Often times, ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms. However, symptoms can appear as the cyst grows.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs or pockets in an ovary or on its surface. Women have two ovaries each about the size and shape of an almond.
A cyst becomes a problem when it doesn’t go away or gets bigger. It can also become painful.
There’s also the possibility of cancer, but it’s rare. The chances go up as you get older.
Types of Cyst
Follicular cyst. Around the midpoint of your menstrual cycle, an egg bursts out of its follicle and also travels down the fallopian tube.
A follicular cyst begins when the follicle doesn’t rupture or release its egg, but continues to grow.
Corpus luteum cyst When a follicle releases its egg, it begins producing estrogen and progesterone for conception.
This follicle is now called the corpus luteum. Sometimes, fluid accumulates inside the follicle, causing the corpus luteum to grow into a cyst.
Dermoid cysts: sac-like growths on the ovaries that can contain hair, fat, and other tissue
Cystadenomas. These develop on the surface of an ovary and might be filled with a watery or a mucous material.
Dermoid cysts and cystadenomas can also become large, causing the ovary to move out of position.
This may increase the chance of painful twisting of your ovary, called ovarian torsion.
Symptoms of an ovarian cyst
Symptoms may include:
- abdominal bloating or swelling
- painful bowel movements
- pelvic pain before or during the menstrual cycle
- pain in the lower back or thighs
however, severe symptoms of an ovarian cyst that require immediate medical attention include:
- severe or sharp pelvic pain
Your risk of developing an ovarian cyst is heightened by:
- Hormonal problems. These include taking the fertility drug clomiphene (Clomid), which is used to cause you to ovulate.
- Pregnancy. Sometimes, the cyst that forms when you ovulate stays on your ovary throughout your pregnancy.
- Endometriosis. This condition causes uterine endometrial cells to grow outside your uterus. Some of the tissue can attach to your ovary and form a growth.
- A severe pelvic infection. If the infection spreads to the ovaries, it can cause cysts.
- A previous ovarian cyst. If you’ve had one also, you’re likely to develop more.
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