An ovarian cyst is a sac filled with liquid material that develops in or on an ovary. This can occur in women of any age. The majority of ovarian cysts are benign (non-cancerous).
Some patients may not have any symptoms. Others may experience lower abdominal pain or pressure. If the ovary twists around on itself (torsion), nausea and vomiting may also occur. Abnormal periods or vaginal bleeding is not usually related to ovarian cysts.
Ovarian cysts can be found during pelvic examinations. A vaginal ultrasound is used to confirm the diagnosis.
A simple ovarian cyst can cause abdominal pain and pressure and may decrease in size or resolve completely on its own. A complex ovarian cyst can cause persistent pain and pressure and may be large (>5 – 10 cm) or increase in size. It can also cause other complications that include torsion, rupture, divide into multiple pockets of fluid within the ovary, or appear suspicious for cancer.
Simple ovarian cysts are treated with watchful waiting. During this time, symptoms are monitored and a vaginal ultrasound may be repeated in 6-8 weeks. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen or Motrin are recommended for pain control and birth control pills (OCPs) are prescribed to prevent new cysts from forming. Complex ovarian cysts usually require surgery for removal.
Dr. Bhatia and Dr. Runnels are both board-certified gynecologists trained in women’s health, gynecological diseases, gynecology surgery, metabolic treatment, and hormone replacement therapy who practices in both Central and North Central San Antonio. If you believe that you may be experiencing symptoms of ovarian cysts or would like to schedule a well-woman exam, contact our office today at (210) 222-2694.0