrenal glands, thyroid gland. Therefore, the clinical picture and the severity of manifestations are very diverse.
Absence of ovulation
Any woman can suspect she has polycystic ovary disease. As we said, with PCOS, a dense capsule forms around the ovary, preventing ovulation. Its absence can be recorded using the basal temperature (BT) graph, which is recommended for a patient with infertility to be measured for 3-6 months.With PCOS, the BT schedule will be monotonous without a characteristic ovulatory peak in the middle of the cycle during the entire observation period.
You can also detect anovulation using home tests, which are performed from the 17th day before the onset of the expected menstruation. With PCOS, all tests will be negative. The lack of ovulation according to BT and tests for several months requires further examination, primarily an ultrasound scan.
What will the ultrasound show?
With ultrasound, the following signs of PCOS can be detected:
- bilateral enlargement of the ovaries 2-3 times;
- many small cysts (more than 10) on the periphery of the ovaries, which look like a “pearl necklace”, an accumulation of whitish bubbles or “fruit pits”;
- capsule thickened up to 5 mm or more;
- reduction in the size of the uterus.
Ultrasound is highly informative for PCOS. However, the data from this method alone is not enough to establish a diagnosis. A laboratory study of the patient’s blood is required.
An important stage in the examination of patients with suspected PCOS is the study of the hormonal profile, which is carried out on days 2-4 of the menstrual cycle. With this pathology in the serum, there is an increase in the level of LH, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and estradiol deficiency.
Also, in patients with PCOS, the function of the thyroid gland is often reduced. Therefore, the concentration of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (T4) and prolactin, which can be changed, should be additionally evaluated.
An anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) assay plays an important role in the detection of PCOS. Normally, its level is 1–2.5 ng / ml. With polycystic disease, it increases.
How to distinguish from adrenal gland pathology?
Often PCOS has to be distinguished from adrenogenital syndrome (AGS) – a hereditary pathology of the adrenal glands, in which the content of male sex hormones also increases.But in PCOS, unlike AGS, they are synthesized in the ovaries, not in the adrenal glands.
To establish a diagnosis, tests are performed with glucocorticoids (prednisolone, dexamethasone, cortisone), which are deficient in adrenogenital syndrome and absent in PCOS. In adrenal pathology, after the administration of the missing glucocorticoid, the levels of androgens, their intermediate products and metabolites (DHEA, 17-OC, 17-OP) are normalized. There is no such effect in PCOS.
At present, genotyping of the 21-hydroxylase gene mutation (CYP21A2) is performed to establish the diagnosis of AHS, which makes it possible to identify a deficiency of this enzyme, which is the cause of congenital adrenal pathology.
Assessing glucose tolerance
A distinctive feature of PCOS is insulin resistance – a violation of tissue insulin sensitivity. A similar condition occurs with type 2 diabetes.
For this reason, PCOS patients have a glucose tolerance test.
In PCOS, there is often a change in the lipid spectrum of blood with a predominance of atherogenic components: cholesterol, triglycerides, low and very low density lipoproteins (LDL and VLDL).
We normalize carbohydrate metabolism
Overweight and PCOS women are advised to change their lifestyle and diet. It is necessary to follow a diet (eating a sufficient amount of pure protein, vegetables, limiting carbohydrates), exercise and exercise.
Taking into account the decrease in tissue sensitivity to insulin, as in type 2 diabetes mellitus, gynecologists-endocrinologists of the Department of Gynecology “Clinic K + 31” for PCOS prescribe metformin (MF), which increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin. While taking the drug, carbohydrate metabolism is normalized, the number of male sexual hubbubs in the blood decreases, and the function of the ovaries is restored.
An important step in the treatment of PCOS is the normalization of the menstrual cycle.For this purpose, combined oral contraceptives (COCs) are used, which include antiandrogens that block the effects of male sex hormones. Taking COCs prevents further progression of the disease. After the hormones are canceled, the patient ovulates and has a chance to become pregnant.
If, at the end of the COC course, ovarian function has not returned to normal, and the woman is interested in pregnancy, it is necessary to induce (stimulate) ovulation with special hormonal drugs (clostilbegit).The scheme is selected by the doctor. Usually, treatment is started with a low dose and, if there is no result, it is increased.
Also, in order to correct hyperandrogenism, cyproterone acetate (androcur) and spironolactone (verospiron), which have an antiandrogenic effect, are additionally used. Against the background of their intake, the greasiness of the skin decreases, acne disappears, and hair growth improves.
Surgical treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
If, despite the hormonal therapy carried out for 3-6 months, ovulation is still absent, surgery is performed.When choosing an access, preference is given to laparoscopy. During the operation, either small incisions (wedge-shaped resection) or holes (cauterization) are made in the dense membrane of the ovaries through which the egg can leave the ovary and fertilize. After the intervention, the menstrual cycle becomes ovulatory. This effect lasts up to a year, during which time a woman can become pregnant.
PCOS treatment takes a long time – from 3 to 12 months. But if it is selected correctly, the effect is good, and pregnancy occurs in most patients.
PCOS is not a tragedy, not a sentence, but just a barrier that temporarily prevents the achievement of an important goal in life.However, thanks to modern advances in medicine, you will be able to overcome this barrier. You just need to contact leading experts, be patient, and the meeting with the baby will take place!
Menopause and menopause: what’s the difference?
These two concepts are often confused. Both menopause and menopause are associated with that period in a woman’s life when her reproductive function begins to slow down and eventually stops. This stop is called menopause – its onset is considered one year after the last menstruation.Climax is called a more general concept – the entire period of gradual extinction of the activity of the ovaries, from the first physiological disruptions of the menstrual cycle to its complete stop. This period is divided into three stages.
When does the climax start?
The first stage of menopause is called premenopause. It starts with a disruption in the menstrual cycle. Menstruation becomes irregular, PMS symptoms are more difficult to tolerate, and breast tenderness increases. The latter must be given special attention and must be examined by a mammologist in order to exclude mastopathy or neoplasms in the mammary glands.And you need to urgently contact a gynecologist if your period is very abundant and painful, with clots, and spotting appears in between or after intercourse.
Normally, premenopause begins between 45 and 50 years of age. During this period, many women experience unpleasant symptoms such as hot flashes, increased fatigue, irritability. Sometimes they are also joined by dizziness, arrhythmia, pressure surges. The dryness of the mucous membrane of the genitals causes the most grief to women: this creates severe discomfort and can even put an end to sexual activity, especially against the background of a weakening of libido.
Menopause and Postmenopause
Literally the term “menopause” means the cessation of menstruation. Menopause is said if a year has passed since the last menstruation. Physiological (natural) menopause occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. This is the second stage of menopause, during which the function of the ovaries is “turned off” and the level of estrogen decreases even faster.
Postmenopause is a period that requires special attention to your health. Those who, at a younger age, already had chronic diseases, especially gynecological and endocrine ones, need to be very careful.During this period, the most striking symptoms of estrogen deficiency appear: atrophy of the mucous membranes, age-related changes in muscle and bone tissue. For several years after the end of the last menstrual period, the body is still undergoing major changes that make it very vulnerable. Sources of estrogen for a woman at an older age (after 55-60 years old, when the function of the ovaries has already ceased) is adipose tissue and the liver.
During the postmenopausal period, the risk of developing osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and the so-called metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance), which is manifested by a sharp weight gain and obesity like “apple”, increases.A neglected metabolic syndrome worsens the quality of life and significantly shortens it, so at the very first “bells” you need to see an endocrinologist.
Of these three periods – premenopause, menopause and postmenopause – the process of hormonal changes in the female body, which is called “menopause”, consists.
You don’t need to be afraid of menopause and menopause! Careful and attentive attitude to yourself, observation by specialists and timely correction of unpleasant symptoms will help to survive this difficult period and stay healthy and vigorous for years to come!