Ovaries – Wonderful and Dangerous
So, what exactly these little walnut sized parts of our female anatomy actually do for and to us?
For instance, without ovaries, we would never conceive children on our own or die of ovarian cancer.
Ovaries produce estrogen which helps keep us looking youthful, helps us mature into busty, hippy females and contributes to the PMS that we often curse.
Our ovaries also produce the eggs that, when fertilized by sperm, create the next generation and become the children who light up our lives.
They also produce the progesterone that helps regulate our menstrual cycle.
There is even some scientific evidence that our ovaries help protect our brain from early dementia.
Not only can ovaries help produce life, they can also produce misery when they misbehave. One syndrome that is painful and can have long-lasting negative effects on a woman’s body is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
The symptoms are usually irregular periods often accompanied by pain. Other symptoms can be acne, excessive hair growth and obesity in mature women. In teens, it may be signaled by very irregular or absent periods. If PCOS isn’t monitored and treated by a physician it can cause long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and infertility.
Not all ovarian cysts are evidence of polycystic ovarian syndrome. When a woman ovulates, sometimes the mechanism doesn’t complete the cycle and will leave residue on the ovary which will be encapsulated and form a cyst. Most of these cysts will reabsorb within two to three months on their own.
There are a variety of symptoms that can accompany a benign ovarian cyst including pelvic pain, pain during bowel movements or intercourse, fatigue, breast tenderness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal fullness and problems emptying the bladder or bowel. If you experience severe pain seek treatment immediately.
When your ovaries become dangerous, you seldom get early warnings. Ovarian cancer is called the “hidden disease” or “silent killer” for a reason; it is very difficult to find and diagnose in its early stages.
There are no screening tests to detect ovarian cancer and the symptoms are so slight that they can point to many other problems. The best detection methods are a yearly pelvic exam and knowing your own body.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
Most Common Symptoms
- Abdominal pain, bloating or swelling
- Pressure in the pelvis, back or legs
- Indigestion, gas, nausea, constipation or diarrhea
Less common symptoms
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual vaginal bleeding – including heavy periods or bleeding after menopause
These symptoms can indicate any number of problems other than ovarian cancer which is why you should see your doctor if these symptoms occur.
Be grateful for the benefits you receive from your ovaries but stay aware of the dangerous side of their nature.
Filed under: Ovaries
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