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Eruptions in the Belly: All About Ovarian Cysts

Eruptions in the Belly:
All About Ovarian Cysts



What are ovarian cysts?
What is a simple ovarian cyst?
What can I do to prevent ovarian cysts?
How can I tell if I have an ovarian cyst?
Should an ovarian cyst be treated?
What happens if an ovarian cyst is not treated?
If I have cysts, will they prevent me from having children later on?
Are cysts caused by sexually transmitted diseases?


What are ovarian cysts?
Ovarian cysts are growths on the ovaries that are not cancerous. They are usually found when your health professional feels one during a pelvic exam. Sometimes an ovarian cyst causes pain in the lower belly, below the navel. Most ovarian cysts will go away by themselves, but some need to be removed with surgery. back to top

What is a simple ovarian cyst?
This is the most common type of ovarian cyst. The cysts develop because of ovulation. Each month, a bump called a follicle develops on one ovary. The follicle breaks open and releases an egg. The follicle can grow pretty large (an inch or more across) before releasing the egg. This follicle is the cyst. The cyst can cause you pain while it's growing, or it may be painful when it breaks open. Simple cysts aren't harmful, and they usually go away by themselves. back to top

What can I do to prevent ovarian cysts?
Most types of ovarian cysts can't be prevented. Birth control pills can prevent some ovarian cysts. back to top

How can I tell if I have an ovarian cyst?
Many ovarian cysts cause no symptoms. They are discovered when you have a routine pelvic exam. Sometimes ovarian cysts cause pain. This is especially likely if the cyst is large, if it breaks open, or if it bleeds. back to top

Should an ovarian cyst be treated?
Usually the cysts go away by themselves and no treatment is necessary. Some women have painful ovarian cysts every month. Birth control pills can be helpful for these women. Birth control pills prevent ovulation, so new ovarian cysts can't form. Talk to your health professional if you have questions about whether your ovarian cysts need treatment. back to top

What happens if an ovarian cyst is not treated?
Many cysts cause pain, but they usually don't cause complications. Other cysts can break open, bleed, and cause severe pain and illness. You might need surgery to stop the bleeding. back to top

If I have cysts, will they prevent me from having children later on?
Ovarian cysts do not harm your ability to have children. Even if you need to have an ovary removed because of a large cyst, you probably won't have any problems getting pregnant, because you'll still ovulate each month from the other ovary. back to top

Are cysts caused by sexually transmitted diseases?
No, ovarian cysts aren't caused by sexually transmitted diseases. The most common kinds of cysts are caused by ovulation. back to top

Last Modified Date: 3/22/2001
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