Most ovarian cysts are small, harmless and do not cause problems. Larger cysts may cause problems, such as:

  • pain and discomfort in the abdomen.
  • bloating or abdominal swelling.
  • changes to menstrual periods.
  • needing to go to the toilet more often it cyst is pressing on the bladder or bowels.

Possible complications of ovarian cysts:


If a cyst is a significant size it can twist the ovary (called torsion). This can compromise the blood supply to the ovary, causing pain, and in some cases irreparably damaging the ovary.


The cyst may burst, causing sudden severe pain in the lower abdomen. The extent of pain depends on what the cyst contained and whether there is any bleeding.


Very occasionally, an ovarian cyst is an early form of ovarian cancer. However, ovarian cysts are very common and the large majority of them are non-cancerous.

External links

A torted (twisted) ovarian cyst A ruptured (burst) cyst