Ovarian Cyst

Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology

Obstetrics & Gynecology serving Englewood and South Denver Area, CO

If you’re suffering from a painful ovarian cyst, you need a pelvic exam to make sure the cyst isn’t a symptom of a more serious disease like endometriosis. At Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, the team led by Grace Holub, MD, and Leslie Scariano, MD, can evaluate your symptoms and recommend a safe and effective treatment. You can book an appointment at their office in Englewood, Colorado through the online scheduling system or call the office directly.

Ovarian Cyst Q & A

What is an ovarian cyst?

An ovarian cyst is a sac or pocket in or around your ovary filled with air, fluid, or other materials. Although typically harmless and often painless, larger ovarian cysts can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as:

  • Bloating
  • Dull pain or ache on one side of your abdomen
  • Feeling of fullness or heaviness in your abdomen

Symptoms may come and go but may be more severe if your cyst bursts or causes your ovary to twist. Sometimes an ovarian cyst can be a symptom of a more serious condition, like endometriosis. If you’re experiencing sudden pain, dizziness, fever, and vomiting, seek emergency help immediately.

How is an ovarian cyst diagnosed?

If you suspect you have an ovarian cyst, the team at Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology can perform tests to confirm a diagnosis, including:

  • Pelvic ultrasound: Helps identify the location of the cyst and can identify what it is filled with
  • Pregnancy test: Detects a type of ovarian cyst that commonly ruptures, called a corpus luteum cyst
  • Laparoscopy: Diagnoses and removes an ovarian cyst using a thin instrument inserted through the abdomen

Your provider at Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology may test your blood to check for a cancer antigen known as CA 125. Elevated CA 125 levels are usually present in women with ovarian cancer and other conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or uterine fibroids. A thorough exam can help rule out these conditions. 

What are my treatment options?

You may find that your cyst goes away on its own after several menstrual cycles. If it doesn’t, the type of treatment you’ll receive depends on the severity of your symptoms, the type of cyst, and your age.

Hormone medication and surgery are common treatments. An estimated 5-10% of women require surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. Surgery is a viable option if:

  • You’re past menopause
  • Your cyst gets bigger
  • Your cyst causes a lot of pain
  • Your ultrasound looks abnormal
  • Your cyst does not go away on its own

If you require surgery, it will be performed in one of two ways — laparoscopy or laparotomy. During a laparoscopy surgery, a small incision is made below your belly button to remove the cyst and examine the pelvic area. A laparotomy requires a more invasive incision in your abdomen and is performed when a cyst is large or believed to possibly be cancerous.

If surgery isn’t necessary, you might be placed on a hormone medication, such as birth control, vaginal ring, or patch. While hormone medication won’t shrink an existing cyst, it can prevent future cysts by stopping ovulation.

You can book an appointment with the team at Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology online or by phone.