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Ovarian Abscess


An ovarian abscess is a pus-filled pocket in an ovary. An ovarian abscess is usually caused by bacteria that travel from another part of your body. The bacteria can also travel up your vagina and move into your uterus through your cervix. Bacteria infect the ovary or part of the fallopian tube next to the ovary. An abscess that starts in a fallopian tube and spreads to the ovary is called a tuboovarian abscess (TOA). Less commonly, the abscess can start in the ovary and not involve the fallopian tube.

Female Reproductive System


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  • Antibiotics help fight infection caused by bacteria. Your healthcare provider may have you start this medicine before your test results are back to help prevent worsening of your symptoms. You will get this medicine through your IV.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for more medicine.


  • Blood and urine tests may be used to check for infection.
  • Ultrasound or CT pictures may be used to check how well treatment is working. You may be given contrast liquid before a CT scan to help the abscess show up better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.
  • A culture or smear test is used to take a sample of discharge from your vagina or cervix to be tested.


  • Drainage is a procedure used to drain the abscess.
  • Surgery may be needed to remove the abscess if other treatments do not work. Surgery may also be used to remove all or part of your ovary. Surgery is necessary if the abscess ruptures.


Left untreated, an ovarian abscess can cause chronic pain. You may have trouble getting pregnant. Your risk for ectopic (tubal) pregnancy is also increased. The abscess may rupture and need immediate medical treatment. A ruptured ovarian abscess is life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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