Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled masses in a woman’s ovaries. They can form in one or both of the ovaries and usually the cysts go away on their own. Sometimes though ovarian cysts can grow so much they rupture, or cause damage to the ovary.  There many types of ovarian cysts and some may even cause damage to the ovary, including twisting, scar tissue and adhesion formation.

What Causes Ovarian Cysts?

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Early menstruation (11 years or younger)
  • Increased upper body fat
  • Infertility treatment with gonadotropins.
  • Use of Clomid has been shown to increase the risk for development of cysts.
  • Use of Tamoxifen for breast cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts

Symptoms may be:

  • Pelvic pain; where the pain may be sharp, sudden or come and go throughout the cycle.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles.
  • Anovulatory cycles
  • Pelvic pain after intercourse or strenuous exercise.
  • Nausea and vomiting, this usually happens after a cyst ruptures.
  • Vaginal pain with spotty bleeding.
  • Pressure and/or abdominal bloating
  • Pain or pressure in the abdomen when urinating or having a bowel movement.
  • Infertility

Important: See a doctor or go to your nearest emergency room immediately if you have excruciating pain, nausea, vomiting and/or bleeding from the vagina during any point in your cycle.