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Warning Signs of Ovarian Cysts


While ovarian cysts are common and often asymptomatic for many women, they can also cause more severe health problems in others. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled or solid sacs that often form during ovulation. There are different types of cysts that have the potential to cause mild to severe health problems. Most women get them at some point in their life, so it is essential to know the potential health hazards associated with them.


Here is a list of warning signs of ovarian cysts:


Pelvic Pain

One of the most common signs of an ovarian cyst is pelvic pain. The pain may be dull, like menstrual cramps, or it can be sharp and stabbing. The hormones secreted during your period can cause ovarian cysts to form or become inflamed, meaning you may have sharper pelvic pain during your period. If a cyst ruptures, the most common sign is sudden, severe pelvic pain.

Unusual Bleeding

Anytime you notice unusual bleeding of any kind, contact your doctor right away. Ovarian cysts can cause unusual bleeding because they affect your menstrual cycle. In some cases, hormones secreted from cysts can make your period severely abnormal or heavy.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common for anyone, so it is easy to overlook them as possible signs of ovarian cysts. More severe cysts can cause your one or both ovaries to become twisted, causing severe pain and nausea in some cases. Many women compare the nausea and vomiting associated with cysts to morning sickness. Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness are also common signs of a ruptured cyst, so it is crucial to see your doctor immediately if you have these symptoms persistently.

Lower Back Pain

Along with your pelvic region, pain associated with ovarian cysts can spread to your thighs and lower back. The pain in your lower back may be dull and achy. If a cyst ruptures, the back pain will be more severe. Other symptoms associated with lower back pain include constipation and lower abdominal pain.


There are multiple different kinds of cysts, including functional and dermoid cysts. Functional cysts are common are rarely cause issues. While most ovarian cysts are harmless and cause few to no symptoms, severe situations may cause fertility issues. Dermoid cysts and cystadenomas are more likely to become severe and are often associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Ovarian cysts are extremely common in women with PCOS and can make getting pregnant difficult.

Pain During Sex

Painful sex is not only embarrassing but can be a sign of something serious. Ovarian cysts can cause pain and discomfort during sex due to increased irritation and inflammation. Pain during sex is often associated with endometriomas, which are cysts caused by endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition that causes uterine tissue to grow outside the uterus. That tissue can attach to the ovaries and cause growths to form.

Bloating and Weight Gain

While uncommon, some ovarian cysts can grow quite large. The larger the cyst, the more inflammation and bloating you will see in your abdomen. Severe bloating can cause sudden weight gain, so tell your doctor right away if you notice any extra, unexplained weight on the scale.


If an ovarian cyst becomes infected or ruptures, you may develop a fever. If you develop a fever, see your doctor right away, especially if your temperature does not return to normal. An untreated infected cyst can cause more severe health problems.

Changes in Bowel Movements

In some cases, ovarian cysts can cause changes in urination and bowel movements. If you become constipated or begin urinating more frequently, see your gynecologist right away to rule out possible cysts.

How to Prevent Ovarian Cysts

It is impossible to fully prevent ovarian cysts, but there are steps you can take to be diagnosed early so they can be treated properly. Keep diligent track of your menstrual cycle and note any changes or abnormalities, especially if they happen during multiple cycles. Getting regular pelvic exams is essential as well, as your gynecologist can see if there is anything unusual. See your doctor right away if you are experiencing fever, fertility issues, persistent nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and abnormal bleeding.


See Us at Shady Grove

If you find yourself with ovarian cysts and need an exam, advice, or minimally invasive surgery, contact us today to book an appointment with Dr. Shabnam Dadgar. We are here to help you.