Ovarian Cysts Specialist

Nancy Thornton, MD -  - Gynecologist

Nancy Thornton, MD

Gynecologist located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Ovarian cysts are common and generally harmless, but sometimes they can become painful or rupture. It’s important to have regular pelvic exams with an experienced Gynecologist and Nancy L. Thornton, MD, FACOG, provides an extensive range of gynecological screening and treatment services at her practice in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. If you have concerns about ovarian cysts or any gynecological symptoms, call the practice today or book an appointment online.

Ovarian Cysts Q & A

What are ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts form on the ovaries, which produce eggs and release them every month during a woman’s reproductive years. The cysts are sacs filled with fluid that form on the surface of an ovary, and many women have ovarian cysts without realizing because they don’t experience any symptoms.

Most ovarian cysts clear up over the course of several months without needing treatment, but sometimes they do cause pain and other symptoms. Ovarian torsion occurs when a cyst grows to the point where it moves the ovary and makes it twist, and ovarian cysts can rupture, causing internal bleeding and intense pain.

Cysts can also cause cancerous masses post-menopause, but all these complications are relatively rare.

What are the symptoms of an ovarian cyst?

While most cysts don’t cause any problems, a large cyst may lead to symptoms such as:

  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal discomfort

You should see Dr. Thornton as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms. The symptoms may become more severe and cause:

  • Severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis
  • Fever and vomiting accompanying abdominal pain
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Distressed breathing

If you develop these symptoms, you should seek emergency medical help.

What causes cysts to develop?

There’s no single cause for ovarian cysts, but generally, they have a connection to your menstrual cycle. Your chances of developing cysts increase in certain circumstances, such as:

  • Taking fertility drugs
  • Having a history of ovarian cysts
  • Having endometriosis
  • Having a serious pelvic infection that spreads to the ovaries

They can also occur during pregnancy but rarely cause any problems for mother or baby.

What treatments are available for ovarian cysts?

If your ovarian cysts aren’t causing any symptoms and an ultrasound shows that they’re just small, simple cysts, then they could disappear without treatment. Dr. Thornton may recommend that you have regular examinations and scans to monitor the cysts so you can take action if they change.

There are several treatment options available for troublesome ovarian cysts, including:

  • Hormonal contraceptives to prevent ovarian cysts if you have them repeatedly
  • Surgery to remove a cyst that’s causing problems
  • Oophorectomy to remove the affected ovary in severe cases

To find out more about ovarian cysts and their treatment, call Dr. Nancy L. Thornton or book an appointment online.