What Does an Ovarian Cyst Look Like?

According to the Center for Menstrual Disorders and Reproductive Choice, ovarian cysts range in size from small to large and are similar in appearance to minuscule balloons. Functional ovarian cysts are considered a normal part of the ovulation process. The cysts develop on the ovaries during ovulation and typically rupture on their own. Pathological ovarian cysts are considered abnormal and usually require medical treatment.

WebMD explains that types of nonfunctional ovarian cysts include dermoid cysts, cystadenomas and endometriomas. Dermoid cysts often contain skin cells, hair and teeth. Cystadenomas develop on the external cells of the ovaries and typically contain fluid. Endometriomas are painful cysts that present on the uterine linings in women who suffer from endometriosis.

Mayo Clinic notes that ovarian cysts are common and many types of cysts do not cause painful symptoms. However, ruptured or large cysts can cause symptoms such as nausea, bloating, bladder distension, difficulty when urinating, swollen breasts, painful bowel movements and back pain. Mayo Clinic also explains that it is important for women to seek immediate medical attention if they experience abrupt symptoms such as intense pelvic pain, vomiting or fever, as well as symptoms of shock that include weakness, accelerated breathing and dizziness.