Ovarian cysts are common and usually harmless, but they can cause offsetting symptoms and lead to complications. John Judd, MD, provides effective diagnostic and treatment options for ovarian cysts at Midwest Urogynecology in St. Louis, Missouri. To find out how you might benefit, call the office or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.
Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with fluid that can form on or inside your ovaries. They’re very common and typically harmless. The most common types are not cancerous.
Most menstruating women develop at least one ovarian cyst each month. While less likely after you’ve reached menopause, a small percentage of postmenopausal women form cysts large in size that require treatment.
Ovarian cysts can derive from various causes, including:
Most ovarian cysts are small and asymptomatic. Symptoms can occur, however, and may include:
If you know you have an ovarian cyst and experience severe symptoms such as pain with vomiting and a fever, sudden and intense abdominal pain, rapid breathing, fainting, dizziness, or weakness, seek immediate medical support. These symptoms can happen if a cyst bursts, which can sometimes trigger heavy bleeding.
Ovarian cysts usually don’t require surgery but Dr. Judd may recommend it if your cyst is particularly large, painful, or long-lasting. If you don’t need surgery, apparent symptoms can often be managed with pain medications or a hormonal form of birth control.
A minority of ovarian cysts become cancerous. This risk increases with age, especially after menopause.
Ovarian cysts commonly form during pregnancy, and they’re usually not cause for alarm. If they continue to grow throughout your pregnancy, however, they could potentially twist, burst, or interfere with delivery. If you have an ovarian cyst, Dr. Judd monitors it throughout your pregnancy.