Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors of Ovarian Cysts

Having a doctor's appointment

Most of the time, functional ovarian cysts are asymptomatic. They are quite harmless when they are pea-sized. As the cysts grow in size – some up to the size of a grapefruit – they might start causing symptoms. Have you been worried about delays in your period?

If you have been experiencing this, accompanied by bleeding when you’re not expecting your period, then it’s time to consult with an obgyn here in West Jordan

When you experience pain

A hallmark symptom of a ruptured ovarian cyst is a feeling of pain in the lower belly that suddenly arises. The pain may be accompanied by vomiting and nausea. The pain may be characterized as dull and heavy pain.

Others experience it as a sudden and sharp pain that is severe in intensity. For some women, the rupture occurs during sexual intercourse, which causes pain to arise during or after sex. Treatment is necessary to prevent unnecessary blood loss.

If you experience this kind of pain, do not delay seeing a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Other symptoms of ovarian cysts

Aside from menstrual irregularity and pain in the pelvic area, women with ovarian cysts may feel the frequent need to urinate. They tend to feel full even after just a few spoonfuls and may complain of a bloated tummy.

While the main symptom for some women is irregular menses, others report lighter periods than usual. Still, others experience heavier periods than they are used to. Fertility is not usually affected despite the presence of ovarian cysts.

But, due to a myriad of factors, it can be difficult for a woman with ovarian cysts to conceive.


A definitive diagnosis of ovarian cysts should serve as your guide in managing the symptoms. The fluid-filled cysts form during ovulation, the time of the month when the ovary releases an egg. There are three leading causes associated with ovarian cysts. These are hormonal imbalance, endometriosis, and pregnancy.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic (many cysts) Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is characterized by amenorrhea, hyperandrogenism, irregular menstruation, and infertility. Benign cysts can develop into pathologic cysts that cause pain. The main culprit for PCOS is hormonal imbalance, unusually high level of free testosterone in the blood.

The type of cyst determines the course of treatment.

Risk factors for ovarian cyst formation

Doctor checking results

Some women are more at risk of developing ovarian cysts than others. Aside from hormonal imbalance, other conditions increase the likelihood of developing fluid-filled cysts in the ovary. These are endometriosis, a severe pelvic infection, and a previous ovarian cyst.

Two types of cysts can develop. A functional ovarian cyst is short-lived and harmless. It’s more common than the pathological ovarian cyst, which is associated with abnormal cellular growth. Some cysts may be malignant, but the majority is benign and resolve on their own.

If you are at risk for developing ovarian cysts and are experiencing some of the symptoms, ask your GP for a referral to an obstetrics and gynecology specialist.  Ovarian cysts can be managed effectively when diagnosed promptly.