Hesperian Health Guides

Problems of the Ovaries

Cysts on the ovaries

These cysts are fluid-filled sacks that women can get on their ovaries. They happen only during the reproductive years, between puberty and menopause. A cyst can cause pain on one side of the lower abdomen and irregular cyst monthly bleeding. But most women only find out they have a cyst if a health worker feels one during a pelvic examination.

Most cysts last only a few months and go away on their own. But some can grow very large and must be removed by surgery. If you have severe pain, see a health worker right away.

an ovary with cysts
normal ovary

Cancer of the ovaries

Cancer of the ovaries is not common. There are usually no warning signs, but a health worker might feel an ovary that is very large while doing a pelvic examination. Surgery, medicines, and radiation therapy are all used for treatment, and cure is very difficult.

This page was updated:17 Apr 2019