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Ovaries 101

Symptoms - Diseases - Conditions


Updated May 30, 2014

  • Midcycle Pain or Discomfort

    Some women experience a twinge, a cramp, or some discomfort in the lower back or abdomen when ovulation occurs. Women sometimes notice a small amount of vaginal discharge, sometimes containing a small amount of blood, during ovulation. For some women these symptoms are severe enough to be mistaken for an ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis. Other women experience headaches, gastric pain, or a general malaise; while others women experience feeling much better during ovulation. When women experience these symptoms during ovulation it is called Mittelschmerz or midcyle pain.
    See: Mittelschmerz Resource Center
  • Ovarian Cysts
    Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs, similar to blisters. Ovarian cysts are common among women during their reproductive years and are growths that form on either of the two almond-sized glands on each side of the uterus. Most types of ovarian cysts are harmless and go away without any treatment.
    See: What You Need to Know About Ovarian Cysts
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects an estimated seven percent of all women. It is the most common hormonal disorder among women. According to experts, the actual number of women affected by PCOS may be as high as one out of ten simply because so many cases remain undiagnosed. Why are so many cases of PCOS undiagnosed? Since the symptoms can vary from woman to woman it is often difficult to accurately diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome. Because polycystic ovary syndrome can cause significant long-term health consequences, a quick and accurate diagnosis, followed by proper treatment is urgent.
    See: What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
  • Ovarian Cancer
    Ovarian cancer is often called the "silent" killer because many times there are no symptoms until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. One-third of American women will get some form of cancer in their lifetime and approximately 1.4 percent of those cases will be cancer involving one or both ovaries.
    See: Ovarian Cancer - The Silent Killer

Fallopian tubes that have been damaged by diseases, infections, or other conditions may be scarred, damaged, or destroyed which sometimes can cause an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy to occur. Some of the causes of fallopian tube damage include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, or IUDs, as well as some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or other pelvic infections.
See: Symptoms of Ectopic Pregnancy

Eggs that are not fertilized, either disintegrate or flow out of the body (unnoticed) with vaginal secretions.


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