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Ovarian cyst

Ovarian cyst symptoms

An ovarian cyst is a sac filled with fluid that develops in a woman's ovaries, most of the time ovarian cyst symptoms are not present and rarely cancerous. Some ovarian cyst symptoms can cause painful or irregular bleeding but do not often need treatment as they go away on there own.

What are the ovaries?

Ovaries are part of a woman reproductive organs, there are two ovaries one on either side of the womb (uterus) and are approximately the size of a walnut. The ovaries are responsible for the release an egg each month, which then passes down a woman's fallopian tube into the uterus to be fertilized.

What are ovarian cyst?

Cyst can develop in any part of the body, they can grow in to a variety of different sizes and contain different types of fluid. Ovarian cyst symptoms can also vary from woman to woman, some experience nothing at all. A cyst can contain different types of fluid inside, the fluid can range from very watery to thick and a paste consistency. Some ovarian cyst can even be solid and may be referenced as tumors. Although the thought of a tumor can be frightening it does not mean it is cancerous, tumor is just the medical term used for a swelling.

Ovarian cyst symptoms

Mostly ovarian cyst symptoms are non present in small cyst, they are usually benign and go on there own. However some people may experience certain ovarian cyst symptoms such as ; pain in the pelvic area, pelvic pain during periods, after exercise, during or after sex, breast tenderness, weight gain and spotting/bleeding between periods.

Large Ovarian Cyst Symptoms

The symptoms in large ovarian cyst can be similar to the ones in smaller, cyst but may be more severe. Other symptoms of larger ovarian cyst may include

pain or pressure when using the toilet

sickness feeling of nausea

tenderness of the breast

Pain the abdomen- this pain may come and go and may last for long periods of time.

Some woman complain of swelling or a bloating in the abdominal area.

Aches in the lower back or/and thighs

A less common ovarian cyst symptom can cause unusual change in the breast and the growth of body hair. This is exceedingly rare but the ovarian cyst can cause the growth of body hair to speed up or breast growth, this is due to the cyst causing the body to produce abnormal amount of hormone production.

Medical conditions that can contribute to ovarian cyst symptoms

Endometrosis is a condition where the lining of the womb can develop somewhere else other than than the womb. If this develops in the same area as the ovaries it may cause ovarian cyst to develop causing lower back pain and pelvic pain.

There is a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome, this is where there are more than one cysts developed in the ovaries. A symptom of an ovarian cyst with combined with PCSO can be weight gain and acne.

Complicated ovarian cyst symptoms

At times ovarian cyst may cause severe and serious health problems which will require medical attention and hospital treatment. There are certain ovarian cyst symptoms to look out for that need to be reported to the GP straight away.

Sudden pain in the lower abdomen can be an indicator that the cyst may have burst, the severity and pain felt depends on what type of fluid in the cyst. This can be more painful if it is infected or there is any bleeding.

Other ovarian cyst symptoms can cause more severe amounts of pain in the lower abdomen this can be the result of a combination of different things. A complication of a cyst could be the cause, women ovaries are on stems. If a cyst has developed on the stem the stem itself can become twisted stopping the blood supply. This is medically referred to as torsion and this type of ovarian cyst symptom can be immensely painful, which will require medical attention.

Cancer could be another symptom of ovarian cyst, it is important to note that approximately 95% are non-cancerous. Occasionally an ovarian cyst can be an early form of cancer.

Treatment for ovarian cyst symptoms and cysts

The treatment for cyst is not always necessary, most of the time they disappear naturally and only the symptoms of ovarian cyst will need pain relief. If pain the ovarian cyst becomes large and abnormal an the pain is lasting a few months or more it will need to be removed. Your doctor will more than likely want to test and examine the cyst to see if they are a factor of a more serious condition.

Another form of treatment which your doctor may suggest is using the oral contraceptive pill, even though it is associated with protecting against unwanted pregnancies it is also useful to help control hormones. Research has indicated that by regulating a woman's menstrual cycle it can help stop the follicles forming that can lead to the cyst forming. Using the oral pill has also shown to contribute to reducing the size of any existing cyst.

What causes an ovarian cyst

Cyst are categorized in to two types

Follicular cyst

Luteal Cyst

Follicular Cyst

Ovarian cyst are the most common type of ovarian cyst, woman's eggs are formed inside the ovary in a follicle. If the egg is not released from the follicle it can become larger in size and swell with fluid becoming a follicular ovarian cyst. This type of cyst usually goes away on its own and does not need medical treatment.

Luteal cysts

These are the less common types of the cyst and can develop from the tissue left behind from a released egg. This can then fill with blood and occasionally burst causing sudden pain and internal bleeding. Luteal cyst do usually go away by themselves without medical treatment.

Pathological cysts

This category of cyst usually develop into dermoid cyst or cystadenomas, age is a factor in which type of cyst will commonly develop. Woman that are under the age of thirty are more likely to develop a dermoid cyst, where as a woman aged over forty is more likely to develop the tumor type cyst cystadenomas.

Dermoid cysts

Dermoid cysts have been found to contain a range of tissues for example hair, skin and/or teeth, this is because they form from the cells responsible for making eggs. This type of cyst will require medical attention and will need to be removed surgically.


Cystadenomas will develop from the cells responsible for the outer part of the ovary, what the cyst contain will vary from a watery consistence to a much thicker paste like substance. The type of cyst will usually detach it self to the ovary stalk rather than the actually ovary itself, for this reason this type of cyst can grow lot larger than the other type of cyst. They are not usually cancerous, but like the dermoid cyst these will need to be removed surgically.