A cyst is a fluid filled sac that can develop in any area of the body. Ovarian cysts can develop in or around your ovaries.
Quite often they are benign (non-cancerous) and cause no symptoms. Left untreated they often disappear on their own.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cysts?
If ovarian cysts continue to grow or block blood supply to your ovaries you may experience symptoms such as:
- Pelvic pain
- Altered bowel habits
- Irregular menstrual bleeding
- Feeling full or bloated
- Increase in need to urinate
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
See your GP if any of these symptoms persist or if you develop fever, vomiting or severe abdominal pain. Your GP will probably refer you to a Gynaecologist for diagnosis and treatment.
How are ovarian cysts diagnosed?
Your consultant may perform a vaginal examination to see if they can feel any abnormal growth or swelling around your ovaries. You may need to have a gynaecological ultrasound to confirm the size, location the consistency of any cyst. They may also order blood tests to confirm if the cyst is a result of hormone levels, endometriosis or fibroids.
How are ovarian cysts treated?
Many women are advised to wait and have another examination in a few months to check if there are changes to the cyst. However if the cyst is large or continues to cause symptoms your consultant may recommend surgery (Ovarian Cystectomy). Your surgical procedure will depend on the size and nature of your ovarian cyst.
Related tests and scans
Waiting for blood tests and results can be an anxious time. If you’ve been referred by a GP for a test and don’t want to worry or wait, Nuffield Health can help. Our national network of fully accredited laboratories delivers fast, reliable results at a competitive price – wherever you are in the UK.