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Functional Ovarian Cysts (cont.)

What Increases Your Risk

A functional ovarian cyst sometimes develops during the latter part of the menstrual cycle, when an egg follicle fills up with fluid. Factors that may increase your risk for developing a functional ovarian cyst include:

  • A history of a previous functional ovarian cyst.
  • Current use of clomiphene citrate, such as Clomid or Serophene, to start ovulation. For more information, see the topic Fertility Problems.
  • Use of low dose progestin-only contraception (such as some implants, pills, and IUDs).

When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Sudden, severe pelvic pain with nausea or vomiting.
  • Severe vaginal bleeding.
  • Sudden faintness or weakness.
  • Sudden dizziness with abdominal discomfort that persists for 2 hours or longer.

Call your doctor for an appointment if:

  • Pain interferes with your daily activities.
  • Your periods have changed from relatively pain-free to painful during the past 3 to 6 months.
  • Your periods have changed from regular to infrequent during the past 3 to 6 months and you are not nearing menopause.
  • You have pain during sexual intercourse.

For more information about other symptoms that concern you, see the following topics:

Watchful Waiting

Most functional ovarian cysts are harmless, do not cause symptoms, and go away without treatment. Watchful waiting is usually an appropriate option if you are diagnosed with a functional ovarian cyst.

Who To See

Ovarian cysts can be diagnosed and treated by any of the following health professionals:

You may need to see a gynecologist for further testing or treatment.

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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