The ovaries are located in the lower abdomen on both sides of the uterus. Women have two ovaries that produce eggs, as well as the hormones.
Sometimes, a fluid-filled sac called a cyst will develop on one of the ovaries. Many women will develop at least one cyst during their lifetime.
There are various types of ovarian cysts, such as dermoid cysts and endometriotic cysts. However, functional cysts are the most common type. Ovarian cancer also presented as ovarian cysts with other associated symptoms, e.g. fluid retention in the abdomen.
Usually ovarian cysts do not cause any symptoms. However, you may have abdominal bloating or swelling or even abdominal pain as the cyst grows.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and usually a pelvic ultrasound scan can confirm whether you have an ovarian cyst. If ovarian cancer is suspected, blood test to check for tumor markers and further imaging like Computed Tomography (CT) may be performed.
For small ovarian cysts which are most likely functional cysts, usually no treatment is needed and a pelvic ultrasound scan will be repeated. If the ovarian cyst persists or there are associated symptoms, the cyst can be removed through laparoscopy (key hole surgery). If the cyst is large or ovarian cancer is suspected, your doctor will surgically remove the cyst through a large incision in your abdomen (laparotomy).