An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled growth on the inside or outer surface of one of a woman’s ovaries. Many women develop ovarian cysts. The majority of these growths are harmless, cause only very minor discomfort or no ovarian cyst symptoms at all, and disappear without treatment in just a few months. However, some cysts can cause severe symptoms and require urgent treatment.
Common Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts
Most ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms, and often these cysts disappear without treatment. However, larger ovarian cysts can cause symptoms including:
Pelvic Pain: Sharp or dull ache in the lower abdominal area on the side of the body where the cyst is located.
Abdominal Discomfort: Sensation of heaviness or fullness in the abdomen.
Bloating: A bloated sensation.
Severe Symptoms Need Urgent Medical Attention
Sudden severe pelvic or abdominal pain.
Pain and vomiting or fever.
Signs of shock, such as cold, damp skin, rapid breathing, weakness, light-headedness.
Each month, a woman’s ovaries develop follicles, which are cyst-like structures. The follicles generate the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, and they release an egg during ovulation.
When a normally occurring monthly follicle continues growing (either before or after releasing the egg)
it becomes a functional cyst. This type of ovarian cyst is usually harmless, does not cause pain, and often goes away on their own.
Risk Factors for Ovarian Cysts
History of Ovarian Cyst
Ovarian Cyst Complications
Less common kinds of ovarian cysts sometimes develop in women after menopause and may be cancerous. Post-menopausal women should maintain regular exams to help ensure early detection and timely ovarian cyst removal, if needed.
Ovarian Cyst Prevention
Ovarian cysts are not preventable but having routine pelvic examinations by your gyn can help ensure that any changes are detected as early as possible.