How American Idol and Grammy-award winner Kelly Clarkson had a ruptured ovarian cyst – and how ovarian cyst treatments can prevent it from happening to you
The rich and the famous aren’t exempt from developing health problems. We are all human after all and whatever status you have in society, diseases can hit us anytime.
Such is the case for American singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson who first rose to stardom by capturing America’s heart with her sweet personality and powerful singing voice, and eventually bagging the first-ever American Idol title, the million-dollar prize and a recording contract in 2002. From that point on, she has become one of the most celebrated pop stars of her generation and has won multiple Grammy Awards for her hit pop songs that have swept millions of listeners across the globe.
Clarkson, who is now 37 years old and a mother of two, recently shared that she had to deal with a ruptured ovarian cyst in the middle of filming The Voice, the high-rated American singing competition television series where she currently works as a celebrity judge. She describes the pain as very excruciating that she had to grab her co-celebrity judges’ (Blake Shelton) arm for support. She further revealed that the pain was way worse than appendicitis, which she also had to deal with a week before the burst ovarian cyst. It was a terrible week for her indeed.
Just like Kelly, many women around the world are also suffering from ovarian cyst and when left untreated, can be cause for serious concerns. Some women may even have them but do not know it yet as they can be asymptomatic, or do not show any symptoms.
This is why, before matters become out of hand, it is important for women to know what causes ovarian cysts and the common signs and symptoms, and when to see the doctor for an ovarian cyst treatment.
What is an ovarian cyst?
The ovary is a major organ in a women’s reproductive system. Naturally, women have two ovaries that are bean-shaped. Normally, ovaries are small and have a size of 3.5cm x 2.5cm x 1.5cm. When a woman hits puberty, the ovaries house the egg that is released each month as part of a regular menstrual cycle.
Ovarian cysts develop in two different ways by means of a functional cyst and non-functional cyst formation.
- Functional cysts form when the follicles in the ovary function abnormally and can further be classified into two types. (1) When the follicles don’t break open and release the egg, follicular cysts are formed and (2) when they do not close properly after the release, they can be filled with fluids and form corpus luteum cysts.
- Non-functional cysts form without the influence of the menstrual cycle. Rather, they are typically caused by abnormal growths of body cells that form in the ovary. The most common types are called endometriomas (abnormal endothelial tissue growths), teratomas (embryonic cells that have grown abnormally) and cystadenomas (mucous-filled materials that develop into cysts).
Are ovarian cysts dangerous?
Generally, ovarian cysts are common and harmless. These fluid-filled sacs can develop on the surface or inside one or both ovaries simultaneously. Common symptoms of ovarian cysts include:
- Menstrual cycles that are not regular
- Occasional pelvic pain (can be mild or severe)
- Bloated feeling
- Heavier or lighter periods than normal (and can even persist longer than usual)
- Constant urge to pee and difficulty in bowel movements
- Pain when having sex
They rarely cause any alarm or discomfort and some even do not exhibit any symptoms at all. You might even have one monthly and never know it as they go away on their own and do not necessarily require treatment. However, there are cases where ovarian cysts can lead to serious health problems and have severe symptoms like:
- Ovarian cyst rupture and ovarian torsion
Just like what happened to Kelly Clarkson, they can rupture or burst and cause excruciating pain and lead to serious problems. Also, when the ovarian cysts become too large, they can cause the ovary to twist, or medically known as ovarian torsion and result in severe pain and weakness.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
You might have heard of this condition from different social media outlets because a lot of celebrities and ‘influencers” have been open about dealing with it and raising awareness for women worldwide. PCOS is characterized by multiple small cysts in the ovary that usually cause irregularities in the menstrual cycle and can be a major concern for infertility in women.
- Non-functional cysts can be cancerous
Because non-functional cysts are abnormal cell growths, they have the potential to become cancerous cysts when they become too become large and remain undetected.
When to see a doctor for ovarian cyst treatment?
As mentioned, ovarian cysts do not usually cause for alarm and go away naturally. However, when you feel a sudden sharp pain in your pelvic area, seek medical help right away as this may signify that the ovarian cyst has already burst or ovarian torsion has occurred. These conditions require immediate medical attention to avoid more serious problems that can be irreversible.
All over Singapore, there are clinics devoted to women’s health like PK Women’s Clinic that offers several treatment options like:
- Surgical treatments (removal of cysts or the entire ovary)
- Watchful waiting and observation
In Singapore, ovarian cyst treatment can be in the form of different approaches depending on the severity of the condition and the doctor’s recommendation. The treatment can be unique for each patient and as they are tailored to their own needs, budget and preferences.
The show must go on.
When you discover that you have ovarian cysts, do not lose hope or feel helpless. Take lessons from Kelly Clarkson: the show must go on. And referencing from one of Kelly’s major hits “Stronger”, what doesn’t kill you really makes you stronger. You can definitely achieve this by seeking medical help and being committed to your treatment. With the proper diagnosis, assessment, and guidance from the experts at PK Women’s Clinic, you are in good hands.
PK Women’s Specialist Clinic
2,Tai Thong Crescent, #01-12,
The Venue Shoppes., Singapore 347836
+65 6636 9909