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- Ovarian cysts facts
- What is the ovary and what are ovarian cysts?
- What causes ovarian cysts?
- What symptoms are caused by ovarian cysts?
- How are ovarian cysts diagnosed?
- How can the physician decide if an ovarian cyst is dangerous?
- How are ovarian cysts treated?
- What are the risks of ovarian cysts during pregnancy?
Quick GuideWhat's Causing Your Abdominal Pain?
What symptoms are caused by ovarian cysts?
Most ovarian cysts are never noticed and resolve without women ever realizing that they are there. When a cyst causes symptoms, pain in the abdomen or pelvis is the most common one. The pain can be caused from:
- rupture of the cyst,
- rapid growth and stretching,
- bleeding into the cyst, or
- twisting of the cyst around its blood supply (known as torsion).
If the cyst has reached a large size, other symptoms may arise as a result of pressure or distortion of adjacent anatomical structures. These symptoms can include abdominal fullness or bloating, indigestion, feeling full after eating only a small amount (early satiety), urinary urgency, feeling an urge to defecate or having difficult bowel movements, or pain with sexual intercourse.
How are ovarian cysts diagnosed?
Sometimes ovarian cysts may be noticed by a doctor during a bimanual examination of the pelvis. If a cyst is suspected based upon symptoms or physical examination, imaging techniques are used. Most cysts are diagnosed by ultrasound, which is the best imaging technique for detecting them. Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce an image of structures within the body. Ultrasound imaging is painless and harmless.