Ovarian Cyst: Symptoms, Causes, Tests, Treatment, Compilations and Cost of Surgery

What is an ovarian cyst ?

It is a fluid filled cavity or sac within the ovary or on the surface of the ovary. Cysts in the ovary may be multiple, single, only on one ovary, or on both ovaries.

Many women have ovarian cysts at some time. Most ovarian cysts present little or no discomfort and are harmless. The majority disappears without treatment within a few months.

However, ovarian cysts — especially those that have ruptured — can cause serious symptoms.

Ovarian cyst
picture of the ovary containing some cysts


abdominal pains


Irregular menstruation



Scanty or heavy floor

Pain during sex

Exaggerated menstrual cramps

Causes of ovarian cyst

The following factors can put you at risk of developing a cyst in the ovary


Hormonal imbalance

An untreated pelvic inflammatory disease

A previous cyst


What are the types ovarian cyst

Most cysts occur in women of reproductive age as a result of their monthly period such as functional cyst, follicular cyst and corpus luteum cyst. They are most times benign and harmless.

Others cysts such as endometriomas, cystadenoma and dermoid cysts are not related to menstruation and can pose a serious health challenge.

Who gets an ovarian cyst

Most cases of cysts in the gynaecological outpatient clinic are from young menstruating women and their symptoms can be very severe. It may be mistaken for just a menstrual cramps but is is more than than. The more reason you need to see a doctor.


Apart from clinical assessment, your doctor request an abdominopelvic ultrasound scan, pregnancy test, laporoscopy and CEA125 (to rule out ovarian cancer) so as to reach a definitive diagnosis of a cyst in the ovary


Painkillers: Painful cysts can be relieved with some painkillers especially NSAIDs like peroxicam or diclofenac. Paracetamol may also be helpful.

Some cysts be become infected and this will require strong antibiotics to clear the infection. These antibiotics may be administered intravenously or orally depending on your doctor’s discretion.

Contraceptives pills: may help relieve symptoms.

Herbs: There is no natural treatment for ovarian cyst in Nigeria or anywhere in the world. That is to say, no herbs can be used to treat it permanently.

Surgery: Very large, recurrent and symptomatic ovarian cyst may require surgery as a definitive treatment. Some cysts can be removed without removing the ovary (ovarian cystectomy).

In some cases, your doctor might suggest removing the affected ovary and leaving the other intact (oophorectomy).

Cost of ovarian cyst surgery

It depends on the location, hospital, the doctor and your clinical state. In Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Benin city and Port Harcourt for example, ovarian cyst surgery cost an average of N200,000 naira.

In some private hospitals like Lily hospitals, Lagoon, St Nicholas, Reddington, Cedacrest and other big hospitals in Nigeria, cyst ovary surgery can be as high as N700, 000 Naira or more.

Complications of ovarian cysts – what may happen if a cyst in the ovary is left untreated?

The consequences may be dire. They include:

1. Torsion which may compromise blood supply to the ovary leading to its death (gangrene)

2. Rupture which will may spill its content into the abdomen leading to intraabdominal infection called peritonitis.

3. Bleeding into the cyst and this can lead to shock

4. A cyst may get infected

4. Malignant change. It may be a risk factor for ovarian cancer.

The end


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