Is a distended stomach or swollen tummy one of the symptoms of ovarian cysts? If it is, how does a cystic growth in the ovaries cause a tummy to swell? And are there any known cases where a woman has had her stomach affected because of having a cyst in her ovaries?
The simple answers is: yes, a distended/swollen abdomen is a symptom of ovarian cysts.
How common is it as an ovarian cyst symptom
It is a pretty common symptom. Almost all of the leading medical websites lists it as a symptom of ovarian cysts and in most cases it is usually listed in the same line as bloating of the abdomen – swelling is usually a sign of bloating on overdrive.
Women’s Health.gov lists it among the common signs of cysts in ovaries, so does John Hopkins Medicine, and so does the US National Library of Medicine.
Why ovarian cysts cause a swollen abdomen
There are two possible causes of an ovarian-cyst-induced abdominal swelling.
The first has to do with the physical space that a cyst occupies, especially when it becomes a large cyst. Remember that it is an unwanted growth in the body that your body never planned for. Its mere existence in your reproductive system is therefore likely to cause things to look out of shape/place. Your abdomen is not immune to this.
The second reason has to do with the effect that the presence of a cyst has on the stomach itself.
According to WebMd, one of the main causes of bloating, read swelling of the abdomen, is physical obstructions that make it hard for food to move along the digestive tract. While most ovarian cysts rarely become large cysts, some of them do. This can sometimes cause them to push against organs of the digestive system. Bloating may be one of the effects of this.
Take the case of the woman with the 90 pound ovarian cyst. Her cyst was so large that it literally squished the contents of her stomach – that is a direct quote from one of her doctors if you were wondering. This is something that is bound to have an effect on the effectiveness of anyone’s digestive system.
Of course, the 90 pound large cyst case is an extreme example. But it gives you a sense of how having an ovarian cyst can sometimes mess with your digestion. How it can end up causing a distended abdomen.
Other causes of bloating / swollen/distended abdomen
Bloating of the abdomen is a common symptom of ovarian cysts. But this does not mean that ovarian cysts are the only causes of a distended abdomen. It is a symptom of many conditions/diseases, ovarian cysts just happens to be one of them.