Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form in or around your ovaries. They’re actually very common and most often form naturally around the time of ovulation. Most simple ovarian cysts go away without treatment.
While many ovarian cysts don’t cause symptoms, women with larger cysts may experience symptoms like abdominal pain. In some cases, pain can also occur in the lower back.
Keep reading to learn more about ovarian cysts and lower back pain, what causes cysts to form, and how they can be treated.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cyst back pain?
Pain from an ovarian cyst is most often felt in the lower abdomen. While it can vary by individual, this pain typically:
- feels dull
- is mild in intensity
- may come and go
Some women may experience lower back pain from an ovarian cyst. In a 2019 analysis of MRI images from people with lower back pain, 40 out of 90 women (44.5 percent) were found to have an ovarian cyst or mass.
Lower back pain from an ovarian cyst often feels dull and achy. Sometimes, a cyst can burst (rupture). When this happens, you may feel a sharper, more severe pain.
If you have unexplained lower back pain, other symptoms that may indicate that it could be caused by an ovarian cyst include:
- a feeling of fullness or pressure in your pelvic area
- bloating or swelling in the lower abdomen
- painful or irregular periods
- spotting between periods
- pain during sex or while urinating
- feeling like you need to urinate more often
What are the causes of ovarian cyst back pain?
There are actually several different types of ovarian cysts, including:
- Functional cysts. The most commonTrusted Source type of ovarian cyst, including follicular and corpus luteum cysts, that happen when the follicle or corpus luteum don’t follow their usual pattern during your menstrual cycle. They often disappear on their own.
- Dermoid cysts (teratomas). Dermoid cysts are actually slow-growing tumors that are most often benign (non-cancerous). They contain tissues from other parts of the body, such as skin and hair, and are often present from birth.
- Cystadenomas. Cystadenomas are also benign tumors that contain a watery or mucus-like fluid. They may look similar to functional cysts, but cystadenomas continue to grow over time and can become very large.
- Endometriomas (chocolate cysts). Endometriomas are blood-filled cysts that form due to endometriosis, a condition where the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus. When the ovaries are impacted by endometriosis, endometriomas can form in them.
Ovarian cysts are more likely to cause lower back pain when they grow to a larger size. When this happens, they can begin to press on the organs and tissues of your abdomen, leading to pain or discomfort in your back.
Large cysts are rare. Most ovarian cysts will go away after a few menstrual cycles and are only about 1 to 3 centimetersTrusted Source in diameter — about the size of 1 inch or smaller. In very rare cases, a cyst may grow to be 15 to 30 centimeters in diameter (about 6 to 12 inches).