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What is an ovarian cyst?

Two ovaries, which are quite small and shaped like beans, are present on each side of your womb (your uterus) and are integral to each woman’s reproductive system. Ovarian cysts (which are like sacs filled with fluid) form on a woman’s ovaries. Ovarian cysts are quite a common condition, often causing no symptoms. They are mostly harmless, often disappearing without treatment being required.

Your IPSA Medical clinic ovarian cyst consultation

At your IPSA Medical clinic, a female IPSA Medical physician will see you for your ovarian cyst consultation, which is carried out in our confidential, conducive and clean clinic setting. With IPSA Medical’s immediate appointment system, we can see you immediately. If you are experiencing any acute pain from your ovarian cyst/s, then your IPSA Medical clinician will refer you directly to our gynaecology specialist. Your IPSA Medical practitioner will treat you holistically, as the IPSA Medical focus is on person-centred care, and during your ovarian cyst consultation, she will discuss both your family history and your current lifestyle in order to assess your level of risk for ovarian cancer.

What symptoms are common with ovarian cysts?

Usually, there are no symptoms and no pain when you have ovarian cysts.

Any symptoms that do appear are usually because:

  • A cyst has split (or ruptured)
  • The blood supply (to your ovaries) has been blocked by the presence of a cyst (called torsion)
  • Your cyst is especially large

The symptoms that are then likely to occur if your cyst is large, has ruptured or if there is torsion are:

  • Having heavier/lighter periods or having irregular periods
  • A feeling of being very full or of feeling bloated (even when you have only eaten a small meal)
  • Experiencing pain (in the region of your pelvis) when you have sex
  • Indigestion
  • An unusual tiredness or feeling of fatigue
  • Having problems when emptying your bowels
  • Feeling light-headed/dizzy
  • Having pain in your pelvis: This pain can range from sudden and sharp (because of torsion or from a cyst rupturing) to heavy and dull (which is caused by the presence of a large cyst)
  • Wanting to urinate more often than is usual for you

 

How are ovarian cysts diagnosed at your IPSA Medical clinic?

Ovarian cysts will quite often go undiagnosed and this is because these cysts produce no symptoms. Sometimes they can be diagnosed if you are undergoing an unrelated procedure, for example, when having a USS (an ultrasound scan) or having a pelvic examination.

At your IPSA Medical clinic, your full examination will be undertaken by one of IPSA Medical’s female specialists. She will offer you any of the necessary further investigations (for example, blood tests to diagnose/rule out ovarian cancer or a USS) depending on your particular history.

What is the treatment for ovarian cysts at the IPSA Medical clinic?

Depending on whether or not you are suffering from any symptoms, on the appearance/size of your cysts/s, and on whether or not you are menopausal (because post-menopause, there is a slightly higher ovarian cancer risk), your IPSA Medical practitioner will offer you the relevant treatment, for example, hormonal treatment (which will help to control any pain and to reduce cyst size).

Is having ovarian cysts dangerous?

Mostly, ovarian cysts are non-cancerous (benign) and they disappear in a few weeks with no treatment required. Some, however, are associated with ovarian cancer. In a small number of those with cysts, many small cysts are present on the ovaries (known as polycystic ovaries or PCO), and these women have slightly more risk in terms of developing ovarian cancer.

Do ovarian cysts always need treatment?

These types of cyst often disappear in a few weeks without any form of treatment. Sometimes, at your IPSA Medical clinic, a follow-up procedure will be recommended (a USS for your ovaries) to verify that your cysts have gone.

Fertility and ovarian cysts

Ovarian cysts do not normally impact your chances of conception.

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