Ovarian cysts

Overview of ovarian cysts

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac on an ovary. Ovarian cysts are very common. In many cases, the cysts go away without treatment. Sometimes, they require professional medical treatment.

At Dignity Health, our experienced, personal gynecologists can diagnose and treat your ovarian cyst in AZ, CA, and NV. Find a Doctor near you today to relieve ovarian cyst pain and other symptoms.

Symptoms of ovarian cysts

Many ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms. In fact, you may not know you have one unless it’s noticed on an imaging test (such as an ultrasound) ordered for another reason.

The most common signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts include:

  • Pain such as dull pelvic or abdominal pain, or sharp pain during activity.
  • Bloating or a  feeling of fullness or heaviness in the abdomen.
  • Nausea and vomiting similar to morning sickness.
  • Feeling you need to urinate or pass a bowel movement. If a cyst is putting pressure on your bladder or pressing on your bowel, respectively. Constipation can be another symptom of ovarian cysts.
  • Pain during intercourse 
  • Vaginal bleeding

See your doctor immediately if you experience sudden, severe pain with or without bleeding. These symptoms can occur if an ovarian cyst ruptures. Immediate medical attention is necessary to control bleeding and preserve your health.

Causes of ovarian cysts

Most ovarian cysts are the result of ovulation, the process by which an ovary releases an egg. Normally, eggs develop in cyst-like structures called follicles. During ovulation, the follicle bursts and releases the egg. Sometimes, the follicle does not release the egg but continues to grow. This is called a functional cyst. Functional cysts are harmless, but can cause pain.

Other causes of ovarian cysts include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis. The use of fertility drugs also increases the risk of developing ovarian cysts. Rarely, an ovarian cyst may be cancerous.