No doubt, the thought of having hair, bone tissues, functioning thyroid tissues, eyes, teeth and nails in your ovaries is scary. That is what dermoid cysts, also known as ovarian teratomas, do. They introduce strange things into your ovary.
But while what they contain is stuff of nightmares, these cysts rarely cause complications. This is because of the fact that they are usually small. And that they grow even slower. At least most of the time. They therefore rarely interfere with the working of the body of a woman who has them.
However, there are times when complications arise. When the cysts grow and become very large. When they affect the functioning of female reproductive system. And when their presence in a woman’s ovaries gives rise to conditions that call for immediate medical attention.
The following are 5 complications that are usually associated with this type of cysts on ovaries.
1. Ovarian torsion
Ovarian torsion is a condition that occurs when ovarian cysts cause the twisting of the ovaries. It usually has the effect of constricting blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the ovaries, something that is definitely not good for a woman’s ovaries.
The twisting of the ovaries can cause the ovaries to die. This is so especially in cases where the twisting results in almost-total blockage of blood supply to and from the ovaries. The death of the ovaries can also result when after ovarian torsion, a woman fails to seek immediate medical attention.
But that is not all that dermoid-cysts-caused torsion does. In addition to excruciating pelvic pain, ovarian torsion can also make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. Why? Because it increases the risks of ovarian damage.
The fact that dermoid ovarian cysts show a predilection for affecting both ovaries only makes the effect of this complication worse. Why? Because if ovarian torsion occurs in both ovaries, it can lead to permanent infertility, which is bad news for any woman with the hopes of getting pregnant.
2. Ovarian cyst rupture
The rupturing of cysts on ovaries is painful. It can also lead to complications such as infections and excessive bleeding.
Dermoid ovarian cysts can rupture. This is something that can happen when the cysts get too big. It can also occur as a result of physical trauma. And if this complication develops, it is best to seek the help of a doctor immediately.
3. Ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer kills. The fact that dermoid cysts on ovaries can develop cancerous cells is therefore scary for women with the cysts.
The only good news is that the chances of dermoid cysts turning cancerous are slim. Studies put it the chances of this happening at 1-2%. It is also good news that early detection can give you an advantage when it comes to fighting back against this complication.
4. Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia
There is a less than 1% chance of developing this complication. But still, it can happen.
Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia is a condition that is characterized by the destruction of red blood cells by antibodies. Some of the symptoms of the condition include light headedness, headaches, brittle nails, bluish egg whites and more-than-normal tiredness. Shortness of breath is also a common symptom.
There are several documented cases of dermoid ovarian cysts causing this complication. And in almost all of the cases, it took the removal of the ovarian cysts through surgery, ovarian cystectomy to be exact, for the symptoms of the condition to subside.
This is a rare symptom. The most popular case is the one about a woman who was admitted to hospital hoping to be treated for a psychiatric condition only to find out that all her troubles were caused by the ovarian teratoma that was in her ovaries. All this was documented in an episode of Monsters Inside Me.