An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac or pocket that occurs within or on the surface of an ovary. Many women have ovarian cysts at some point in their lives. Most ovarian cysts go away without treatment within a few months. However, if a cyst has ruptured, it can cause serious symptoms.
At Dignity Health, our expert gynecologists provide a wide range of gynecologic services. If you would like to schedule an appointment to evaluate an ovarian cyst, find a doctor a near you.
Ovarian Cyst Causes
The main cause of ovarian cysts is ovulation, during which an ovary releases an egg. An egg develops in a cyst-like structure called a follicle. During ovulation, the follicle opens and releases the egg. Sometimes, the follicle does not release the egg but continues to grow. This is called a functional cyst. Another type of functional cyst is a corpus luteum cyst. This type of cyst occurs when the follicle continues to grow after releasing the egg. Functional cysts are harmless, but can cause pain.
You may develop ovarian cysts if you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. Using fertility drugs can also make you more likely to develop an ovarian cyst.
Ovarian Cyst Symptoms
In most cases, there are no symptoms associated with ovarian cysts. You might not even know you have one until it is noticed by your doctor on an imaging test (such as an ultrasound).
Common symptoms of ovarian cysts are:
- Abdominal pain (may be sharp or dull)
- Pain during intercourse
- Feeling as if you need to urinate or pass a bowel movement
- Nausea and vomiting
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, visit a gynecologist at Dignity Health to receive the right diagnosis.
Ovarian Cyst Treatment
Our doctors offer the latest gynecologic treatments for ovarian cysts for your best possible care. Your treatment will depend on the size of the cyst, the type, and whether or not it is causing pain or other health concerns.
We offer the following treatments for ovarian cysts:
- Monitoring. If you don’t have any pain or other symptoms caused by your cyst, your doctor may recommend watching it for a few months. An ultrasound will provide your doctor with a clear picture of your cyst. Most cysts disappear without treatment.
- Birth control pills. These can help prevent more cysts from developing.
- Surgery. If you have significant pain or discomfort from a cyst, or if it is growing in size, surgery may be the best option to remove it from the ovary. At Dignity Health state-of-the-art hospitals, our surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery for ovarian cyst removal using tiny incisions and preserving the ovary. Your doctor may recommend removing one or both ovaries if there are signs that the cyst may be cancerous.
Dignity Health's doctors offer comprehensive, compassionate care to treat ovarian cysts in Sacramento, CA and the surrounding areas.