What are the symptoms of uterine cysts?

The most common symptoms of uterine cysts are abdominal pain, abnormal bleeding between menstrual periods, or heavier than average periods. Other symptoms that may occur include an enlarged uterus, fertility problems, and problems urinating. Uterine cysts are often discovered during an exam for another condition. There are many women who do not experience symptoms.

Uterine cysts are growths of tissue that occur on or within the uterus. They are not cancerous and are not usually life-threatening unless they grow especially large. Some cysts will eventually burst and others may spontaneously disappear on their own. Others may require surgical removal to avoid complications.

If uterine cysts are very small, they are often asymptomatic. When symptoms of uterine cysts occur, abdominal pain and cramping are the most common. Bleeding between menstrual periods and heavier than normal bleeding during periods are also potential symptoms. Many times these symptoms are very subtle, which is why cysts often go undiagnosed for long periods of time. Since symptoms of uterine cysts can also be symptoms of uterine cancer, it is important for any woman experiencing these things to see a gynecologist for a complete exam.

Occasionally, the first noticeable symptoms of uterine cysts will be an inability to urinate, urgency, or pain when urinating. These can also be symptoms of a urinary tract infection, but when they occur with uterine cysts, there are usually additional symptoms. Occasionally, lower back pain and digestive discomfort may also occur.

Treatment for uterine cysts can vary depending on the severity of the symptoms, the nature of the growth, and whether the cyst is causing problems with other systems within the body. Small cysts that do not cause severe pain or block or affect other organs may be left alone. Many cysts go away on their own without treatment. Large or painful cysts can be surgically removed.

Any cyst that is suspected to be uterine cancer will usually be removed and biopsied. It is not always possible to tell if a growth inside the uterus is a cyst or a cancer without removing it. Both uterine cysts and uterine cancer occur more often in women over 45 years of age. Cysts can also occur in younger women and can lead to infertility. Often during fertility tests, young women discover that they have cysts. Growths on the ovaries may also occur.

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