- When to See the Doctor
What are ovarian cysts?
Ovarian cysts are sacs of fluid that form on either the ovary or its surface. Women possess two ovaries which sit on either side of the uterus. The ovaries release eggs every month as a part of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Rarely, an ovarian cyst may develop into a more serious condition. If the cyst grows too large, the ovary can twist. This results in a dangerous condition known as ovarian torsion. Some cysts also run the risk of rupturing, which can cause internal bleeding. Both conditions can arise without warning and require medical intervention.
It is important to understand the causes and symptoms of cysts. Keeping up with your regular pelvic exams can help you stay healthy. Ovarian cysts are primarily caused by hormonal imbalance, endometriosis, or the natural occurrence of a corpus luteum cyst.
Signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts
Though some ovarian cysts occur without pain and cause no harm, some women with cysts experience significant symptoms. The signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts can include:
When an ovarian cyst develops, some women experience moderate to severe pain. The pain may occur as a dull, constant ache to a sharp or sudden pain.
For many women, pelvic pain is a common symptom of ovarian cysts. This pain often occurs during or after sex.
Bloating, which often occurs with a feeling of abdominal heaviness or fullness, is a common symptom of an ovarian cyst. Bloating can fluctuate in intensity throughout your cycle.
Ovarian cysts can sometimes be accompanied by drastic or unusual weight gain. This can occur when the ovarian cyst is the result of a hormonal imbalance.
Painful and heavy menstruation
A common symptom of ovarian cysts are painful menstrual periods. Many women also experience heavy bleeding, very painful cramping, and severe bloating.
Some cysts occur with symptoms of trouble urinating, trouble defecating, difficult bowel movements, and urinary urgency.
Types of ovarian cysts
Depending on the cause of an ovarian cyst, there are several different types of ovarian cysts:
Follicular cysts are functional cysts that form if the ovarian follicle does not rupture or release the egg. Instead, it continues to grow as a cyst.
Corpus luteum cyst
A corpus luteum cyst is another form of functional cyst, which occurs when the follicle bursts but continues to grow as a cyst. Most corpus luteum cysts are harmless, painless, and resolve on their own.
Dermoid cysts form from embryonic cells and often contain hair, skin, or teeth tissues.
These cysts are filled with a fluid or mucus-like material and occur on the surface of the ovary.
Endometriomas are the result of endometriosis, in which uterine cells grow outside of the uterus.
Causes of ovarian cysts
There are several potential causes of ovarian cysts. Underlying causes may include:
Hormonal imbalance can lead to a higher chance of developing an ovarian cyst. Hormonal imbalance can be triggered by ongoing fertility treatments or other underlying issues.
Once the egg is released from the follicle, corpus luteum cysts can sometimes continue growing into a woman’s pregnancy. Many times, the cyst may resolve on its own during pregnancy or after.
Endometriosis is a fairly common condition that causes the endometrial cells from the uterus to grow beyond the uterine walls. Endometrial tissues can attach to your ovaries and form a cyst.
Pelvic infections can lead to the formation of cysts if the infection reaches the ovaries.
If you have previously experienced an ovarian cyst, you are likely to develop another.
Latest Women's Health News
Daily Health News
When to see the doctor for ovarian cysts
If you experience any painful symptoms associated with an ovarian cyst, you should seek medical treatment. You should seek immediate treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms:
These symptoms may indicate a ruptured cyst or ovarian torsion, which can be dangerous if left untreated.
Diagnosing ovarian cysts
Ovarian cysts can often be diagnosed during a routine pelvic exam. Depending on the type of the cyst, your doctor will recommend additional tests in order to determine a treatment plan. Potential tests may be:
Treatments for ovarian cysts
Once you have been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst, your doctor may recommend:
- Follow-up appointments to monitor the growth of the cyst
- Hormonal birth control to slow the growth of your cyst
- Surgery to remove the cyst
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
InformedHealth.org: "Ovarian cysts: Overview."
Korean Journal of Radiology: "Ruptured Corpus Luteal Cyst: CT Findings."
MayoClinic: "Ovarian cysts."
MedicineNet: "Ovarian Cysts: Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment."
StatPearls: "Ovarian Cyst."
Top What Is The Main Cause of Ovarian Cysts Related Articles
What Can I Expect After a Laparoscopic Ovarian Cystectomy?An ovarian cystectomy is a surgery performed to remove sac-like fluid pockets (cyst) from your ovary (a woman’s reproductive organ). These cysts cause problems in menses and infertility.
How Do They Remove a Cyst From Your Ovaries?Learn what medical treatments can help with a cyst on your ovaries and speed up your recovery.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled, sac-like structures within an ovary. Symptoms of an ovarian cysts may be:
- Pain in the belly or pelvis
- A feeling for the need to have a bowel movement
- Urgency to urinate
- Pain during intercourse.
There are a variety of causes and types of ovarian cysts, and treatment depends upon type of cyst.
Ovarian CystsWhat is an ovarian cyst? Ovarian cyst types vary, and they can cause many symptoms, including abdominal pain. Discover how to tell if you have a ruptured ovarian cyst.
What Are Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Symptoms?Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known by the name Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to have a variety of symptoms including irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. Treatment of PCOS depends partially on the woman's stage of life and the symptoms of PCOS.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Ovarian Cyst Removal?Cyst removal is major surgery. Hence, it is important to make sure you take enough rest and give your body time for recuperation. Time taken to recover from the surgery is different for everyone. It takes around 12 weeks for the body to complete the healing process.
What Causes Cysts on the Ovaries?What causes ovarian cysts? Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled pockets that grow in or on an ovary. Learn what causes ovarian cysts, the symptoms of ovarian cysts, and what to do if you’re dealing with ovarian cysts.