Ovarian cysts are extremely common, with most women expected to get one or more during their lifetime, and in the majority of cases, they are not cancerous. As most don’t cause symptoms, it’s quite likely that you’ve had a cyst on an ovary and not even been aware of it.
There are 10 significant warning signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts that you should never ignore when you experience them. They may indicate that a cyst has ruptured, or it’s a sign that something isn’t right with your womb and menstrual cycle.
1. Abdominal bloating or swelling
Bloating can be a sign of many illnesses and conditions from food intolerance to Irritable Bowel Syndrome and even water retention. However, significant and persistent swelling, particularly alongside any of these other symptoms, is definitely a sign that you need to visit a medical practitioner for investigation.
2. Pain in the lower back or thighs
There isn’t much space in the abdomen, so if an ovarian cyst is growing too big in there, it can put pressure on and compress the nerves at the back of your pelvis. This can lead to back and thigh pain. If you experience this kind of sciatica pain more often around your period, that’s a good clue a cyst on an ovary is to blame.
3. Severe or sharp pelvic pain
If you notice a dull or sharp pain on the lower left or right side of the pelvis that just won’t go away, even when your period has ended, chances are there is a cyst on that ovary. Never ignore acute pain. Visit Dr. Delgado at Gynecology & Wellness Center to establish the cause.
4. Painful menstruation
We all know to expect some pain when it comes to menstruation. But, if this suddenly gets more intense, or you notice anything else that’s different about your period, it’s a good sign that an ovarian cyst may be causing problems.
5. Tenderness in the breasts
Some sensitivity in the breasts is normal as your hormones fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. However, persistent and painful tenderness can be a sign that your hormones are out of control thanks to an ovarian cyst.
6. Painful bowel movements
We don’t like to discuss our bathroom habits, but sometimes they can give us an excellent indication that the body isn’t quite working as it should. The pain may be caused by the cyst putting pressure on the bowel, stomach, and even the bladder causing an increased need to urinate. If the pain is persistent and unpredictable, get it checked out with us at Gynecology & Wellness Center to rule out a cyst that’s grown out of control.
7. Pain when having sex
When cysts develop, they put pressure on an already over-crowded part of your body, the uterus. When you add sexual intercourse into the mix, you’re adding even more stress and the strain can be too much for your womb to handle. It can cause pain, sometimes with just a small amount of penetration.
8. Nausea and vomiting
This is one of those warning signs that you should never ignore and seek immediate medical attention when it starts without apparent cause; particularly if you’re experiencing any of the other symptoms listed here. It could be an indication that a cyst has ruptured.
Unexplained fever, particularly in conjunction with any of these other symptoms and especially with nausea and vomiting, is a strong sign that the cyst has ruptured and the leaked fluid is causing an infection, or even internal bleeding. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a medical practitioner immediately.
10. Rapid breathing
Breathing rapidly is often a symptom of sepsis when the immune system is trying to combat infection and causes inflammation and damage to your body. A ruptured ovarian cyst can cause infection and trigger this kind of immune response, so get to the nearest emergency room if you’re experiencing this symptom.
Most ovarian cysts don’t cause symptoms or issues, but if you are concerned to come and visit us at the Gynecology & Wellness Center. We can run some tests and create a treatment plan if needed. Just fill in our online form to book your appointment today.