Ovarian cysts can usually be diagnosed during routine pelvic exams.
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac found on the ovaries, which are the organs that produce eggs and female hormones and affect our body’s appearance, menstrual cycle and pregnancy. The eggs that are produced each month are grown in tiny sacs called follicles. After these sacs release the egg, they dissolve and then turn into corpus luteum which produces hormones.
Functional cysts can form from these empty sacs and causes them to grow rather than dissolve. These cysts form from the follicle or the corpus luteum, but both disappear within a few months. They are rarely cancerous but can cause mild symptoms.
Other types of cysts can form as a result of disease or from the egg not being released. These may be larger and more painful. While some ovarian cysts don’t cause any symptoms, others may experience:
- Pressure, swelling or pain in the abdomen
- Pelvic pain
- Pain during sex
- Weight gain
- Abnormal bleeding
- Nausea or vomiting
Ovarian cysts can usually be diagnosed during routine pelvic exams. An ultrasound or blood test may also be used to determine the size and type of the cyst. Many cysts will go away on their own, so initial treatment may just be to wait and see if the size changes. Surgery to remove the cyst may be performed in those that do not change or cause pain. If you think you have a cyst, schedule a pelvic exam right away.