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What are the causes of pain in the right lower abdomen?

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I had a pain in my lower abdomen (right side) about 3 weeks ago. After about a week I went to the hospital and they think it was an ovarian cyst. The pain was gone last week but it is back now again. I was just curious as to what it might be?

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 30 Doctors Online

Hello, With reference to your query that you had a pain in abdomen three weeks ago and was diagnosed as ovarian cyst. Now the pain which was there earlier had gone but reappeared again. Ovarian cyst is nothing but collection of fluid surrounded by a thin wall within an ovary. If the ovarian follicle that is larger than about 2 cms it is termed as ovarian cyst. Most of these cysts are functional and harmless. It affects women of all ages. They occur in childbearing years. Some cause problems like bleeding and pain. If the cysts are larger than 5 cms in diameter then you may need surgery. There are two types of ovarian cysts: (1) Functional: These are normal part of the menstrual cycle and includes (a) Follicular cyst, which appears during ovulation, 2.5 cms in diameter. (b) Corpus lutem cyst: This appears after ovulation and is more than 3 cms in diameter. (c) Teal cysts. (2) Non-functional: These includes ovary with many cysts, seen in polycystic ovarian syndrome or cysts caused by endometrioses known as Chelate cysts or hemorrhagic ovarian cysts or dermoid cyst and others. Symptoms may or may not be present like abdominal pain, especially on intercourse, uterine bleeding, fullness, and heaviness, pressure, bloating on the abdomen. If it ruptures from the ovary, there will be sudden and sharp pain in the lower abdomen or change in frequency or inability to fully empty the bladder or difficulty with bowel movements or fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, weight gain. Either ultrasound or CT Scan will make diagnosis. Treatment depends on the size of the cyst and symptoms. Pain relievers like NSAID can relieve pain. Warming bath or heating pad or hot water bottle applied to the lower abdomen relaxes tense muscles and relieve cramping. Use of combined and contraceptive pills; limit the strenuous work or activity, which can reduce the risk of cyst rupture or tension. If the cyst persist beyond 2 or 3 menstrual cycles which usually occurs in post menopausal women may indicate the seriousness of the disease and should be investigated through ultrasonography and laparoscopy, where family members have had ovarian cancer and such cysts may require surgical biopsy and also you have to get a blood test before surgery to check for elevated CA-125, a tumor marker which is often found in increased levels in ovarian cancer, although there may be false positions. In more serious cases, where cysts are large and persisting, surgical removal of the cyst is done for one or both ovaries. Hence, it is better to get examined by the gynecologist, who can take a proper decision depending on the situation. Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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