Non-Cancerous Ovarian Growths: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Normal ovary and ovarian cyst

Ovarian growths are abnormal growths in or on the ovaries. The growth can be a cyst, which is a fluid-filled sac, or a mass (neoplasm), which is a more solid growth.

Most of these growths are not cancerous (benign) and don't cause symptoms. If you have symptoms, they may include pain in the belly or pelvis, pain during your period, and abnormal bleeding.

Your doctor has examined you, and you have a non-cancerous ovarian growth. Women and their doctors often choose to watch these types of growths closely over time but not to treat them. This is called watchful waiting. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to help with any symptoms.

In some cases, non-cancerous growths may need to be removed using surgery.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Use heat, such as a hot water bottle, a heating pad set on low, or a warm bath, to relax tense muscles and relieve cramping.
  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • Avoid constipation. Make sure you drink enough fluids and include fruits, vegetables, and fibre in your diet each day. Constipation does not cause ovarian cysts, but it may make your pelvic pain worse.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have sudden, severe pain in your belly or your pelvis.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new belly or pelvic pain, or your pain gets worse.
  • You have severe vaginal bleeding.
  • You have severe vaginal bleeding. This means that you are soaking through your usual pads every hour for 2 or more hours.
  • You are dizzy or light-headed, or you feel like you may faint.
  • You have pain or bleeding during or after sex.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your pain keeps you from doing the things that you enjoy.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Current as of: October 13, 2016