Ovarian cysts are fluid filled sacs or blisters which develop on the ovary. They are in fact an extreme version of the natural swelling that occurs normally each month with ovulation. Most cysts clear up themselves in a few months without any symptoms or long term effects, but a small proportion can continue to grow into a tumorous mass. Whilst some of these ongoing tumours can become cancerous, some remain benign, but they should all be investigated and treated as soon as possible. Depending on their type and their severity, some ovarian cysts can lead to permanent infertility.
Symptoms of ovarian cysts may present as pain in the vicinity of the affected ovary around either the time of ovulation, menstruation, or during sexual intercourse. Their presence may cause
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irregular or unusually long cycles
There may also be swelling in the lower abdomen and a feeling of fullness in the bladder – even after going to the toilet.
The usual medical treatment for large or recurring cysts is to suppress ovulation for some time with use of the pill, which can result in its spontaneous disappearance. Surgery can be used to either drain or remove a single cyst. In rare cases, a cyst may have become so large it will have attached to either the fallopian tube itself or the uterus as well, thereby requiring a hysterec-tomy.
Cysts generally respond well to herbal and homeopathic treatments and are understood by natural therapists to be a by-product of thyroid dysfunction. Diet should be addressed as well. A yoga program which can help in prevention and treatment of cysts is included in Prescriptive Yoga Programs – “Ovarian Cysts”, on page 2017.
As demonstrated in Kate’s story previously, the next relevant development after first encountering the menstrual phase of one’s cycle is to deal with one’s sexuality and the interplay between the desires for sex and the need for non-conception.
Contra = against. Contraception = against conception. Personally, I find the concept of contraception another silly misnomer, another way of fighting against the way we are, rather than understanding ourselves and acting accordingly. Why do we need to “block” conception as if it is the enemy? By living according to nature’s way, there is no real reason for going “against conception”. You just avoid it – that is, one simply doesn’t do what would normally result in conception! End of story.
For animals of lesser intelligence and aware-ness than humans, sex is a totally uncontrollable instinct. There is never a thought as to will I or won’t I, should I or shouldn’t I – it just happens at the time nature intends, if the opportunity is there. But we humans can choose to overrule such instincts with higher faculties. The less instinctive and more rational a person becomes, the more choice they can exercise – in any area of life, not just with reproductive urges. Sadly, in some people, sexual instinct and ignorance repeatedly overpower rationality and intuition, the results of which contribute
greatly to the many unwanted pregnancies, aguish-filled abortions, neglected children, and overpopulated families and societies.
Preventing and avoiding conception is not a new idea. Women throughout the ages have been studying their reproductive faculties, choosing when and where not to have babies and devising ways of having control over their fertility. It is the aggressive and unnatural methods which are new. I don’t believe that women have always had the same expectation of 30 days worry-free sex per month that women and men now expect. Modern science (possibly led by a congress of 30-day-per-month male and female researchers) now seems to spend an enormous effort inventing various drugs and gadgets to “assist” in the quest for the ultimate method of fertility control and unlimited, intelligence-free contraception. I believe this particular use of technology is taking us backwards as a species.
From a yogic point of view, contraception should not be about control of the body or fertility, but awareness of the body and fertility, so that a woman can learn from and work in harmony with nature.
Whilst a natural approach may be the most ideal path, I am not so dogmatic as to believe that it is always the most possible or practical option for every person. Each woman (or couple, if you