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Conditions

Ovarian Cysts

Benign ovarian cyst

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An ovarian cyst is a growth or swelling on, or inside, the ovary (the female reproductive system that releases an egg every month), which can either be solid or filled with fluid. If solid, the cyst may be called a “tumour”, which, with all its cancerous connotations, can be particularly terrifying. However, you’ll be relieved to know that it’s just the medical term for any swelling and the vast majority of ovarian growths are benign and not cancerous. There are several types of ovarian cyst, but the most common is a functional ovarian cyst, of which there are two types: a follicular cyst and Corpus luteum cysts. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition that causes women to develop lots of small, benign cysts on their ovaries, which develop due to a hormonal imbalance. Symptoms can include pain and discomfort low down in the abdomen, which can come and go, and may be more noticeable after sex and changes to periods.

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome >

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on enlarged abdomen >

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

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I've had PCOS my whole menstruating life. I was officially diagnosed when I was 18 but had very irregular periods prior to that (going 12 months plus without a period) and quite a lot of pelvic pain. I'm now 42 and still have quite horrible pain after each period that can last the whole cycle. The pain makes me cry and want to stay in bed and impacts everything - how I sleep, how active I can be, my ability to have sex and can trigger depression. I have three children, after using clomid to help control ovulation. I would like to get my ovaries removed However I've been told I'm too young! My mum didn't finish menopause until her early 60's. I really don't think I can cope with another 30 years of intermittent pain,





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I'm 18 and just been diagnosed with pcos, I've been suffering with pain in my side for months which keeps me from getting out of bed sometimes and crying all day! I don't suffer from any of the symptoms my doctor explained to me like acne or hair growth and my periods are fairly regular.. Could I have been Misdiagnosed? I'm just worried about the pain in my side and abdomen.. Anyone have any answers would be much appreciated as I feel like I can't trust the nhs!





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Hi to all... I am 30yrs old and have 2 children and would like a third. However my periods have been irregular and have been experiencing pain in lower abdomen & ovaries. I had an internal scan & have been diagnosed with pcos. I am in shock horror! My GP has advised me to take metformin and lose weight as I am 14stones at 5ft height. I dont want to be on mmedicheight. Im finding it hard to lose weight. Please help. :-(





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Hello, Im 32 I have been getting pain for the last 2 years around 12 days after my period lasts for 2/3 days on and off and is very painfull makes me feel sick its lower cramps where you get period pain also inside my bum sharp pain i done some research and bought some ovulation strips to text if thats what it was as it happens at that time, i am wondering why now and not all my life? My doctor just said i will put you on the pill to stop you from ovulating but i never took them as i dont want to be on the pill?





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hi i am 25 years old and suffering i have hair loss boob loss acne and my private parts have changed what can i do





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I'm 25 and recently been told that I have cysts on my ovaries all my bloods come back normal so they didn't know if I have pcos but I've had scans done and the dye test done I've not been able to fall pregnant with my previous partners and not been on the pill for 2 years as my gp took me off it I did have a lot of stress in my life but now I don't the time inbetween hospital appointments is worrying me cos its playing on my mind what if I can't have a baby any help would be greatly appreciated also my periods come between 4 weeks n 8 weeks each time





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Hi Rebecca, i was diagnosed with PCOS just over a year ago when me and my husband started trying for a baby. I did get pregnant but sifrered a miscarriage. I only get around 4 period a year, we are still trying for a baby and having fertility acupucture and chinese medicine. Also a good diet without loads of sugar will help! I got pregnant once and i am very hopeful i will again even if it takes a bit of time. Don't worry too much, there is plenty of help you can get and things you can do at home too! I know people with PCOS that have very healthy children. Good luck with everything.

Hi my name is Ashley... I have had problems with my periods since I started at age 12... I am now 32.. I was diagnosed with pcos about three years ago... At a young age I was told I couldn't have kids but at the age of 25 I got pregnant and had a great pregnancy .. My son is now 6.. Never give up... No matter what the doctor says there is always the chance that u can have a baby...

Hi am 24, I have been back and forth to the doctors about a range of these symptoms but each time feel like I am being a bit of a hypochondriac. I was rarely having a period, I have always had excessive hair growth, having severe abdominal pains and recently I started a new contraceptive pill near the start of the year and noticed that I am putting on weight fast about 1 stone in the past year. I don't know whether to go back and ask my doctor about this or if I'm just overreacting? Thanks





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I've been diagnosed since I was 16 and been on so many types/ brands of the contraceptive pill because of the side affects I put on weight and made my depression worse if I was you go to doctors and they probably gove u a different type of the pill x

Hi. I'm 24 and I've just been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. I haven't been given any information what so ever by the doctors and before I got diagnosed they insisted that the pain, bleeding after sex, pain during sex was due to my ibs, which to me makes no sense. Yet, here I am, with an answer and they are yet to explain what it is, let alone give me any kind of treatment for the pain. I've just had bloods taken, (today) to check my hormone levels (they didn't bother explaining what for or why) I just want an answer on what can be done or how can I ease the pain. It's not only the pain I can't deal with, it's the putting on shed loads of weight (which I needed as I am also borderline anorexic) but I feel I'm at a good weight, and fear I may just be putting more and more on, I don't want to go back to how I was, starving myself and running myself down to the ground from working loads.





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Hi - I'm really sorry to hear about your experience. It seems pcos is a subject that a lot of doctors know little about. I am 27 and was diagnosed a couple of years ago. I'm also sorry to hear it has caused weight gain for you and that this has an effect on how you feel about yourself (as it would). The reason they take bloods is to check levels of the hormone testosterone, as well as estrogen and other hormones such as those needed to stimulate a release of an egg each month. You will be able to tell from your bloods if you have the syndrome or just polycystic ovaries (there is a difference). Marian Grenville has a good book on it, I've also opted for bio identical progesterone through a private doctor which had helped symptoms like depression and acne. The good news is with a good diet and exercise you can limit the effects of pcos, but putting yourself and your body under stress (like excessive exercise) can make things worse. Hope this helps.

Hi, I'm 18, I have given up on all doctors, but I was wondering if there's any advice Anyone can give. I have pcos and got diagnosed in 2012 but didn't get told till this year, I feel they have left it a long time and nobody is giving me treatment or anything to help, all they said is we can give you a pill when you want to conceive and that's where it ended, I am in pain everyday from my ovaries and I've been in and out of doctors and hospital for 10 years with the same pain and they were never interested, if I remember right I had scans and they were 5cm each ( one on each ovarie ) Hope you can help Thanks in advance J





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Hi there, I'm 27 and I too have PCOS. However, I think it is gone and I am waiting for a scan to confirm this. I didn't have a period for over two years, but I have successfully had one each month since March of this year. My cycles are starting to regulate now to around the 28 day mark, which is a normal length for a cycle. I have got myself to this position through reducing all stress and focusing on all the things I love, my passions, which brings me joy and further decreases stress. I make sure I get lots of sleep and I eat very very healthy foods. I have taken supplements to support my rehabilitation too and they include chaste berry (which can actually help the cysts to disperse and go) l-theanine (which reduces stress in the body- important because if the body is under stress, hormone secretion can be blocked) and vitamin D3 which has completely cleared my skin. This is all advise from my functional medicine practitioner. I would advise seeing one if you can. The most important thing to do it smile, remember that everything is forever changing and PCOS can go. There is help out there and life is for living. Good luck! X

I was diagnosed with PCOS but i'm not over weight. I'm 24 and 120lbs. I never work out, I don't eat healthy =( and I don't have any facial or unwanted body hairs. Because of that it took doctors forever to find out I have PCOS I do get lower abdominal pains but not often. BTW I don't like how this website is called embarrassing bodies. Its insulting and rude! I love my body and I'm not embarrassed because I have PCOS. People come here for support not for you to make them feel like crap.





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

An ovarian cyst is a sac of tissue that develops inside an ovary. It is very common, usually painless and will often go away without treatment. Read More »

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