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Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian Cysts

Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovaries. In most cases, they resolve on their own. But sometimes they may cause pain and discomfort.

Cysts that are not part of the normal function of the ovaries include dermoid cysts, cystadenomas and endometriomas. Dermoid cysts and cystadenomas can become large and cause the ovary to move out of its usual position. This increases the chance of painful twisting of your ovary, called ovarian torsion. Endometriomas are part of a condition called endometriosis, where endometrial cells grow outside the uterus.

The symptoms of ovarian cysts may include:

  • Menstrual irregularities
  • A constant or intermittent dull ache in the pelvic area that may radiate to your lower back and thighs
  • Pelvic pain shortly before your period begins or just before it ends
  • Pelvic pain during intercourse 
  • Pain during bowel movements or pressure on your bowels
  • Nausea, vomiting or breast tenderness similar to that experienced during pregnancy
  • Fullness or heaviness in your abdomen
  • Pressure on your rectum or bladder that causes a need to urinate more frequently or difficulty emptying your bladder completely

Cysts are usually diagnosed through a pelvic exam or imaging tests. Treatment may include a period of observation, medication therapy, or a surgical procedure. Only rarely does a cyst require the removal of an ovary or hysterectomy.

If you have ovarian cysts that require treatment, Dr. Brown will help determine the course of treatment that is best for you. Seek immediate medical attention if you have sudden, severe abdominal or pelvic pain accompanied by fever or vomiting.


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