Will an Ovarian Cyst Cause Pain During Exercising?

Cysts are small fluid pockets that build on the surface of an ovary. Many women have ovarian cysts and never know it. They are quite common once ovulation begins. Cyst is a generalized term for this formation. Whether they are painful or not depends on many factors. If you experience pain while exercising, your doctor can examine you to determine the cause.

Pain during exercise may indicate an ovarian cyst. Credit: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Types of Cysts

Whether or not you have trouble with a cyst may depend on what causes it to appear. A follicle develops on the surface of the ovary prior to ovulation. When the follicle breaks open, the released egg moves down the fallopian tube to the uterus. A follicle that fails to break becomes a follicle cyst. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition caused by an imbalance of androgens, hormones that control egg development. Women with this problem have eggs that fail to mature and release. The eggs settle on the surface of the ovary and become cysts.

Symptoms of a Cyst

Most of the time, there may be no symptoms of a cyst. However, what some women write off as a difficult period may actually be a cyst. Abnormal bleeding, either heavy or light, pelvic cramps before and after your period, painful intercourse and pressure on the bladder or bowel can all be indicators. The bloating and discomfort prior to your period may mean a cyst has formed.

When Cysts Become Painful

Some movements can cause cysts to hurt, and it is possible that exercise may result in some pain. Any workout that puts pressure on the abdomen or requires excess hip movement has the potential to cause a cyst to become painful, such as situps or some yoga positions. If you are expecting to start your period in the coming week and feel pain during your workout, stop until after menstruation. Normal pain would be dull but steady. A sharp pain with vomiting or fever may indicate a bleeding cyst or twisted ovary. If you have severe pain or are running a fever, consult your doctor.


Polycystic ovary syndrome may require medication to regulate hormones. It is essential to be examined if you have painful, missed or irregular periods. Polycystic ovary syndrome can lead to infertility; if you are trying to get pregnant, the hormone imbalance may interfere with ovulation. Cysts are not always typical. Dermoid cysts, for example, can displace an ovary. Endometrioma cysts are a sign that a woman has endometriosis. If in doubt, an exam will rule out some of the less common problems that can causes cysts. If you feel uncomfortable, take the day off from exercising.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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