Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on your ovaries. While most ovarian cysts don’t trigger problematic symptoms, some can cause pelvic pain, bleeding, bloating, and other frustrating side effects.
Many women wonder whether ovarian cysts require medical treatment or if they’ll resolve on their own. If you’re concerned about ovarian cysts, don’t hesitate to schedule an exam at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Our team of board-certified providers specializes in diagnosing and treating problematic ovarian cysts. We also want to educate our patients about this common condition so you better understand when to seek medical help.
Take a moment to learn what you need to know about ovarian cysts — including whether they ever go away on their own.
Ovarian cysts 101
You can get ovarian cysts for different reasons. The primary cause of these cysts takes place as part of your normal reproductive cycle. During ovulation, when one of your ovaries releases an egg, a natural cyst, called a functional cyst, forms. These cysts aren’t cause for concern.
Sometimes, however, a cyst develops on your ovary but it doesn’t release an egg. This is called a follicular ovarian cyst. Women can also develop ovarian cysts outside of their normal menstrual cycle.
These cysts may not cause any problems. But other times, they create significant health concerns. For example, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects your fertility and overall health.
Problematic ovarian cysts have many causes. The most common include hormone imbalances, infections, endometriosis, and infertility treatments.
Signs of ovarian cysts
Most women won’t know when they have an ovarian cyst. In fact, much of the time, ovarian cysts are only identified during a pelvic exam.
But some ovarian cysts do cause uncomfortable or even painful symptoms. Here’s a look at some of the most common signs of ovarian cysts:
1. Bloating or pelvic pressure
Ovarian cysts can cause bloating and pressure in your lower abdomen. These feelings may come and go, or they can be constant, staying around until the cyst goes away.
2. Pain in your side, back, or thighs
If the ovarian cyst grows quite large, you can develop pain low on the side of the affected ovary. This pain can vary in intensity. It may feel sharp or dull. Some ovarian cysts even cause a dull ache or pain in your low back or thighs.
3. Pain with intercourse
Some ovarian cysts can make sexual intercourse painful. It’s important to understand that many other gynecological problems, like prolapse, infection, and inflammation, can also trigger painful sex. For this reason, be sure to share your symptoms with your provider at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG.
4. Urinary or bowel symptoms
Ovarian cysts can cause problematic bathroom symptoms. For example, they can cause you to feel the need to urinate more frequently. For some women, ovarian cysts trigger changes in bowel movements.
5. Abnormal bleeding
Some ovarian cysts cause abnormal uterine bleeding. For example, you might spot or bleed between your periods. This bleeding is sometimes accompanied by cramps and pain.
Keep in mind that many of the symptoms caused by ovarian cysts might also be due to other gynecological conditions. Be sure to schedule an appointment at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG as soon as possible if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms.
How ovarian cysts resolve
Most of the time, ovarian cysts go away on their own without rupturing or requiring medical intervention. If you have only mild symptoms, you can likely manage them at home with over-the-counter pain medications and rest.
If you’re experiencing painful symptoms, it may be a sign that your ovarian cyst has ruptured.
Intense physical activity, including sex or vigorous exercise, can rupture a cyst. Even when ovarian cysts rupture, many women don’t have symptoms or notice only mild signs.
For women with intense or severe pain, heavy bleeding, or other problematic signs, it’s best to seek medical care as soon as possible. In rare cases, ovarian cysts can require emergency surgery to treat.
Call Darin Swainston MD. FACOG or see an emergency provider immediately if you have the following symptoms:
- Pain with fever and vomiting
- Pain with dizziness, weakness, or fainting
- Pain with unexplained and heavy bleeding
- Pain with rapid breathing
Keep in mind that most of the time ovarian cysts are not a medical emergency. If you require medical help for ovarian cysts, it usually involves watchful waiting to see the cyst resolve and medications (e.g., hormone-based contraception).
For cysts that don’t resolve on their own and that cause problematic symptoms, your Darin Swainston MD. FACOG provider may recommend minimally invasive surgery to remove the cysts.
Have more questions about ovarian cysts? Get answers by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone at Darin Swainston MD. FACOG in Las Vegas, Nevada.