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How Do I Treat Ovarian Cyst Pain?

Taking birth control pills can help prevent women from developing ovarian cysts.
A healthy ovary and one with ovarian cysts.
Over the counter pain medications may help relieve ovarian cyst pain.
The pain caused by ovarian cysts may become more intense during a woman's monthly menstrual cycle.
A surgical procedure may be needed to treat pain in women who have large ovarian cysts.
The pain associated with ovarian cysts may be worse during a woman's monthly menstrual cycle.
Normal ovarian cysts are formed each month as part of a woman's menstrual cycle.
Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2014
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You can treat ovarian cyst pain in a variety of ways. The most common way of treating pain associated with ovarian cysts is an over the counter pain medication such as acetaminophen. Your doctor may also prescribe you birth control pills, remove the cysts, or give you a prescription pain medication. Treatments should be determined based on the size of the cyst, whether it is growing, and how severe the pain is.

Most women are able to treat ovarian cyst pain by using over the counter pain medications. Pain may be worse during their monthly menstrual cycles, and there are drugs available for this type of discomfort. In most cases, pain is not continuous but occurs in intervals. Some times of the month may be worse than others, and discomfort can be triggered by hormones. This is not always the case, since some may experience cramping or abdominal pain almost continuously.

Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with fluid which form on the ovaries. Many women have them and never realize it, and they often burst or disappear on their own. Some others may eventually become ovarian cancer, so they should be closely monitored. Cysts which grow large generally cause more pain than small ones.

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If your pain is ongoing or severe, you may need to talk with your doctor about a prescription medication. These are generally stronger than over the counter options, so they may offer better pain relief. Your doctor may monitor your cysts via ultrasound to see if they are growing any larger and to ensure that it is cysts which are causing your discomfort. If medication doesn’t alleviate your ovarian cyst pain, surgery is another option.

Hormonal birth control pills are also sometimes prescribed to treat ovarian cyst pain. They help to prevent cyst formation, and they regulate periods in many women. Some have also reported a decrease in pain.

Surgery is used to treat ovarian cyst pain in those who have large cysts, those who are in severe pain, or women who are at risk of developing ovarian cancer. Sometimes it is hard to tell if masses found on the ovaries are cysts or cancerous, so if you are at high risk, your doctor may remove any cyst measuring larger than average to test it for cancer cells. Most lumps taken from the ovaries are benign, or noncancerous.

Additional symptoms of ovarian cysts include a fullness in the lower abdomen, lower back pain, irregular periods, vaginal discharge and sometimes digestive upset if the cyst is very large. These are also common symptoms of gynecological cancers, so be sure to have them evaluated by a doctor. Ovarian cancer is rare in young women, but it does occur and should be ruled out.

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