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Is an Ovarian Cyst Serious?

Your ovaries sometimes form fluid-filled sacs called cysts, often around the time of menstruation, but postmenopausal women can develop them, too. Usually, ovarian cysts produce no symptoms and disappear in a month or two. Because of this, experts can only estimate how many women are affected by cysts. The prevalence is thought to be between 8% and 18% of women. 

The doctors at OBGYN Care are ovarian cyst specialists, ready to help you when you develop a cyst that causes pain or other symptoms. OBGYN Care is your first choice in Newport Beach and Irvine, California, for superior obstetric and gynecological medicine. 

Discovering ovarian cysts

Often, cysts are discovered when you’re being tested for sources of pelvic pain or for another gynecologic condition. Each ovary, about the size of an almond, develops follicles every month, that produce estrogen and progesterone and release an egg at ovulation. 

Normally, these subside once their monthly duty is over, but in most cases, ovarian cysts form when the follicle continues to grow whether it’s released an egg or not. These are called functional cysts, and they aren’t usually symptomatic or harmful. 

Cysts that aren’t related to your menstrual cycle include: 

Cystadenomas and dermoid cysts can grow large enough that their size causes problems, including pain and circulation issues in the ovaries. 

Ovarian cyst symptoms

When a cyst is symptomatic, pain is usually the primary concern. This pain can be sharp or dull, and it’s located on the side of the pelvis of the affected ovary. Accompanying or instead of pain, you might feel a sensation of bloating, fullness, or heaviness in your abdomen or pelvis. 

Some symptoms you may not associate with ovary issues include: 

Ovarian torsion (twisting) can occur when cysts get large. This is an issue that requires medical supervision and/or treatment, as does a ruptured ovarian cyst. 

Other complications related to cysts

If you have sudden and severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis, or if your pain is accompanied by fever, nausea, or vomiting, you require immediate medical attention, since these may be signs that an ovarian cyst has ruptured. Similarly, urgent medical care is necessary if you’re suffering from shock, usually indicated by clammy skin, weakness, lightheadedness, and shallow, rapid breathing. 

Not all ruptured ovaries cause serious health issues, however. In some cases, you may feel nothing at all, or only mild pain and discomfort. You could see some bleeding or spotting at unexpected times in your cycle. 

Contact OBGYN Care by phone or online to arrange an examination if you suspect ovarian issues. While chances are good that your cyst will resolve without issue, you’ll enjoy the comfort of knowing you’re receiving the supervision and care your condition requires. Book your appointment now, at the most convenient location. 

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