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.
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’.