Ovarian cyst - Symptoms 

Symptoms of ovarian cysts 

Reduced breast cancer risk

Having an ovarian cyst can be upsetting, particularly if it causes symptoms.

The good news is that researchers have found that women (particularly black women) with ovarian cysts have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. The reasons for this are unclear.

In most cases, ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms.

You will usually only have symptoms if you have a cyst that:

  • ruptures (splits)
  • is very large
  • blocks the blood supply to the ovaries (torsion)

In these cases, you may have the following symptoms:

  • pelvic pain – this can range from a dull, heavy sensation (associated with large cysts) to a sudden, sharp pain (associated with a ruptured cyst or torsion) 
  • pelvic pain during sexual intercourse
  • difficulty emptying your bowels
  • frequent need to urinate
  • changes to your normal menstruation – you may have heavy periodsirregular periods or lighter periods than normal
  • a feeling of fullness and bloating
  • indigestion or feeling very full, even though you have only eaten a little
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • extreme tiredness (fatigue) 

When to seek medical advice

You should contact your GP if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms. If this is not possible, telephone your local out-of-hours service or NHS 111.

Page last reviewed: 06/12/2012

Next review due: 06/12/2014


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The 7 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Armahaber said on 28 June 2014

I had an ovarian cyst on my left ovary 5 years ago and had a salpingoopherectomy. The cyst weighed a stone in weight, yet I had to wait 3 months for my op, I looked 9 months pregnant and got sick of everyone asking me when I was due!! Was very uncomfortable and ended up in A&E one morning where the on call gynaecologist forgot to see me and ended up waiting 8 hours to be seen and then just sent home with painkillers. I am now being investigated for a cyst on my right ovary and have just been told I'm in the menopause, I'm only 42. Experiencing the same symptoms again, my stomach is getting bigger and feeling uncomfortable and am very scared of going through it all again. Just wanted to share my experience with people that would understand.

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Thumper810 said on 04 February 2014

I am 19 years old and have just found out I have a cyst on my ovary, it's causing me a lot of pain around the area & my back.. I am really concerned what to do, I don't want to go to the emergency room & all out of hours are closed, I feel like I am just bothering them when I go as they make me feel like in wasting their time.. I'm in a lot of pain and really don't know what to do, could anyone suggest anything ASAP!

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Bobbie Edmead said on 18 January 2014

i found out that i had a cyst on my left ovary 3 years ago! ive recently had a miscaridge and found out that the cyst has doubled in size and i know have a cyst on my right ovary. im suferring with a lot of pain in my abdoman and back. I also have suffered with water infection. All the doctor seems to do is send me off for scans, but it never goes any further. i dont know what to do to get the cyst removed. im worried about loosing my ovaries or the cyts being cancerous.

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icklelady82 said on 14 October 2013

I have been trying for a baby for 3 years. Due to no reasons for the issue after blood tests etc I was sent for a scan and trans vag scan which picked up ovarian cyst the sonographer said it was large and she could see it was bleeding I had started to feel discomfort a couple of weeks prior but this always happened Ive always pit it down to my period as I have always suffered very painful ones even to the point of fainting on a regular basis. My gyno said its 35 cm its only small nothing to worry about!!! That was the end of that he sent me to have dye put thru my fallopian tubes to see if there blocked which I had done nearly 6 months ago now! Still waiting for results of that. 3 months ago I woke up in the night desperate for a wee I got up I couldn't pee the feeling was horrible then all of a sudden I started to feel sick and light headed I got backb into bed to lie down I had cold sweats and the most excruciating pain I have ever felt I cried out which woke my husband up this lasted bout 10 mins. 2 days later I came on. Next month it happened again this tome not lasting as long again came on 2 days later then last month it happened but this time I wasnt due on for another 2 weeks so I went to the doctor 40 mins later with a perscription of antibiotics enema and laxitives because I must be constipated although I had been to the loo already that day the antibiotics are just in case I have an infection I did get the perscription cause I knew it was rubbish I said again about ovatian cysts and was just ignored and he said best go to a and e oh and if u do can you let me know what happens cause well im only a gp!!! What a jobs worth he is. Ive moved to a different town so im hoping I will get some answers this time as I have all the symptom again of ovarian cyst im sooo bloated I look 6 months pregnant ive back ache leg ache and tired all the time. If this has anything to do with me being un able to concieve surly its doing more damage the longer left.

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Scabbydog1 said on 18 October 2012

I have just had the weekend from H**l
I have just spent 24 hrs in Emergency at my local Hospital and iw was not impressed, but thats by the by...

I was diagnosed with a Ruptured Ovarian Cyst
and finally after 4 hours pumped with morphine and had several further hours of excrutiating pain

I had a simple internal and my blood pressure taken (this was the only treatment I had )
I was released with Ibrufen tablets to help with the pain and told to attend ultrasound clinic in 6-8 weeks my appointment would follow on
pray tell me if the information all over the net says how dangerous these ruptures can be when accompanied by sever pain, bloating, blood clot loss etc etc etc whty have I not been kept in and more test done instead I have been told to resume my normal life unil my followup appointment can confirm a cyst or not

Am I just soft and overly concerned or should I be foolowing this up with a complaint ???

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WinterKiss said on 05 June 2012

I had a cyst the size of a cantelope melon and me and my parents think I have another cyst on my other ovary

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Gtp1164 said on 31 May 2012

Hi! I just found out i have a cyst about the siz of a grapefurit.. i have pain somtimes dull sometimes painful..
my gyno said to wait 6 to 8 weeks to see if it got smaller or larger.. but not sure if i can deal with the pain for that long?? i want to just get it out..I dont want to get any cancer from it, not even sure you can.. this is scary.. has anyone had a size that large?? thanks

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