Ovarian Cysts (cont.)
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What are the signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts?
Usually ovarian cysts do not produce symptoms, and are found during a routine physical exam. They also may be seen as an incidental finding on an ultrasound performed for other reasons. However, symptoms can be present, especially with large cysts or ruptured cysts. These are variable and may include:
A ruptured ovarian cyst typically causes severe pain that comes on suddenly. This most commonly occurs in the mid-menstrual cycle and often happens following sexual intercourse or exercise.
What do ovarian cysts look like (pictures)?
On an ultrasound image, ovarian cysts may resemble bubbles. The cyst usually contains only fluid, and it is surrounded by a very thin wall. This appearance on ultrasound identifies what is called a simple cyst. If a follicle fails to rupture and release an egg, the fluid remains and can form a cyst in the ovary. This usually affects one of the ovaries. Small cysts (smaller than one-half inch) may be present in a normal ovary while follicles are being formed.
How big is an ovarian cyst(s)?
The size of ovarian cysts is variable, ranging from less than one inch up to 4 inches. Uncommonly, ovarian cysts can form extremely large masses that measure 12 inches or more in diameter.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2016
Wayne Blocker, MD
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