What does ovarian cyst pain feel like?
Pain associated with an ovarian cyst is an unpleasant symptom and fairly common. The pain can be dull or sharp and either constant or intermittent and may come and go.
Ovarian cyst pain is usually felt in the lower abdomen on the side of the cyst. You may also have pelvic pain as well as pain in your lower back and thighs. Pelvic pain is more intense during sex and around the time of your period.
Pain caused by ovarian cyst varies in type and levels of pain ranging from very mild discomfort through to severe agonising pain.
If a cyst ruptures, it can cause sudden and severe pain. Read about ruptured cyst.
You may have severe pain along with nausea and vomiting if a cyst causes twisting of an ovary. If there is bleeding into an ovarian cyst, it results in severe pain on one side of the lower pelvic region.
Can an ovarian cyst pain come and go? How long can pain last with an ovarian cyst?
If you have less severe long-term pain or symptoms from an ovarian cyst, the symptoms may usually tend to be related to the size and position of the ovarian cyst.
Pain due to a very large ovarian cyst is due to its size. The symptoms will often go worse while moving around or on prolonged standing. The frequency and intensity of ovarian cyst pain may vary with the menstrual cycle and the pain is often worse during a period.
When to seek immediate medical attention in case of ovarian cysts pain?
You might not be aware that you have ovarian cysts. Many cysts don’t cause any symptoms and may resolve on their own without any treatment. However, large cysts might cause pelvic pain, fullness in your abdomen, or bloating.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing:
- Sudden pain in abdomen
- Severe pelvic pain
- Pain accompanied by vomiting
- Pain accompanied by fever
- Rapid breathing, light-headedness, or weakness or other signs of shock
These are signs and symptoms of a cyst rupture and ovarian torsion. Both can lead to severe medical complications, including internal bleeding and extreme pain. You should consult your doctor immediately if you notice any of the above symptoms.
Treatment and Ovarian cyst pain relief: How is ovarian cyst pain managed?
The first-line of treatment for ovarian cysts pain is NSAIDs medications. These can be obtained over-the-counter such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen or in stronger formulations by asking your doctor for a prescription, if over-the-counter (OTC) versions are insufficient to relieve your pain.
For more severe pain, stronger painkillers, requiring a doctor's prescription, are needed. Stronger painkillers include prescription NSAIDs such as diclofenac, mefenamic acid and naproxen or opiates such as codeine, dihydrocodeine, pethidine or morphine.
Opiates can be taken in addition to acetaminophen. If the pain and other complication of cysts are persistent, surgical removal of the cyst is last resort.
What can you do to relieve ovarian cyst pain? How to deal with ovarian cyst pain?
There are various other ways of relieving pain from ovarian cysts. These include:
- Gentle therapeutic massage
- Use of thermal heat pads, or ice-packs to the site of the pain
- Taking birth control pills
- TENS machines
- Consume ginger and turmeric for their anti-inflammatory properties
- Try distracting yourself from the pain
- Epsom salt bath to help relax your muscles and ease cramping
- Drink chamomile tea to help you relax and ease anxiety
- Diet adjustment (high fibre foods, lean proteins, anti-inflammatory foods)
- Consider black cohosh supplements to help regulate menstruation
- Add ground flaxseed to your diet to help balance hormones