What Causes Ovary Pain in Early Pregnancy

What causes Ovary Pain in Early Pregnancy?

Ovaries are located at the top of the uterus. They produce hormones which regulate your menstrual cycle and other functions. These hormones include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and others. When these hormones reach their peak levels they cause some discomfort or pain in one area of your body (ovarian cysts). The symptoms vary from person to person depending on their genetic makeup and how much hormone is being produced. Some women experience no symptoms while others may feel severe pain in one part of their body.

The most common type of ovarian cyst is called a follicular cyst. A follicular cyst is formed when cells in the ovary grow too rapidly and begin growing into the surrounding tissue. The growth occurs so quickly that it can’t be stopped by normal means such as menstruation or even birth control pills.

If not treated, the cysts can become large enough to block blood flow to the ovary causing extreme pain. Some women experience persistent mild pain in the stomach and back area.

Another common type of ovarian cyst is called a endometrioma. An endometrioma is an ovarian cyst that occurs when cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) grow on the ovary. The cysts are filled with old blood and tissue similar to what you would find in a normal period.

These types of ovarian cysts are relatively common and do not cause any long term health problems.

Other types of ovarian cysts include mucous cysts, dermoid cysts, and others. These types of cysts are less common and can cause serious or fatal complications if left untreated.

Dermoid cysts are formed from abnormal cells that begin to multiply excessively and form their own layers of skin, hair, and even teeth. This type of ovarian cyst can become very large and cause extreme pain if not treated.

Mucous cysts are formed from degenerating cells that secrete mucus. This type of ovarian cyst tends to be very small, but can cause extreme pain and cause complications during pregnancy.

Treatment of Ovarian Cysts:

Most ovarian cysts are not life threatening and do not need to be immediately treated with surgery or other methods. However, some women experience such severe pain that medical attention may be required.

Most ovarian cysts will go away on their own after menstruation or by using birth control pills or another form of hormonal contraception. These types of non-surgical treatments are preferred because they do not carry the risk of surgery and there is no need to recover from anesthesia.

Surgery is only considered when there is an extreme symptom of pain in addition to the other symptoms listed above. A laparoscopy is most often required to locate the cyst and then perform a minor procedure to remove it.


A laparoscopy is a very minor surgery that involves making several small incisions in the belly button, above your pubic hair line, and just below the navel. A small telescopic lens is inserted into the body to allow the surgeon to see any abnormalities on the inside of the body.

In the case of an ovarian cyst, the surgeon locates the cyst and removes it by cutting it off at the source. The incision is then closed with stitches and a thin layer of tissue glue to keep it from opening up again. Most women are able to return to work after about a week and do not suffer any major complications.

Most types of ovarian cysts will grow back after they are removed unless the source of the problem is also treated. Ovarian cysts can result from hormonal imbalances or simply genetics.

Ovarian cysts in women who have not reached menopause tend to go away on their own as the woman gets older and her eggs begin to die off. Because of this, some women only require one laparoscopy procedure in their life.

Sources & references used in this article:

Symptom-giving pelvic girdle relaxation in pregnancy, II: symptoms and clinical signs by A Hansen, DV Jensen, M Wormslev… – Acta obstetricia et …, 1999 – Taylor & Francis

Symptom-giving pelvic girdle relaxation in pregnancy, I: prevalence and risk factors by EC Larsen, C Wilken-Jensen, A Hansen… – Acta obstetricia et …, 1999 – Taylor & Francis

Pelvic pain during pregnancy: a descriptive study of signs and symptoms of 870 patients in primary care by CCM Röst, J Jacqueline, A Kaiser, AP Verhagen… – Spine, 2004 – cdn.journals.lww.com

Ultrasound imaging in the management of bleeding and pain in early pregnancy by J Knez, A Day, D Jurkovic – Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & …, 2014 – Elsevier

How do the prevalences of urogenital symptoms change during pregnancy? by HJ van Brummen, HW Bruinse… – … : Official Journal of …, 2006 – Wiley Online Library

Relaxin is not related to symptom-giving pelvic girdle relaxation in pregnant women by A Hansen, DV Jensen, E Larsen… – Acta obstetricia et …, 1996 – Taylor & Francis

Impact of postpartum lumbopelvic pain on disability, pain intensity, health-related quality of life, activity level, kinesiophobia, and depressive symptoms by A Gutke, M Lundberg, HC Östgaard, B Öberg – European Spine Journal, 2011 – Springer

Do fluctuations in ovarian hormones affect gastrointestinal symptoms in women with irritable bowel syndrome? by MM Heitkemper, L Chang – Gender medicine, 2009 – Elsevier