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Non-Cancerous Ovarian Growths: 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. You and your doctor may 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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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.
  • Be safe with medicines. 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 you feel more uncomfortable.

When should you call for help?

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

  • You have severe vaginal bleeding.
  • You have new or worse belly or pelvic pain.

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

  • You have unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.