Q. Having pain in left ovary, and it increases during exercise. Is it ovarian cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Joshi Shalaka Kishor
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 14, 2018 and last reviewed on: Aug 29, 2022

Hi doctor,

I am a 33 years old female, and I have had three c-sections and normal regular periods. My menstrual cycle three months back was short and lighter, and I ovulated about a week early. I noticed some pain, which almost reminded me of implantation pain. This continued on and off with pain and twinges. I thought maybe I was in early stages of pregnancy. Then I started having pelvic pain and lower left ovary area pain, which continued throughout the week. When I would push to have a bowel movement it hurts. I really thought I was pregnant. The fullness and achiness reminded me of early pregnancy. My most recent period was three days late. I went in and saw my OB yesterday. He did an exam and a transvaginal ultrasound, and he said everything looked fine. He tried to recreate the pain by touching some spots. Ever since then, my ovary pain on the left has been through the roof. What is going on? I am terrified I have ovarian cancer. Would he have been able to tell yesterday? What else could be going on? It hurts right around the ovary area and in the groin crease area.



Welcome to

After undergoing three cesarean sections, it is quite possible to haveintra-abdominal adhesions. Which may give rise to intermittent pain associated with the bowel movements. The pain that you experienced could be mid cycle ovulation pain.As you have undergone transvaginal ultrasound and examination by a gynecologist, and you have been told that everything is fine, that means nothing to worry.

Whatever pain you are experiencing now after pelvic examination does not mean you have ovarian cancer. This pain could be just coincidentally happening or may be due to intraperitoneal adhesions as I mentioned earlier. In my opinion, it will go away with painkillers like tablet Dicyclomine 20 mg and Paracetamol 500 mg, thrice a day for three days.

Hope your bowel habits are regular and you do not have a problem of sticky stools. As there are multiple organs inside an abdomen, other causes of such pain should be ruled out.

Hope this advice helps you. Take care and get back to me in need.

Thank you doctor,

My bowel habits are normal and regular. What else would be causing the pain?



Welcome back to

The differential diagnosis would be as follows:

1) Pelvic inflammatory disease.

2) Colitis.

3) Appendicitis.

4) Sprain.

Try taking painkillers, if there is no relief, then you might consider taking an antibiotics course.

Thank you doctor,

If I had ovarian cancer, would the doctor have been able to tell from the exam and ultrasound? Also, why does it hurt so much during and after exercise? Also, after he examined me it has really flared up and caused pain.



Welcome back to

From the examination and sonography, your gynecologist would have been able to tell you whether you have any ovarian mass. Cancerous or non-cancerous mass cannot be just predicted from examination and ultrasound. Further blood tests like CA (cancer antigen) 125 and CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis is required to complement the suspicion of cancer. In your case, your gynecologist did not find any ovarian mass or swelling. So, he did not ask for any of these tests. Thus ovarian cancer is unlikely. For your knowledge, ovarian cancer does not give rise to pain. In fact, ovarian cancer causes ovaries to swell up with mass and goes unnoticed till the third stage unless it causes nausea and loss of appetite.

From my clinical acumen, previous surgeries that are cesarean sections might be responsible for intraabdominal adhesions. Which after exercise, stretching of the abdomen or even after pelvic examination got little disturbed and started giving pain. So, I had asked you to take painkillers. Also, try to avoid strenuous activity and exercise at least till pain settles. If painkiller does not help, then please do visit a gynecologist for further evaluation of pain.

Take care.

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