A cyst is a membranous sac or pocket. Cysts form in many places in the body. The term ovarian cyst refers to a cyst that has formed in or on one of the ovaries. Most ovarian cysts are small and harmless. In fact, they commonly occur in regular menstrual periods. A corpus luteum cyst or a follicle cyst may form each month on the ovary when the egg is released. These are called functional cysts. These normally shrink on their own in about 1 to 3 months. Pregnancy can cause a cyst to form. In early pregnancy, a cyst can form to help support the pregnancy as the placenta is forming. Occasionally, this cyst stays on the ovary until later in the pregnancy and may require removal. Ovarian cysts that continue to grow during pregnancy may twist or could cause problems during childbirth.
Ovarian cysts should be checked out by a healthcare provider if you are having symptoms and suspect that is what is going on. Pain or discomfort from an ovarian cyst could feel sharp or dull, and it could come and go. If a cyst breaks open (ruptures) it could cause sudden, severe pain. Also, if a large cyst breaks open it could cause heavy bleeding. If a cyst causes an ovary to twist it may also cause nausea and vomiting. Less common symptoms include Pain during or after sex, discomfort during exercise, unexplained weight gain, pelvic pain, dull low backache, or leg pain, painful periods, unusual vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, bowel or bladder problems. It is important to talk to your physician if you are concerned about these symptoms. In about 5-10% of cases, an ovarian cyst may require surgical removal. This may be necessary if your cyst does not go away, grows larger, or causes pain. Follow us on Spotify to learn more!