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6 Signs You May Have an Ovarian Cyst — and What To Do About It

6 Signs You May Have an Ovarian Cyst — and What To Do About It

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form on or within the ovaries. While many ovarian cysts are harmless and resolve on their own, some may cause discomfort and require medical attention. Being aware of the signs and symptoms can help you identify the presence of an ovarian cyst and seek appropriate care.

At Desert Hills Care Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, board-certified OB-GYN Helard Ballon-Hennings, MD, FACOG, and our expert team specialize in diagnosing and treating ovarian cysts to reduce unpleasant symptoms and complications so you can live more comfortably.

In the meantime, we'll discuss six common signs of ovarian cysts and what steps to take if you suspect you may have one.

Understanding ovarian cysts

Before delving into the signs of ovarian cysts, it's essential to have a basic understanding of these fluid-filled sacs. Ovarian cysts can occur at any age and are primarily classified into two types: functional cysts and pathological cysts. Functional cysts are the most common type and develop as part of the normal menstrual cycle. They are typically small, painless, and often resolve on their own within a few menstrual cycles. 

Pathological cysts are less common and may require medical attention, as they can result from abnormal cell growth and may be more persistent and symptomatic than functional cysts. Being aware of the different types of ovarian cysts can help in recognizing potential signs and seeking appropriate care when needed.

Signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts

Now that we have a basic understanding of ovarian cysts, let's explore the six common signs and symptoms that may indicate their presence. Being aware of these signs can help you identify if you may have an ovarian cyst and take appropriate action for your health.

1. Pelvic pain 

Persistent or intermittent pelvic pain is a common symptom of ovarian cysts. The pain may feel like a dull ache or sharp twinges and can occur on one or both sides of the lower abdomen.

2. Menstrual irregularities 

Ovarian cysts can disrupt your normal menstrual cycle, leading to irregular periods or changes in menstrual flow.

3. Painful intercourse 

Some women with ovarian cysts may experience discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse.

4. Bloating and abdominal swelling

The presence of a large ovarian cyst can cause bloating and a feeling of heaviness in your abdomen.

5. Frequent urination 

A large cyst pressing on your bladder may lead to increased urinary frequency.

6. Nausea and vomiting

In some cases, ovarian cysts can cause nausea and vomiting, especially if they become twisted or rupture.

What to do about it 

If you experience any of the above signs or suspect you may have an ovarian cyst, it's crucial to seek medical evaluation and guidance. Here are the steps you can take:

Consult your health care provider 

If you have concerning symptoms or a family history of ovarian cysts, make an appointment with Dr. Ballon-Hennings for a thorough examination.

Diagnostic tests 

Dr. Ballon-Hennings may recommend imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI to visualize the ovaries and determine the size and nature of the cyst.


In some cases, small and asymptomatic cysts may not require immediate treatment and can be monitored over time to see if they resolve on their own.

Pain Management 

For women experiencing pain or discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers may help alleviate symptoms.

Hormonal birth control 

Hormonal birth control, such as oral contraceptives, can help prevent the formation of new cysts and reduce your risk of existing cysts growing larger.

Surgical intervention

If your cyst is large, persists, or causes severe symptoms, Dr. Ballon-Hennings may recommend surgical removal. Most ovarian cyst surgeries are done via minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures.

Being vigilant about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts can lead to early detection and appropriate treatment, ensuring optimal reproductive and overall health. If you experience any signs of ovarian cysts or have concerns about your gynecological health, call Desert Hills Care Center at 702-800-7008 or use our online booking tool to request an appointment with Dr. Ballon-Hennings today. 

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