Ovarian Tumors During Pregnancy
Cancer and Ovary Cysts

Pregnancy Complications Pictures of ovarian cysts

Pregnant woman with ovary tumor

Ovary Tumors In Pregnant Women


What Are Ovarian Tumors?
What Are The Symptoms?
How Are Ovarian Tumors Diagnosed?
What Is The Treatment?

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Ovary Cancer Pictures
What Are Ovarian Tumors?

An ovarian tumor is an abnormal growth of cells which occasionally occurs in or on the ovaries. In most cases the tumors are benign (non-cancerous), but they still need to be investigated to rule out ovarian cancer. Ovarian tumors are not commonly associated with pregnancy, the incidence being less than 1 in 1,000 pregnancies. Any type of ovarian tumor may occur, but simple functional cysts and benign dermoid cysts are the most common. The most important consideration is that it is impossible to be sure that any ovarian tumor or cyst is not malignant. About 10 per cent of tumors in patients under 30 turn out to be cancerous, and this proportion rises in older patients.

What Are The Symptoms?

Symptoms Of Ovarian Cysts

• Pelvic pain, particularly if cysts become twisted or ruptured.
• Menstruation-like cramps (can be mistaken for miscarriage signs).
Painful intercourse.
• Bloating or swelling of the tummy.
• Nausea or vomiting.
• Pain in the shoulder.
More details: What are the signs of ovarian cysts?
Pain description: What type of pain do ovarian cysts cause?

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
• Pelvic or abdominal pain.
• An increase in the size of the abdomen or persistent bloating.
• The need to urinate more frequently or urgently.
• Feeling fully quickly even after a light meal.
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Symptoms of ovarian cancer and ovarian cancer survival rates.


1. Benign tumors (ovarian cysts) are 5 times more likely to twist in pregnant women than non-pregnant women. This condition is extremely painful to the extent of causing premature labor or miscarriage. For more read, what causes ovarian cysts to rupture?
2. Cysts can rupture causing internal hemorrhage, or necrosis (death of tissue cells) from pressure on a cyst during labor can occur - in both cases an infection can follow. In most cases however, pregnancy is usually unaffected by a tumor unless torsion (twisting) or some other complication occurs. See also, ovarian cysts in pregnancy.
3. Labor is unaffected unless the tumor lies in the pelvic cavity when physical obstruction is probable. This is more common with ovarian tumors than with fibromyomata (a different type of tumor) because the latter usually rise up into the abdomen before labor begins.
4. If the tumors are cancerous, early treatment is critical. Cancer of the ovaries is a highly dangerous disease. It causes more deaths than any other gynecologic cancer. About 75 percent of women will still be alive one year after diagnosis, but this reduces to 46 percent by year 5 after diagnosis. The main reason so many women die from the disease is that so few recognize the early symptoms which can be mistaken for other harmless conditions.

How Are Ovarian Tumors Diagnosed?

In the early months of pregnancy it is still possible to distinguish between the uterus and a usually mobile ovarian tumor lying behind it by pelvic examination. The doctor may carry out a blood test to check hormone levels and CA125 (to rule out ovarian cancer). An ultrasound (sonography), either abdominal or transvaginal can be carried out to determine exact location of cysts.

What Is The Treatment?

Some doctors think that any ovarian tumor discovered during pregnancy should be removed as soon as it is diagnosed (except during the first 12 weeks) because of the possibility that it may be malignant. Moreover it is subject to the risks of torsion, rupture and hemorrhage (a twisted ovarian cyst in early pregnancy can be mistaken for an ectopic pregnancy and so laparotomy is the correct treatment for both conditions). Other experts disagree and insist that an ultrasound scan and blood test is sufficient in assessing the likelihood of cysts being cancerous. If the tumors are not likely to be cancer, and do not appear to be growing at a rapid rate (increasing the risk of torsion and rupturing), treatment may be referred until after childbirth. If treatment is necessary, your doctor will wait until after your first trimester before operating, as there is a risk of miscarriage if the corpus luteum has to be removed with the ovary before the placenta has taken up its hormonal function. If the tumor proves to be benign every effort is made to conserve ovarian tissue as it is removed. If the diagnosis is only made late in pregnancy and the tumor is not obstructing the pelvic cavity, a normal vaginal delivery can be made and the tumor removed afterwards. If the tumor is in the pelvis, it is likely to obstruct delivery and so a c-section with removal of the tumor is necessary.
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Do ovarian cysts usually need to be surgically removed?
Ovarian cancer treatment: Read about your options.

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For more information see the following:

Kidney infection during pregnancy: Signs and dangers.
Digestive problems in pregnancy: Heartburn and teeth problems.
Reproductive disorders in women: List of conditions.

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