Ovarian cysts are quite common and occur normally on a monthly basis with each menstrual cycle. A cyst will form on the ovary in the location where the ovum (egg) is released from the ovary in the process of ovulation. Occasionally, at the middle portion of the cycle, a cyst can enlarge and/or rupture causing pain.
Common symptoms include one-sided lower pelvic pain, often radiating to the back. Pain is usually increased with intercourse, resulting in its frequent confusion with pelvic inflammatory disease. Nausea may also occur. In most cases, pain abates within 3 days.
The physician’s evaluation will include a medical history and physical examination (including a pelvic exam). A blood pregnancy test and complete blood count (CBC) will also be performed. A pelvic ultrasound can reveal the cyst or a possible pregnancy.
Ovarian cystic disease can be confused with:
Treatment for ovarian cysts is with analgesics. Anti-inflammatory agents (ibuprofen) help to reduce the pain and may help to reduce the size of the cyst. Any development of fever, fainting, vaginal discharge, or difficulty urinating should be reported to your doctor. Young females may also be treated with an antibiotic until vaginal cultures prove negative for pelvic inflammatory disease.