Can Ovarian Cysts Cause Lower Back Pain?

Many different physical ailments can cause lower back pain, mostly due to the proximity of the pained area to the back. Cysts can cause back pain depended where they are located on the body, which is why so many women want to know if ovarian cysts cause lower back pain.

Understanding Ovarian Cysts

A basic cyst is a sac filled with fluid. Cysts can form anywhere on the human body. There are several different types of cysts that can form on the ovaries, but the most common is the functional ovarian cysts. This type of cyst develops during the menstrual period, when a woman’s ovaries are full of miniature cysts that hold the eggs released during the period.

These cysts break open to release those eggs to enable them to travel to the fallopian tubes. When that happens the little sac dissolves, but when an ovarian cysts appears that sac fails to break open to release the egg. The unopened fluid-filled sac continues to grow which can be uncomfortable and painful.

Another type of ovarian cyst forms if the sac fails to dissolve after releasing the egg, instead it becomes sealed and fluid begins to build up causing the cyst to grow larger.

Both types of ovarian cysts can grow uncomfortably large and often bleed or seep discharge. The pain generally lasts as short as a few weeks or as long as several months. 

Lower Back Pain & Ovarian Cysts

When an ovarian cyst gets larger it can cause back pain. The reason is that the growing cyst is putting pressure on muscles and organs located in the midsection of the body. The larger the cyst grows, the more pronounced the pain will be in the back as well as the bladder and kidneys.

Some ovarian cysts can grow up to four inches, while others can be smaller or larger. This severity of the back pain will depend upon the size of the cyst as well as the type of ovarian cyst you have. There are several options to treat lower back pain caused by ovarian cysts.

Treat Back Pain Caused By Ovarian Cysts

Before you can begin any type of lower back pain rehab caused by enlarged ovarian cysts, you will first need to get an official diagnosis. This can be difficult to ascertain because the symptoms of cysts often coincide with menstrual symptoms. However if the pain persists between menstrual cycles you will need at least one gynecological exam . Often your physician will require at least two exams along with an ultrasound to monitor the growth of the cyst to determine the best course of treatment.

If the ovarian cyst has become enlarged, uncomfortable and painful, your doctor will want to remove it. Thanks to technology, there are two main types of surgery doctors rely on to remove ovarian cysts; laparotomy or laparoscopy. These surgeries are minimally invasive with fairly quick recovery times.


A laparotomy is a type of surgery required to remove larger cysts that may be dangerous. A small incision is made within the abdomen that allows the surgeon access to the ovaries so that the cysts may be removed.


Laparoscopic surgery is used when the ovarian cysts are small and unlikely to be dangerous or cancerous. The abdominal incisions in this surgery are much smaller than in a laparotomy—usually less than a centimeter long—and relies on the use of a camera so the surgeon can see the ovaries on a large monitor in the operating room.

Both surgeries will remove the ovarian cysts and relieve the associated lower back pain. Oral contraceptives may also be prescribed to interrupt ovulation, which decreases the likelihood of more cysts forming on your ovaries and reduce back pain due to the cysts. 

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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