Most women will have an ovarian cyst at some point in their lives, though most will never know it. A majority of ovarian cysts are harmless (non-cancerous) and go away on their own. You often never experience any discomfort. However, you will have serious symptoms if the ovarian cyst ruptures.
For women under 50, ovarian cysts are almost never cancerous.
If you have an ovarian cyst, you probably won’t know it until after a routine pelvic exam. (On the other hand, if the cyst ruptures, then you will definitely know about it.)
For many women, ovulation comes and goes without any symptoms. Only those who are paying attention to changes in their cervical mucus, or charting their basal body temperature will notice that they’ve ovulated. Sometimes, women have physical ovulation symptoms – like ovulation pain (a symptom called Mittelschmerz in the medical community).
Ovulation pain is not a common sign of ovulation, but it’s not uncommon either. An estimated 20 percent of women in their reproductive years will experience painful ovulation. This means 1 in 5 women will experience Mittelschmerz around the time they ovulate.
Ovulation and periods go together. In a healthy woman, they go hand-in-hand. However, in some cases, you can still ovulate without having a period. This occurs in women who have irregular periods.
Technically speaking, you can still experience monthly bleeding without ovulating, but this bleeding is a result of an anovulatory cycle (which means you didn’t ovulate that month) and it’s not considered an actual menstrual period.
Confused? Let me explain. To answer this question, you have to understand how ovulation and menstrual periods work together.
Learn the common ovulation symptoms and signs of ovulation in this article, including how ovulation works and how it relates to your period.
Ovulation symptoms are often subtle. You have to be paying attention to your body’s signs and signals in order to tell that you’ve ovulated. Learning when you have ovulated – or are approaching the most fertile time of the month – is vital for women trying to conceive. You can dramatically increase your chance of pregnancy if you have unprotected sex during the week that you ovulate. Similarly, if you practice natural birth control, you obviously will want to avoid having any sexual intercourse during this week.
Getting pregnant, and having a menstrual period is tied to ovulation. You won’t have a normal period if you didn’t ovulate this month. (Some women do experience anovulatory bleeding, also called dysfunctional uterine bleeding. This bleeding can be mistaken for a period, but it’s not a period. It only occurs when ovulation does not take place.) There’s also no possible way for you to become pregnant unless you ovulate.