If you're gaining weight or having trouble buttoning your pants, and experiencing pelvic pain around the time of ovulation or during intercourse, schedule a checkup with your doctor. "Unusual bloating or abdominal distention that doesn't go away can be caused by an ovarian cyst, or in very rare cases, cancer," explains Donnica Moore, M.D., editor-in-chief of Women's Health for Life. Some cysts may be a side effect of taking fertility drugs like Clomid. Doctors can usually diagnose a cyst with a pelvic exam, but you may need further testing (an ultrasound, pregnancy test, MRI, CT scan, or laparoscopic removal) to determine what type you have. Ovarian cancer is rare in women under 40, but a suspicious mass would be investigated via biopsy and a blood test.
The Treatment Although a cyst can dissolve on its own, your doctor may prescribe birth-control pills to help shrink it. Those that are large, ruptured, or malignant may require surgery, which can involve removing the ovary or even having a hysterectomy. You may need other treatment if PCOS turns out to be the cause of multiple cysts.