Shoulder pain is a less common sign.
|Signs Of Ovary Cysts
Main Topic: Ovarian Cysts Guide
If you have an ovary cyst, usually the first you'll hear about it is from your doctor. Most cysts don't cause symptoms but your doctor could spot one during a routine pelvic examination or smear test. And if you do experience symptoms, it will generally reflect the size and location of the cyst, rather than the specific type of cyst. For example, a cyst that grows large enough can cause weight gain or severe pain if it presses down on a nearby organ.
Possible symptoms include:
• Irregular periods, typically heavy periods or missed periods.
• Spotting between periods.
• Menstruation-like cramps.
• Painful intercourse.
• Bloated stomach and weight gain. (See picture of this 35 pound cyst!)
• Dull pain in the lower back and thighs.
If the cyst bursts or gets twisted, it can cause:
• Nausea or vomiting.
• Pain in the shoulder, usually on the back of the shoulder blade. This is known as referred pain as there is nothing wrong with the shoulder, it's simply the nerve endings along the spine are 'confused' about the source of the pain (the burst ovary).
• Sudden sharp pain in the pelvic area.
• Faintness caused by fluid leaking from the burst cyst and lowering blood pressure.
• Excessive urination or increased thirst.
Can ovarian cysts become cancerous?
Yes, they can, but it's quite rare. Generally cysts smaller than 5cm in diameter are unlikely to become cancerous. So the size of the cyst is important. More than half of cysts under 5cm clear up spontaneously within 3 months. As a follow up, the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) recommend an ultrasound scan 4 months after the cyst is gone. If the cyst doesn't go away on it's own, or grows larger over time, your doctor will want to remove it surgically by laparoscopy - keyhole surgery.
See also: Should all ovary cysts be surgically removed?
Older, post-menopausal women have an even lower risk of an ovary cyst turning cancerous. In one study 2,763 women with cysts of 10cm or less were evaluated with ultrasound every six months for 6 years. Nearly 70 percent of the cysts cleared up spontaneously, and there were zero cases of cancer.
For more information:
Describing your pain
What type of pain do ovarian cysts cause?
PCOS and ovary cysts - the difference?
What is the difference between ovarian cysts and PCOS?
In fact, it is possible to confuse the early signs of pregnancy with ovarian cysts. To help clarify: What are the early signs of pregnancy before a missed period?
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Signs Of Ovarian Cysts
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