Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on or inside of the ovary. While common during a woman's childbearing years, ovarian cysts can trigger:
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty urinating
- Painful intercourse
- Painful or abnormal menstrual periods
- Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite
Functional ovarian cysts form during ovulation when an egg is not released or when a follicle does not dissolve after an egg is released.
Functional ovarian cysts usually do not need medical treatment; however, birth control pills (oral contraceptives) may help make cycles normal and decrease the development of functional ovarian cysts.
For simple ovarian cysts that are larger than 5-10 centimeters and complex ovarian cysts that do not go away, surgical removal may be an option (laparoscopy or exploratory laparotomy). Additionally, a gynecologist (GYN) may recommend other treatment if a disorder, such as polycystic ovary disease, is causing the ovarian cysts.