Symptoms of ovarian cysts

June 22, 2012 at 7:57 a.m.

Women of all ages can develop ovarian cysts. Most cysts will go away on their own, but larger ones can cause abdominal discomfort and mimic symptoms associated with bladder problems, since the cysts might cause pressure on the bladder. Many times, signs of ovarian cysts are difficult to recognize and in some cases, have no symptoms at all.

According to WebMD, a gynecologist or obstetrician should be consulted for an examination if any of these symptoms appear:

  1. Irregular menstrual cycles
  2. Pelvic pain, such as a constant or intermittent dull ache
  3. Pelvic pain before or after a menstrual cycle
  4. Pain or pressure on bowels or bladder
  5. Nausea or breast tenderness
  6. Fullness or heaviness in your abdomen

A routine exam will likely reveal a cyst, but many ovarian cyst symptoms will disappear when the cyst does. While most ovarian cysts are benign, there are a small percentage that can be cancerous. Postmenopausal women have a higher risk of ovarian cancer, according to The Mayo Clinic, so it is important to have regular exams. Always seek medical attention immediately if you experience the sudden onset of pelvic or abdominal pain that is accompanied by nausea or fever. Severe symptoms include cold, clammy skin, dizziness, weakness, shock or rapid breathing in addition to other symptoms.

If symptoms are severe, a physician may order an abdominal ultrasound or a computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdominal area to determine the presence of ovarian cysts.

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