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Ovarian cysts: Most common questions answered

Dr. Kristina McCain, gynecologist with Saint Thomas Health, gives the answers to your most common questions about ovarian cysts.

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, commonly referred to as PCOS. It is characterized by hormonal imbalances and the presence of small cysts on the ovary. 
  • With polycystic ovarian syndrome, the ovary has trouble maturing one good egg. Many follicular cysts develop in an attempt to ovulate. If 10-15 small cysts form in one ovary, the ovarian capsule is stretched and causes pain. Usually these cyst will be smaller than 1 cm, 1/2 inch. These ovaries also produce excess testosterone.
  • Ovarian cysts often cause no symptoms; however, when symptoms are present, ovarian cysts may cause a dull ache or a sense of fullness or pressure in the abdomen. Pain during intercourse and at other times can also indicate the presence of ovarian cysts.
  • Ovarian cysts are common among women during their reproductive years and are fluid filled sacs that form on the two organs on each side of the uterus.
  • Any woman has the possibility of getting a cyst.  An ultrasound or laparoscopy may be required in order to discover whether you have a cyst and how much of a risk it will be.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. McCain, call (615) 565-6872. Need a primary care physician? Call 1-800-Doctors for a free physician referral. 

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