Can PCOS Cause Pain?

Can PCOS Cause Pelvic Pain?

Yes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can in fact cause severe pelvic pain. Yet despite this, thousands of women with the condition are told by their doctor that the pain they are experiencing is not a symptom of PCOS. Naturally this lack of acknowledgement leads to distress and a feeling of helplessness. Typically patients describe their pain as throbbing and report occurrences on one or both sides of the pelvis near the ovaries. Pain is often worse around time of the month and may subside once menstrual bleeding has stopped. Possible explanations for the cause of pain include crowding in the pelvic area due to enlarged swollen ovaries. Or, it could be that the pain is a chronic (ongoing) version of PMS experienced by women with particularly heavy or prolonged periods. Taking the oral contraceptive pill may help to ease symptoms. If not, metformin may be recommended. See, treatment for PCOS.

Personal Stories

My doctor says that PCOS doesn't cause physical pain. So, what is this throbbing ache and discomfort that I get on both sides of my ovaries? My imagination? Typically the pain is dull and persistent but sometimes it becomes sharp like being stabbed with a knife in my ovaries - usually it is worse when I get my period. It's not the same as menstrual cramps, the pain is sharper.
Olive, Memphis.

I have PCOS and have a constant pain in the left side of my pelvis. Usually it is dull and achy but sometimes it becomes really sharp. I can't lie on my stomach in bed because it feels like I'm squashing something. Yet I went for an ultrasound scan and the doctor said I didn't have cysts on my ovaries. He doesn't know what the cause of the pain is. However, I was reading that it is easy to miss cysts with an ultrasound scan. Just because they are not visible on the outside of the ovaries, they can be inside them, or in the fallopian tubes. I'm getting a second opinion and more tests done next month.
Jennifer, Colorado.

I'm 28 with PCOS and suffer with pain in my lower pelvic area. My doctor told me that the severe pain I get is when a cyst in my ovary is popping - and that they tend to pop around ovulation time, so pain is worse then.

Jessica, Texas.

I'm 23 and suffer horrific pain due to PCOS. There are days when I can't even get out of bed, the pain is stabbing and usually occurs on the left side of my pelvis. I've spent thousands of dollars on ER bills due to the pain, sometimes it's so bad they need to send an ambulance to collect me. The doctors tell me that I have large cysts on my ovaries, I had one 11cm cyst removed which helped reduce symptoms for a while. Trouble is, the cysts keep growing back. Yet, and this is the crazy thing, 3 different doctors told me that there is no reason to have pain with PCOS. Maybe it's all in my head! I don't think so...
Rebecca, Utah.

Related Questions
Treatment options: Can PCOS be cured?
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Feeling exhausted: Does PCOS cause fatigue?
Natural remedies: Natural treatment for PCOS.

• Need more information? See: PCOS Guide
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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