Ovarian Cyst Symptoms and Diagnosis

In most cases, an ovarian cyst does not produce symptoms. The condition comes and goes without any noticeable indications. When ovarian cyst symptoms do develop, the most common indications are abdominal pain or a sensation of pressure in the abdomen. In rare cases, the condition can cause infertility.Abdominal Pain and Ovarian Cyst Symptoms

For many women, pain is the first indication of an ovarian growth. The abdominal pain may be a dull throb, or quite sharp, and it may be constant, or experienced only at the beginning or end of the menstrual cycle. In some cases, the pain may be more accurately described as a feeling of pressure or a feeling of fullness.

Abdominal pain may have one of two sources. The cyst may rupture, bleeding into the abdominal cavity. The cyst may also twist, blocking blood flow in the ovaries and causing pain. The medical term for this condition is torsion.

Other symptoms include:

Emergency Symptoms
If you experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain, or abdominal pain accompanied by a fever, seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms may indicate a serious condition, such as a ruptured cyst, or one that has twisted on its stalk (torsion).

abdominal bloating
abnormal uterine bleeding
an inability to fully empty the bladder
constipationКартинки по запросу Ovarian Cysts
infertility
irregular periods
nausea
pain during intercourse
pressure felt on the bladder or rectum.

Infertility

Infertility is not a common result of ovarian cysts. However, in rare cases large cysts may affect the function of the ovaries. A condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with infertility, but other fertility problems should not be ruled out.

An Enlarged Ovary and Pelvic Examination

A routine pelvic exam is usually the first stage of diagnosis. During the course of the pelvic exam, your doctor may notice that an ovary is enlarged. If the doctor detects a physical abnormality in the ovaries, further tests may be required.

Ultrasound Options

Ultrasound is the most common diagnostic tool when an abdominal growth is suspected. High frequency sound waves are aimed at the ovaries. The sound waves generate an image of the organs on a monitor. A transabdominal ultrasound aims the sound waves through the abdomen. Endovaginal ultrasound inserts a probe through the vagina, and sends the sound waves into the abdominal space from there.

The aim of ultrasound is to determine the size and location of a cyst. The test can also detect whether the cyst is filled with fluid or solid material. A fluid-filled cyst is usually benign. A cyst filled with solid material, while also often benign, may require further analysis by means of blood tests or a laparoscopy.

Blood Tests

A blood test for CA125 levels may be ordered to rule out ovarian cancer. CA125 is a protein found on malignant ovarian tumors. A normal blood test would yield a result of less than 35 units/ml of CA125.

Higher levels of CA125 may indicate cancer; however, high levels of the protein are also associated with benign ovarian growths, especially in women who have not reached menopause.

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a surgical technique used to examine the ovaries. A small incision is made in the abdomen. A thin tube, called a laparoscope, is inserted through the incision. The end of the tube has a small light to illuminate the abdominal space and can transmit pictures to a monitor. Laparoscopy allows doctors to examine the ovaries visually for signs of cysts. During laparoscopy, a sample of tissue (biopsy) may be gathered to rule out ovarian cancer.

Similar Symptoms, Different Conditions

Ovarian cyst symptoms are similar to symptoms caused by certain other conditions. Cysts may be mistaken for:
Endometriosis: When the cells that line the uterus grow outside the uterus. Endometriosis is often associated with infertility.
Ectopic pregnancy: Gestation of an egg outside of the uterus.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): Infection of the female reproductive organs.
Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix.
Diverticulitis: Infection and/or inflammation of intestinal pouches
(diverticula).

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