What is an enlarged ovary?

An enlarged ovary is an ovary that has expanded past its normal size. The cause of this enlargement is often cyst formation. Other causes include endometriosis, benign tumors and, rarely, ovarian cancer.

OB/GYN Problems Spotlight

Many types of cysts can grow within the ovary, such as those called functional cysts that form during menstruation. Another type of cyst is caused by endometrial tissue growing within or on the ovary, as seen with endometriosis. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition in which multiple cysts can develop within a single ovary or both ovaries. Both ovarian cancer and metastatic cancer are rare causes of enlarged ovary.

Depending on the cause, an enlarged ovary may occur in one or both ovaries, and it may be accompanied by symptoms in other parts of the body, such as abdominal pain, fever, or unintentional changes in body weight.

Some women with an enlarged ovary have no symptoms at all, while others may have abdominal pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, difficulty urinating, or pain during sexual intercourse. In some cases, an enlarged ovary may grow large enough to put pressure on the bladder, making it difficult to expel urine.

Enlarged ovary is rarely a serious condition; however, seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, including severe abdominal pain or high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit).

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for an enlarged ovary but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with an enlarged ovary?

Enlarged ovary may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the ovaries may also involve other body systems. In some cases, an enlarged ovary may not produce any symptoms.

Pelvic symptoms that may occur along with an enlarged ovary

Pelvic symptoms may accompany enlarged ovary includi... Read more about enlarged ovarysymptoms

CAUSES

What causes an enlarged ovary?

An enlarged ovary may be caused by one of many types of ovarian cysts, including those that can form with polycystic ovarian syndrome. No matter the type, the cysts can grow, increasing the size of the affected ovary or of both affected ovaries. Often ovarian cysts remain dormant and do not cause symptoms. However, in some cases, the enlarged ovary may twist or become dysfunctional. Ovaria... Read more about enlarged ovarycauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 16, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.