The ovaries are part of the female reproductive system. They’re located in the lower abdomen on both sides of the uterus. Women have two ovaries that produce eggs as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Sometimes, a fluid-filled sac called a cyst will develop on one of the ovaries. Many women will develop at least one cyst during their lifetime. In most cases, cysts are painless and cause no symptoms.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cyst
Often times, ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms. However, symptoms can appear as the cyst grows. Symptoms may include:
- abdominal bloating or swelling
- painful bowel movements
- pelvic pain before or during the menstrual cycle
- painful intercourse
- pain in the lower back or thighs
- breast tenderness
- nausea and vomiting
Severe symptoms of an ovarian cyst that require immediate medical attention include:
Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts and Ovarian Cancer are very similar. Please try to not automatically assume the worst, but be mindful that early detection of Ovarian Cancer will increase survival rate. Listen to your body and follow your instinct too, this is very powerful. If you are in any doubt don’t wait and get to your health care provider for further investigation. It could save your life.
Cysts and Ovarian Cancer
Just because you’ve had an ovarian cyst or tumor doesn’t mean you have, or will develop, ovarian cancer. Many women get ovarian cysts or benign ovarian tumors at some point during their reproductive years. Most will never develop ovarian cancer.
Your ovaries are small organs located deep within your pelvis. Eggs grow inside them, within a sac or follicle. During ovulation an egg is released from its sac into one of your fallopian tubes. After that, the sac typically dissolves, but sometimes the sac can remain and fill with air or fluid to develop into a cyst. Cysts that form in or around your ovaries often go unnoticed. They may cause only mild symptoms or no noticeable symptoms at all.
It’s relatively rare, but some ovarian cysts are malignant, or cancerous. Fortunately, most are benign, or not cancerous. Your doctor’s recommended treatment plan will depend on the type of ovarian cyst or tumor that you have, as well as your symptoms. Oftentimes they won’t require any treatment.