Ovarian Cysts Specialist

Embry Women’s Health is skilled in diagnosing and treating symptomatic ovarian cysts, helping women from throughout the Mesa, Arizona, area resolve symptoms and enjoy optimal health.


Ovarian Cysts Q & A

What is an ovarian cyst?

An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that is within or nearby the ovary. The cyst can be in or near the fallopian tube as well.

Ovarian cysts are quite common and most do not require surgical removal.

What are different types of ovarian cysts?

There are quite a few types.

The most common are called “functional” ovarian cysts. During every woman’s menstrual cycle, small “cysts” form within the ovaries. These small collections of fluid are called follicles and house maturing eggs. As the egg matures the cyst naturally enlarges. If the cyst does not rupture with ovulation (or release of the egg for potential fertilization) then it may persist for a time being, however, it rarely requires surgical intervention. Usually your physician will simply monitor your ovary with an ultrasound to ensure that the cyst resolves on its own.

Dermoid cysts are also common. These cysts are also quite common and interestingly may contain teeth, hair, bones, or any other structure in the human body! These typically do not go away and depending on their size will likely need to be removed.

Endometriosis can affect the ovaries and cause cysts known as endometriomas. These are also known as “chocolate cysts” as they are typically filled with bloody fluid. These also rarely resolve on their own, and if symptomatic may require surgical removal.

A severe pelvic infection can also result in ovarian cysts. These cysts are typically associated with pain and fever. They may resolve with antibiotics, and occasionally do require surgical removal.

Cancer may also cause ovarian cysts or masses, however is less likely depending on your age and certain risk factors. Your doctor will likely obtain special imaging and may draw blood tests to evaluate this likelihood.

How do I know if I have an ovarian cyst?

Common symptoms associated with ovarian cysts include pelvic pain, pressure, and sense of “fullness” or bloating. This pain may or may not be worse with movement or certain activities. If you are noticing a sense of pelvic pain, pressure or “full feeling” in the pelvic area, make an appointment to see one of our skilled physicians.

How will the doctor diagnose a cyst?

Your doctor will likely initially perform a pelvic exam and then a pelvic ultrasound to visualize the ovaries. If a cyst is present it should be seen with an in-office ultrasound.

Depending on the appearance of the cyst, your doctor may ask you to obtain additional imaging at a radiology office. Pelvic MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is often utilized for further evaluation of an ovarian cyst.

What if it needs to be removed? How will my doctor remove it?

Most ovarian cysts can be removed through minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Talk to your doctor to ensure that this is appropriate for you.

When can a cyst be an emergency?

Occasionally when a cyst becomes large (greater than 5 cm) it may move and twist in a way that it cuts off its own blood supply (ovarian torsion). When this happens, the ovary may begin to die. Patients typically feel severe pain, and may experience nausea and vomiting.

If you have an ovarian cyst and begin to feel very severe pain, nausea, vomiting, or fever then it is critical to be evaluated in the nearest emergency room. In the event that the ovary has moved in such a way that it has cut off its blood supply, your doctor will want to perform immediate surgery in order to remove the cyst and save the ovary.



Patient Image Ashley F

The ladies here at Embry Women’s Health really know how to treat people! I’ve been coming here since I moved to the area four years ago, and I am never disappointed. Nurse Lockwood and Dr. Embry always make time for their patients and make sure to get to the root of any problem you may have. They also have a gorgeous office with everything you could possibly need. The atmosphere is very cozy and calming and does not feel like a doctors office at all. My only suggestion to visitors is to book your appointments ASAP as they go quickly, and I get why! Sometimes when I have come here, I end up waiting a bit as they do tend to give that full attention and care to each patient, so it’s worth the wait. I just wish they could be my nurse/doctor for EVERYTHING 🙁

5 Stars – Yelp – 06/03/2018

Patient Image Jennifer W

I have never had such a positive experience at a healthcare facility, not that I’ve had particularly negative ones, but I was pleasantly surprised the time Barbara Lockwood, NP took with me. She is very easy to talk to and made me feel comfortable during my visit. I’m so glad I found this practice!

5 Stars – Yelp – 12/29/2017


This was my first visit at this office and it was so much better then a visit I’ve had at a different gynecologist. The ladies were genuinely friendly and helpful and all very knowledgeable. They make you feel comfortable and safe. It’s so hard to find a gynecologist that fits your needs and I’m very happy to say I found mine.

5 Stars – Yelp – 4/10/2018



Embry Women’s Health is committed to providing quality, affordable health care. We’re in-network with all major insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare. No insurance? No problem. We offer a simple fee schedule for those who wish to pay out-of-pocket. Click the button below for our complete list and more information:

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Words from our patients

JoEllen is AMAZING! Not only is she professional- she makes your whole experience comfortable. If you’re looking for a professional that never judges your situation and treats you very well- I would definitely recommend this office!

5 Stars – Yelp

Patient Image Yelp Layna HLayna H., Yelp

It is refreshing to meet a practitioner who sees the whole patient and not just a series of symptoms. JoEllen is willing to spend the time to ask questions and really listen to the responses. I have seen JoEllen several times and I have always appreciated how much time she spends with each appointment and her pragmatic approach with solutions.  I feel like my health drives the appointment and not the schedule. Finding JoEllen’s practice was like finding a needle in a haystack, a caring practitioner who encourages patients to listen to their bodies and to be their own best advocate.

5 Stars – 10/11/2018

Patient Image Kathy NKathy N., Yelp

Friendly staff. JoEllen is incredibly kind, patient and answers all of my questions whenever I see her. I don’t feel like I am being rushed when I am there, it is very nice.

5 Stars – 10/4/2018

Patient Image Ashley DAshley D., Yelp

I went in as a new patient just for an annual exam and Dr. Barbara Lockwood was so professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. She made sure to answer any and every question I had and she made sure I understood everything I needed to know. I have been to some offices in the past where you feel judged but she was so kind and made me feel so comfortable talking to her! I will be moving away soon but I might just have to make the drive back to see her next year!

5 Stars – 10/4/2018

Patient Image Shana EShana E., Yelp

“I started seeing Joellen earlier this year and I have had nothing but good experiences every time I have gone back. She is very down to earth and listens to any concerns. I would highly recommend Embry Womens Health.”

5 stars – 09/28/2018

Patient Image Jeannie DJeannie D., Yelp