Chocolate cyst is one of the many types of cysts of ovaries. It is also called an endometrioma, chocolate ovarian cyst and endometrial cyst. It is a pouch or sac growing on the ovary which contains fluids and semi-solid materials which results in complex ovarian cyst. The endometrial tissue present inside the cyst responds to the monthly hormones, so it bleeds and fills the cysts with unclotted blood. As this blood gets old with time and changes into the dark color that resembles the chocolate, so it is called as a chocolate cyst.
In this disease, the tissue of the internal surface of uterus (i.e. endometrium) attach to the ovary in the form of patches, which may form small cysts. These small cysts are multiplied when the hormones responsible for menstruation stimulate them. After increasing in number, these cysts become the part of the ovary by replacing the normal tissues which are involved in ovulation. These cysts also spread around the pelvic cavity which causes inflammation and irritation of the nearby organs.
This disease affects millions of women each year especially during their childbearing years. This cyst affects the left ovary in most cases. The major bugbear with the chocolate cyst is that once they get finish, can recur at any stage of life. The endometrioma size ranges from about half an inch to four inches or more in diameter. If the cysts are small and only one then it will not interfere with pregnancy, but if multiple cysts are present and large in size then it can be dangerous for the fertility of women.
Chocolate cysts show no symptoms in some cases, but in some cases the symptoms are severe. The severity of symptoms are not dependent on the progression of the disease. However, some important symptoms are given below.
.Swelling or abdominal cramping during menstrual cycle.
.Uncomfortable sexual intercourse.
.Pain during exercising, bending or stretching.
.Bleeding other then the menstrual cycle at odd times.
.Dark colored discharge from the vagina.
.Pressure and pain during bowel movement or emptying the bladder.
The chocolate cysts can cause serious problem, if it get rupture. Because the contents may spill out on the ovaries and other organs in the pelvis which can lead to severe complications such as infections, scarring or adhesion and intense pelvic pain. This can also cause excessive bleeding, vomiting, fever and severe pain.
The treatment for the chocolate cysts include medication with drugs, such as Danzol and GnRH. But these drugs will only relieve the symptoms and not be helpful in removing the cysts. Other treatment is surgery, but it has some other problems as well. As during the removal of cyst sometimes some part of the ovary or in some cases the complete ovary has to be removed which results in lowering the fertility in women. Moreover, unnecessary surgical treatment can cause damage to other organs too, such as rectum or bladder.