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Functional Ovarian Cysts (cont.)

Prevention

Functional ovarian cysts cannot be prevented if you are ovulating. Anything that makes ovulation less frequent reduces your chance of developing an ovarian cyst. Birth control pills, pregnancy, and breast-feeding in the first 6 months following birth prevent ovulation. Ovulation ceases when menopause is complete.

Home Treatment

Home treatment can help relieve the discomfort of functional ovarian cysts.

  • Use heat, such as a hot water bottle, heating pad, or warm bath, to relax tense muscles and relieve cramping. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  • Use pain relievers you can get over-the-counter. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (such as Advil or Aleve), and aspirin (such as Bayer) are all pain medicines you can buy without a prescription.
  • Herbal teas, such as chamomile, mint, raspberry, and blackberry, may help soothe tense muscles and anxious moods.
  • Empty your bladder as soon as you have the urge to urinate.
  • Avoid constipation. Constipation does not cause or treat ovarian cysts but may further increase your pelvic discomfort. For more information, see the topic Constipation, Age 12 and Older.
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