What are Bilateral Ovarian Cysts?

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  • Written By: J.M. Willhite
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2019
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Bilateral ovarian cysts are independent sacs of fluid that form on both ovaries at the same time. Considered a rare medical condition that can necessitate surgery, these ovarian cysts can cause a variety of signs and symptoms prior to their detection. Serious complications can occur if the cysts rupture, including ovarian torsion.

The formation of cysts on both ovaries can occur when there is a disruption in the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) during a woman’s menstrual cycle or if fluid collects in a vacated follicle following egg release. During menstruation, it is the job of the pituitary gland to signal the release of LH so that an egg may be released in anticipation of fertilization. Sometimes, a miscommunication can result in the absence of LH that causes the egg to remain within the follicle where it forms a cyst. In other cases, once an egg has been released, a premature closure of the follicle may occur leading to fluid accumulation and cyst formation.


Most unilateral ovarian cysts, and even those that form bilaterally, will dissolve on their own within one or two subsequent menstrual cycles. Those that remain in place are generally detected during a pelvic examination. Once found, additional diagnostic testing may be performed to evaluate the composition, form and size of the cyst. Various imaging tests, including an ultrasound, may be utilized to assess the precise location of the cyst and whether or not it is solid or contains fluid. In some cases, a blood test may be conducted to rule out cancer or identify other contributory conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or endometriosis.

Individuals who develop bilateral ovarian cysts may experience a variety of signs and symptoms prior to receiving a diagnosis. The most common presentation of this condition is intense abdominal and lower back pain. Pelvic pain may be episodic and intensify during bowel movements, intercourse and menstruation. Additional signs of bilateral ovarian cysts can include irregular menstruation cycles, nausea, and a persistent feeling of abdominal heaviness. If symptoms are ignored and either one or both cysts rupture, a woman is at risk for serious complication development, including a twisting of the affected ovary which can jeopardize proper blood flow and organ health.

Cysts that are small in size may be monitored for pronounced changes with regular physician visits and imaging tests. Women experiencing mild to moderate discomfort may be advised to use heat therapy, such as a heat wrap or heating pad, and over-the-counter (OTC) analgesic medications to manage and alleviate any pain. When bilateral ovarian cysts are large in size, malignant or causing secondary conditions to develop, including placing undue pressure on surrounding organs, surgery to remove the cysts and one or both ovaries may be recommended.

The removal of ovarian cysts may be performed with a procedure called a cystectomy. If both the cyst and affected ovary are removed, the procedure is known as an oophorectomy. The ideal situation for women of childbearing age would be successful cyst removal allowing one of the ovaries to remain in place to ensure fertility. When bilateral cysts compromise a woman’s health, a bilateral oophorectomy may be performed to remove the cysts and both ovaries.


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Post 6

Last year they have removed my uterus. Now I have been diagnosed as bilateral simple ovarian cyst.measuring 50x36 left and 25x24 on right side.

Post 5

I was diagnosed with bilateral ovarian cysts and went to a surgeon in 2012, having no hope of having a child but I now have a handsome baby boy. Those who are going through this problem, have faith. Everything is going to be okay.

Post 4

Ovarian cysts can cause you to have trouble getting pregnant, but be patient. When the time is right you can get pregnant and have a cyst at the same time. I did with my now six year old. Good luck and speak with your doctor about all your concerns.

Post 3

I have had cysts on my ovaries for a really long time now and they won't go away, so I think I am going to have to probably have surgery because nothing is working to get rid of them, either. I was wondering if these cysts can keep you from getting pregnant or having kids cause I haven't gotten pregnant at all.

Post 2

I understand your worry. I have had cysts for years and they always seem to go away by themselves, but now I have had bilateral cysts for month now which have been causing me a lot of pain.

I am looking into options with my doctor and you may want to discuss birth control options as the hormones in the birth control can help eliminate cysts and help keep them from growing back constantly. The good news about both the hernia and cysts is that neither are immediately threatening to your health. You can get the hernia fixed and depending on your cysts, you will more than likely not need to look into surgical options for relief.

I really hope

this helps you not be so worried. Unfortunately, this tends to be a pretty common thing (they say it's not). I know many women who have this issue. You could also talk to your doctor about a possible prescription for pain pills to help when the pain from the cysts is very bad, as some days are very bad. Hopefully yours will fix themselves in a not painful way so you can get back to a "normal" life without the pain that comes along with them.
Post 1

I am worried. I have just been diagnosed with a hernia and bilateral ovarian cysts.

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