Ovarian Cysts

What is an ovarian cyst?

This is a collection of fluid, surrounded by a very thin wall in an ovary. It can be as small as a pea or larger than an apple.

Who does it affect?

Ovarian cysts affect women of all ages but mostly during a women’s childbearing years.  They are generally benign.


What are the symptoms?

While it is possible not to experience any symptoms at all, some of the symptoms may be:

  • Dull aching, or severe and sharp pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen (one or both sides), pelvis, vagina, lower back, or thighs. This pain may be constant or intermittent.
  • Fullness, heaviness, pressure, swelling, or bloating in the abdomen.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Pain during or shortly after beginning or end of menstrual period.
  • Irregular periods
  • Change in frequency or ease of urination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Increased level of hair growth
  • Increased facial hair or body hair
  • Headaches
  • Acute and sudden onset of severe pain

How are ovarian cysts diagnosed?

Following a request by your referring doctor, a pelvic scan will be organised preferably in the first 10 days of your menstrual cycle.

A Transvaginal scan is recommended.

The size of cyst, size of solid components, number of locules, number of papillations, presence of ascites and acoustic shadowing will be described. If indicated the ADNEX Risk Model will be used to further describe the cyst and this will be communicated to your referring doctor.