Could your pelvic pain and discomfort be an ovarian cyst? Most women, at some point in their lives, will have benign ovarian cysts. If they become problematic, however, the experts at Capital Women’s Care can help. Serving women in Leesburg and Sterling, Virginia as well as surrounding areas, the team of OB/GYN physicians can diagnose and treat a wide range of female-specific health problems. Book an appointment today to gain a trusted advisor on your health journey and set your mind at ease.
Ovarian Cysts Q&A
What is an ovarian cyst?
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that sits inside the ovary or on its surface. They often formed when you ovulate and tend to disappear naturally within a few months. For some women, they might not even know they have an ovarian cyst until they have a pelvic exam.
In some cases, however, a ruptured ovarian cyst can cause acute symptoms. For instance, one common type of ovarian cyst, a follicular cyst, often goes away on its own, but if you feel pain in your lower abdomen, accompanied by nausea, lightheadedness or fever, this might be a sign of an abscess or internal bleeding caused by other types of cysts, which requires immediate medical attention.
Having a regular pelvic exam will help you know if you have any cysts and whether or not you need treatment to eliminate them.
Am I at risk of developing an ovarian cyst?
Cysts are a natural result of how the female reproductive system works, and so they cannot always be pinpointed to a particular cause. However, you may be more at risk of developing an ovarian cyst if:
- You have an inherent hormonal imbalance. Women with PCOS other hormonal issues may be more likely to develop cysts.
- You’re pregnant. Sometimes an ovarian cyst can form during pregnancy and remain on the ovary.
- You have endometriosis. This is a condition that causes uterine cells to migrate outside the uterus and implant in other areas of the pelvic region, like on top of the ovaries.
- You’ve had ovarian cysts before. A personal or family history of ovarian cysts might increase your risk for developing them.
- You have a pelvic infection. Pelvic pain could indicate a pelvic infection that has spread to the ovaries, which can cause cysts.
How is an ovarian cyst treated?
If you experience pain in your pelvic region (especially on one side), painful sex, or irregularities in your menstrual cycle, you might have an ovarian cyst. It’s important to diagnose a cyst properly. Some cysts are easily managed with pain medicine, hormonal treatments, or minimally invasive surgeries. Occasionally, however, can indicate the presence of ovarian cancer.
Your physician might use several different tests to determine if you have an ovarian cyst. These include a pregnancy test, a pelvic ultrasound, a laparoscopy, or a CA-125 blood test. If your cyst is not causing any immediate problems and is not likely to be cancerous, your physician may recommend a wait-and-see approach.
If you’re concerned you might have an ovarian cyst, schedule an appointment with Capital Women’s Care today.