Ovarian cysts are common and often go away on their own. But if you have pain that suggests a complication with cysts or they are interfering with your daily life, consult expert OB/GYN Donna J. Hagberg, MD, who practices in Cos Cob, Connecticut. She evaluates and helps you manage ovarian cysts. Call her office for an appointment, or book a consultation using the online tool.
Your ovaries are two small organs that sit on either side of your uterus. Your eggs develop and are released from your ovaries as part of your monthly menstrual cycle. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled cysts that develop on the surface of your ovaries.
In many cases, ovarian cysts cause no pain or dysfunction. They can disappear without medical intervention. However, if you experience symptoms associated with a cyst or one ruptures, you’ll need intervention from an experienced doctor like Dr. Hagberg.
If you have a large ovarian cyst, it can cause complications and symptoms, including:
In rare cases, a cyst can cause your ovary to move, resulting in painful twisting. You’ll experience abrupt, severe pelvic pain and possible vomiting as a result. A cyst that ruptures also causes severe, sudden pain and internal bleeding. Both of these cases require immediate attention.
An ovarian cyst is detected during a regular pelvic exam or you present with symptoms suggesting a cyst, she may recommend screening tests to evaluate its severity, size, and type. You may undergo a pelvic ultrasound or laparoscopic surgery to view the cyst and, in the case of surgery, remove it.
If an ovarian cyst is identified but it’s causing no symptoms, it may be recommended you simply monitor it with regular screening tests. If you have a history of ovarian cysts, birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives may keep them from recurring, but they will not shrink an existing cyst.
In cases of large cysts, or pain due to an ovarian cyst or cysts that continue to grow through multiple menstrual cycles, surgery may be recommended. Surgery often involves just removing the cyst and leaving your ovary intact. All options should be reviewed so the patient can make the best informed personal decision.
There are a few options available to help prevent the formation of ovarian cysts. Regular pelvic exams and pelvic ultrasounds can help detect them as early as possible and prevent complications.