Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs or pockets that develop within or on the surface of one or both of a woman’s ovaries. Most women will develop at least one cyst at some point in their lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most premenopausal women have them at one or more times in their lives, while up to 14.8 percent of women have them after menopause.
Most ovarian cysts are considered functional, meaning that they occur normally during the menstrual cycle and are not a part of a disease process.
They are usually benign and appear without any apparent reason. Pathological cysts, on the other hand, can either be benign or cancerous.
However, in some cases they can cause symptoms like abdominal bloating, pain during bowel movements, menstrual irregularities, pelvic pain before or during the menstrual cycle, pain during sex, pain in the lower back or thighs, pressure in the rectum or bladder, nausea, and vomiting. Certain types of ovarian cysts can also cause decreased fertility.
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