Functional cysts are ovarian cysts that form during ovulation. This is normal. Functional cysts are divided into 2 groups – follicular and luteal. Gonadotrophins such as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulate the growth of ovarian cysts.
Excessive formation of functional cysts comes from too much gonadotrophin stimulation. Abnormal levels of hCG, common in gestational trophoblastic neoplasia and rare in diabetic women and women carrying multiple pregnancies, may cause Hyperreactio luteinalis. Some fertility treatments use Gonadotrophins (FSH and LH) and Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) to induce ovulation. When administered with hCG, it may increase your risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and cysts.
If you are Caucasian, over 40, infertile, have a history of breast cancer, have ovarian cysts in your bloodline, and have the BRCA gene mutation then you may have an increased risk of developing cystadenocarcinoma – an ovarian tumor.
Tamoxifen, an antiestrogen, may cause functional ovarian cysts. These are benign and usually go away when you discontinue medication.
Ovarian cysts can be found in almost all pre-menopausal women and in 18% of postmenopausal women (McDonald et al, 2006). These ovarian cysts are usually functional cysts and are benign. 10% of women with ovarian neoplasms have mature cystic teratomas (dermoids). Around 15 in 100,000 women every year have ovarian carcinoma. Every year in the United States, 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian carcinomas where 14,600 result in death (American Cancer Society, 2009).
You generally don’t need a natural treatment for ovarian cysts when they are functional cysts, as they usually go away within 8 to 12 weeks.
Oral contraceptive pills may be prescribed for 4 to 6 weeks. Long term use of oral contraceptives may minimize the occurrence of new cysts in the ovary. However, the oral contraceptives don’t reduce the size of ovarian cysts you already have.
Most cysts disappear over time. But, there are conditions where surgery is necessary. You may have to undergo surgery if you have complex cysts that don’t disappear over time, if the cysts result in symptoms that don’t go away, if you have ovarian cysts bigger than 7 to 10 cm and if you are nearing menopause or already in menopause.
You may have to undergo surgery to ensure there are no cancerous cells on the cyst. Surgeries include exploratory laparotomy and pelvic laparoscopy to remove either the cyst or the ovary.
You might want to try other options before you decide on having a surgery. Below are some alternative solutions if you want a natural treatment for ovarian cysts.
• Avoid eating foods that promote ovarian cyst growth such as meat and dairy as these are concentrated in estrogen. You may also want to reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake.
• Eat foods rich in fibre. Fibre helps remove some of the excess estrogen from your diet. Apples, raspberries, broccoli and legumes are greet sources of fibre.
• Manage your stress. Engage in meditation, yoga, music therapy and other relaxation techniques. Drink herbal teas such as chamomile and peppermint. These may help you relax.
• Cinnamon and ginger make a great natural treatment for ovarian cysts as they can improve circulation to the ovaries and can help your body remove cysts faster.
• Hormonal imbalance is a major cause of ovarian cysts. Exercise regularly and take vitamin and mineral supplements to asset your body in maintaining healthy hormone balance .
• Omega 3 fatty acids – EPA and DHA can help regulate your hormone levels are decrease your predisposition to developing ovarian cysts.
• Choose organic products over processed products. This applies to food, cosmetics, soaps, household cleaners and the like.
• Eat only organically grown fruit and vegetables and minimize your exposure to pesticides as much as possible.
By following each natural treatment for ovarian cysts you will reduce the likelihood of developing cysts in the first place and if you already have a cysts on ovaries this approach will help your body clear them faster.
Do you have cysts on ovaries? Have you used a natural treatment for ovarian cysts? Would love to hear from you.
Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.