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Ovarian Cyst: Pain, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & More

Ovarian Cyst: Pain, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & More

by Hibah Ahmad · December 27, 2020

Are you concerned for having ovarian cysts and looking for an excellent guide?

Ovarian cysts are fluid filled packets or sacs that are either located on its surface or inside it.

Let’s have a quick look on what is an ovarian cyst and its symptoms, causes, treatment and much more.

1.

What is Ovarian Cyst?

Ovaries are the major part of the female reproductive system and are present on either side of the uterus in the lower abdominal area.

The main function of ovaries includes egg production and along with that, they are also responsible for manufacturing female hormones which play an integral role in reproduction.

Anatomy of ovarian cyst

Cysts are described as fluid-filled sacs or pockets that can form in either of the ovaries.

It is very common for women to have at least one cyst throughout their life.

Moreover, in most cases, it is painless and does not show any symptoms.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for ovarian cyst include,

  • Hormonal imbalance. The intake of fertility drugs for better ovulation can result in the formation of cysts in ovary.
  • Pregnancy. The cysts that develop in ovulation can survive through your pregnancy.
  • Endometriosis. The cells that play an important role in forming the lining of uterus grow outside your uterus. They can attach to your ovaries and result in the formation of cyst.
  • Pelvic infection. If the infection persists in your ovaries then it might result in cyst formation.
  • Another ovarian cyst. If you previously had a cyst in your ovary then there are more chances for you to have more.

Ovarian Cyst Pain

However, most of the cysts located in ovary do not cause pain but in case of internal bleeding or damage, they result in severe abdominal pain.

The abdominal pain occurs as a result of twist of the stalk of ovary which causes blockage of blood and oxygen to the cyst.

Can Ovarian Cyst Cause Rectal Pain?

Yes these can cause rectal pain as these cysts, larger in size, can cause swelling in your abdomen which might put pressure on the organs around it.

They might put pressure of your bladder or rectum resulting in pain in urination or rectum.

The abdominal pain might be mistaken for other diseases like appendicitis or kidney stones.

Complex Ovarian Cyst Pregnancy

The cysts in ovary are often discovered while pregnancy.

Whereas, in most of the cases their finding appears as an incident during normal prenatal check up.

Most of the cysts found during pregnancy are benign and do not require any surgical procedures.

However, surgical procedures must be used if there are chances for malignancy or in case of damage or bleeding or the size of cyst is predicting any complications in pregnancy.

2.

Ovarian Cyst Symptoms

It is important to look at the symptoms of ovarian cysts as they help us in taking proper action at the right time.

However, there are many of its potential symptoms but the main symptom include pelvic pain.

Now let’s look at other symptoms as well.

Abdominal pain or swelling

Common Symptoms

Mostly cysts in ovaries are small and do not cause any pain or related symptoms but the common symptoms include,

  • Pressure, swelling or pain in the lower abdominal area
  • Painful bowel movement changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Extreme abdominal pain during or after periods.
  • Pain during sex
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Breast tenderness
  • Pain in lower back or thigh

Severe Symptoms

Severe symptoms of that require instant medical help include,

  • Extreme unbearable pelvic pain
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Breathlessness or palpitations
  • Your menstrual cycle might stop

3.

Ovarian Cyst Causes

What causes ovarian cysts?

The cause of cyst formation in your ovaries is dependent on its type.

Let us look at the types of these cysts to get a more detailed about its causes.

Causes of cysts in ovaires

Types of Ovarian Cyst

There are various types of cysts that are produced in the human body including, dermoid, endometrioma and functional.

More commonly cysts are benign and can result due to your normal reproductive cycle, also called functional cysts. In some cases, cysts can grow in size and cause them to move, thereby increasing the chances of painful twisting of your ovaries. This condition is called Ovarian Torsion.

Moreover, ovarian torsion can cause a decrease in blood supply to the ovaries.

Moreover, functional cysts are the most common type while others are less common.

Functional Ovarian Cysts

The two types of functional ovarian cysts are discussed below,

1. Follicle Cyst

An egg develops in a sac in the ovaries, referred to as a follicle during the female reproductive cycle.

Generally, this sack breaks down resulting in the release of egg but if it doesn’t then the fluid inside in the follicle can result in the formation of a follicular cyst.

2. Corpus Luteum Cyst

The sacs generally dissolve after producing an egg but if that doesn’t happen or if the follicle closes again then it can result in the production of extra fluid. This in turn results in the formation of the corpus luteum cyst.

Other Cysts

1. Dermoid Cysts

Dermoid cysts generally consist of fat, hair or other tissues because they develop from embryonic cells. There are very rare chances for these to cause cancer.

2. Endometrioma

Endometrioma cysts on the other hand result from the production of tissues outside the ovaries where they might get attached to your ovary and result in growth.

3. Cystadenomas

These grow on the surface of ovaries and might contain watery or mucous inside them.

4. Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS)

In some cases, women often face a condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS which indicates the presence of large amounts of cysts which may also result in enlarged ovaries.

It is important to treat polycystic ovaries as if they are left untreated, they might result in infertility or ectopic pregnancy.

 

4.

Ovarian Cyst Treatment

How can an ovarian cyst be diagnosed and treated?

The diagnosis and treatment basically depend on the symptoms, size and type of cysts in the ovary.

There are multiple ways to diagnose and treat it. Therefore, let us look at them briefly.

Diagnosing and treating female reproductive system

Diagnosis

The simplest way to diagnose it is through pelvic examination and the other tests include,

  • Pregnancy test. A positive pregnancy test might indicate the presence of corpus luteum cyst.
  • Ultrasound. Sounds waves from an ultrasound are helpful in producing images of your uterus and ovaries. It can be very helpful in identifying the type and location of cyst.
  • Laparoscopy. It is an instrument used to observe and remove cysts from your ovaries after inserting through a small insertion in your abdominal region.
  • Cancer Antigen blood test. It can be used to access the presence of ovarian cancer in women. Higher levels of a protein called cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) in blood represents carcinogenic ovaries. However, it can also represent non-cancerous conditions.
  • CT-Scan
  • MRI
  • Pap Smear

Ovarian Cyst ICD 10

According to International Classification of Disease-10, the code for it is as following,

  • N83.20 Unspecified ovarian cysts
    • N83.201 Unspecified ovarian cysts, right side
    • N83.202 Unspecified ovarian cysts, left side
    • N83.209 Unspecified ovarian cysts, unspecified side

Treatment

The treatment mostly depends on your age, type and size of cyst and the symptoms caused by it. Depending on these factors, your doctor might recommend,

1. Waiting

In some cases, the cysts go away on their own after some time. So the doctor may recommend you to wait if you have small fluid-filled cysts which are not showing any symptoms and go for regular ultrasounds to keep a check on its size.

2. Medication to Shrink Ovarian Cyst

Your doctor might give you hormonal medicines including, birth control pills, or oral contraceptives to reduce the chances of formation of cysts in ovaries. However, the medications will not work for shrinking an already existing cyst.

3. Ovarian Cyst Surgery

If a cyst is large in size then, causes pain and grows in size then your doctor might recommend removing it.

In some cases, the surgery involves the removal of one of the ovaries or might not involve the removal of either of these.

However, if the cystic mass in cancerous then the doctor might refer to you a gynecology cancer specialist.

He may then remove ovaries, uterus and fallopian tube and you might have to take radiation and chemotherapy.

 

5.

Natural Easy Ways to Heal Ovarian Cyst

Do you sense a pinching feel in your uterus?

If yes, then chances are that you have cysts in your ovaries.

Let look at some easy and simple ways to reduce size and recurrence of cysts.

Natural ways to treat ovarian cyst

While these may be helpful in treating your cysts at home but this is not a replacement for herbal remedies, self care and prescription provided by doctors.

1. Pain Killers

If you are experiencing pain due to these cysts then you can take pain killers that are easily accessible at drug stores for temporarily getting rid of the pain.

You can continue these medicines up to three days after the appearance of pain symptoms.

While for long-term use, contact your doctor.

2. Warm Water Bottle

Using a hot water bottle or heating pad can help reduce the symptoms of pain as effectively as pain killers in some cases.

You can find both hot water bottles or heating pads at the nearest local store or pharmacy.

On the other, you can make one your own by simply soaking a hand towel in warm water, place it inside a large zip-lock plastic bag, and microwave it for a few minutes.

Keep in mind to keep the bag open while placing it in the microwave.

3. Hot Bath

The heat relieves the pain caused by cramps or cysts so, you can take a hot water bath and even add epsom salt into it to take it the next level.

Epsom salts are taken by people for a long time for relieving muscle aches or other pains.

4. Almonds Intake

Almonds contain high levels of magnesium which can be really helpful in relieving pain.

You’ll most commonly find this ingredient on ‘what to eat during periods’ list.

5. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is a herbal option to treat the pain caused by cysts.

According to a research, ginger proved to stop the growth of cancerous cells in ovaries.

Therefore, it is regarded as an important ingredient for the treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer.


Ovarian cysts can result in serious complications like polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS  if they are left unchecked and untreated.

Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on it through frequent ultrasounds and choose healthy lifestyle to avoid further complications.


Hope you got every answer to your question related to ovarian cysts in this article. Don’t forget to leave feedback and suggestions.

Let me know in the comments section below that which part was the most helpful for you.

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