1. Pelvic or Abdominal Pain
The growth of a tumor in an ovary causes pelvic or abdominal pain. The tumor exerts pressure on and around the surrounding areas, leading to intense pain. In cases of ovarian cancer, the pain persists for weeks.
If you are 50 years of age or older and experience pain in the lower abdomen and pelvic area, consult a doctor for a pelvic exam.
Younger women should also see a doctor when experiencing pelvic pain outside of a monthly menstrual cycle. It may be a sign of a benign ovarian cyst. Ovarian cancer is rare during a woman's childbearing years.
2. Uncomfortable or Painful Intercourse
Painful intercourse, medically known as dyspareunia, is another early indication of ovarian cancer. The presence of a tumor in or around the area surrounding an ovary can make intercourse extremely painful. There may even be mild vaginal bleeding after the intercourse.
Usually, this kind of discomfort is new for a woman.
Women who are postmenopausal and experience painful intercourse must get checked by a doctor. Apart from ovarian cancer, it may indicate cervical cancer or an infection or sexually transmitted disease (STD).
3. Abdominal Bloating or Swelling
General discomfort in the lower abdomen may also indicate that something is wrong with your ovaries. Symptoms like bloating, expansion of your belly, gas, indigestion, heartburn and nausea are common.
In a 2008 study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, most of the women suffering from ovarian cancer complained about persistent abdominal distension and fluctuating distension or discomfort, which they frequently called bloating.
If you are 50 years of age or older, your clothes suddenly start feeling tighter around your waist and hips and it lasts for more than a couple of weeks, you need to see a doctor.
4. Frequent or Urgent Need to Urinate
Sudden changes in urinary habits can also be a symptom of ovarian cancer. There may be changes in the frequency of urination, loss of bladder control (incontinence) or spotting blood with urine.
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