Ovarian cysts are so common that most women who have periods develop at least one per month. Usually, ovarian cysts aren’t a problem, but if a cyst lingers and grows larger, or if you have multiple cysts, you can have serious pain. At Damon Cobb OB/GYN in Poway, California, the experienced physicians diagnose and treat ovarian cysts in the most effective and least invasive ways. Book your appointment with one of the supportive and caring doctors now by calling the office or using the online scheduler.
Ovarian cysts refer to tiny fluid-filled sacs that develop on the inside or outside of your ovaries. Most women who menstruate develop ovarian cysts, typically during ovulation. It's also possible, though much less likely, to have ovarian cysts after menopause.
In most cases, ovarian cysts are benign, but in rare situations, they can be cancerous. Usually, ovarian cysts don't cause symptoms and go away naturally within a few menstrual cycles. But, sometimes they can cause severe symptoms and complications.
Often, your Damon Cobb OB/GYN provider discovers ovarian cysts during a pelvic exam. If you’re experiencing possible ovarian cyst symptoms like pain in your lower abdomen, particularly on one side, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound or a blood test to confirm the cyst.
Ultrasounds create a close-up view of the cyst so your doctor can determine its size and exact location. Ultrasounds also show whether the cyst is fluid or solid.
A blood test called cancer antigen 135 (CA 125) may also help with diagnosis in some patients, particularly if you're at risk for ovarian cancer. If you have elevated CA 125 levels, it can indicate that the cyst is potentially malignant and that warrants closer investigation.
After diagnosis, your Damon Cobb OB/GYN provider can discuss all of your treatment options with you.
If you’re not experiencing any symptoms, treatment usually isn’t necessary. Doctors often take a wait-and-watch approach to small cysts that don’t cause symptoms. This may mean a follow-up ultrasound in several months, or simply monitoring the cyst during your regular women’s wellness exam.
If you're having mild-to-moderate pain and your cyst doesn't require surgery, your Damon Cobb OB/GYN provider may prescribe pain medicine for temporary relief.
Some women also respond well to oral contraceptives that prevent ovulation. When you're not ovulating, the hormone surges that trigger cyst growth don't happen, so you won't develop as many new cysts.
Some ovarian cysts require surgery because they're cancerous, causing extreme pain, or damaging (twisting) your ovary. Your provider can remove the cyst in a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure that requires just a couple of small abdominal incisions.
Ovarian cysts don’t have to make life stressful or miserable. The Damon Cobb OB/GYN team is here to help, so book online or by phone today.