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Ovarian Endometriosis

An ovarian endometrioma (also known as a chocolate cyst) is a type of cyst which forms when Endometriosis is found on or inside one or both ovaries. These cysts are often found together with the later stages of Endometriosis (moderate – severe).

Endometrioma cysts contain tissue and old blood which gives them a dark chocolate-like appearance and often when they rupture, they can cause severe, sudden abdominal pain. This pain is usually felt on the side the cyst is located.

What treatments are available?

 

If you’re expereincing particularly painful or large ovarian cysts, or if there is a risk of the cyst causing harm to the ovaries or when there are more serious risks such as ovarian cancer, your health care professional may investigate the cyst further, and in some instances, the cyst might need to be carefully and surgically removed.

 

Surgical treatment to remove an endometrioma may not always be recommended, this is because of the risks of causing further damage to the ovary and its function.

 

Be sure to consult with your Endometriosis specialist in conjunction with a fertility specialist about the potential risks of removing the cyst and the effects it may have on your future fertility before going ahead with your operation.

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What are the risks?

There is a chance a ruptured ovarian endometrioma can lead to partial or complete damage to the ovary and its function by destroying healthy ovarian tissue.

 

Surgery may also cause damage to the ovaries. This can sometimes lead to Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) which is also referred to as ‘early menopause’.

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Meet Katie: "For years I suffered with recurring cysts and Endometrioma’s causing endless infections and inevitably damaging my ovaries so much so that at just 33, I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (early menopause). ​My periods never really regulated or became manageable until I had my first surgery at 21 and had the Mirena coil fitted. Until then I would bleed continuously for weeks at a time, often resulting in needing blood transfusions due to severe Anaemia. In the 18 months before I was diagnosed with POI my periods suddenly stopped and instead I was experiencing monthly kidney and urine infections with symptoms so awful they would make me really unwell. My mood also changed quite drastically and I felt really low, I had anxiety that I had never experienced before and I couldn’t work out what was going on. It has been almost 12 months since I was first diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency and after finding the right balance and combination of HRT my symptoms are well controlled. I had very mixed feelings when I first heard the words ‘early menopause’. I was told over the phone (due to the pandemic, all my appointments had been virtual). I was grateful for an answer to the way I had been feeling but I also felt robbed, robbed of the chance to have a family. It's thanks to the Charity, The Endometriosis Foundation who helped me understand just how important my own health is and that has to be a priority. I am no longer in pain and I haven’t had a burst cyst since starting HRT, I’m praying this continues as I’m finally starting to feel myself again".

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