Some women develop less common types of cysts that a doctor finds during a pelvic exam. Cystic ovarian masses that develop after menopause might be cancerous (malignant). That’s why it’s important to have regular pelvic exams.
Infrequent Complications Associated With Ovarian Cysts Include:
Cysts that enlarge can cause the ovary to move, increasing the chance of painful twisting of your ovary (ovarian torsion). Symptoms can include an abrupt onset of severe pelvic pain, nausea and vomiting. Ovarian torsion can also decrease or stop blood flow to the ovaries.
A cyst that ruptures can cause severe pain and internal bleeding. The larger the cyst, the greater the risk of rupture. Vigorous activity that affects the pelvis, such as vaginal intercourse, also increases the risk.
Your risk of developing an ovarian cyst is heightened by:
These include taking the fertility drug clomiphene (Clomid), which is used to cause you to ovulate.
Sometimes, the cyst that forms when you ovulate stays on your ovary throughout your pregnancy.
This condition causes uterine endometrial cells to grow outside your uterus. Some of the tissue can attach to your ovary and form a growth.
A severe pelvic infection. If the infection spreads to the ovaries, it can cause cysts.
A previous ovarian cyst. If you’ve had one, you’re likely to develop more.
Although there’s no way to prevent ovarian cysts, regular pelvic exams help ensure that changes in your ovaries are diagnosed as early as possible. Be alert to changes in your monthly cycle, including unusual menstrual symptoms, especially ones that persist for more than a few cycles. Talk to your doctor about changes that concern you.