Why You Shouldn't Ignore Ovarian Cyst Pain

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Ovarian Cyst Pain

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to ovarian cysts. First, most of these cysts are part and parcel of the egg-release process, and the large majority of them simply disappear on their own and you’re none the wiser. There are times, however, when a cyst can become problematic and grow large enough to cause discomfort, putting you at risk for a dangerous condition called ovarian torsion.

At Associates in Obstetrics & Gynecology, our team feels that any time you experience pain in your pelvic region (outside of regular cramps), it calls for a closer look. If your discomfort stems from an ovarian cyst, we want to address the problem so we can relieve your pain and prevent a far more serious problem from developing.

Let’s take a closer look.

Ovarian cysts at a glance

When the time draws near for your ovaries to release an egg, they create a follicle where the egg grows. When it comes time to ovulate, the follicle breaks open and releases the egg. After the egg is released, the follicle shrinks into a mass of cells called the corpus luteum, which produces hormones for the production of the next egg in your cycle.

Cysts related to this process are called functional cysts, and they can form on your ovaries in a couple of different ways, including:

Follicle cysts

With this type of cysts, your follicle doesn’t break open and the follicle turns into a fluid-filled sac, or cyst. This cyst can grow for a few months and then your body naturally flushes it out. In fact, many women develop follicle cysts, but are unaware of the development as they produce no symptoms.

Corpus luteum cysts

If, after your follicle releases the egg, the sac doesn’t shrink but reseals itself instead, you can develop what we call a corpus luteum cyst. Here again, these cysts typically resolve themselves in a few weeks, but some do not and can grow quite large — up to four inches wide.

While ovulation is responsible for most of the cysts that form on your ovaries, cysts can also develop due to polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and ovarian cancer (note that less than 1% of ovarian cysts are cancerous).

Signs of a problematic cyst

If you have an ovarian cyst that doesn’t go away on its own and continues to grow, you will likely experience symptoms, which include:

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, we urge you to come see us so that we can assess the problem. 

Aside from your comfort, our primary concern with ovarian cysts is those that become large enough to burst or large enough that they twist your ovary and cut off blood supply to the organ, a condition called ovarian torsion. 

This condition can be incredibly serious and makes itself known through:

If these symptoms develop, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. 

To avoid this serious outcome, we want to underscore the importance again of seeking help at the first signs of a problem.

If you suspect that you may have a problematic ovarian cyst, please contact our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to schedule an appointment.

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