Hailey Bieber Has an Ovarian Cyst — What to Know About the Common Issue

The model and entrepreneur has a cyst "the size of an apple," she wrote in a social media post.

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Getty Images

Hailey Bieber is opening up about her health once again. This time, the model revealed that she has an ovarian cyst in a recent post on her Instagram Stories.

Bieber shared a photo of herself pulling up her shirt with text reading "not a baby" near her stomach, reports People. "I have a cyst on my ovary the size of an apple," she wrote in another text box on the photo.

Ovarian cysts may occur in those who have endometriosis, a painful condition in which the tissue that typically lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus or polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal issue that can cause irregular periods, according to Mayo Clinic. However, Bieber does not suffer from either of those conditions — though she has experienced ovarian cysts a few times, she indicated in her recent social post. "It's never fun," the model wrote.

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Ovarian cysts often cause no symptoms and resolve on their own, according to Mayo Clinic. But for Bieber, ovarian cysts cause some physical and emotional symptoms, she shared. "It's painful and [achy] and makes me feel nauseous and bloated and crappy and emotional," she wrote.

Although Bieber explained her symptoms, you might be wondering what exactly are ovarian cysts?

"Ovarian cysts are sacs or pouches in the ovary," says ob-gyn and reproductive endocrinologist Tia Jackson-Bey, M.D., M.P.H. at RMA of New York. "Most are simply filled with fluid and come and go during the course of a monthly menstrual cycle. These functional cysts are actually follicles, where the egg that will be ovulated grows, until it is released from the ovary during ovulation," she explains. "After ovulation, this same cyst space transitions to a corpus luteum, a cyst that produces progesterone in preparation of early pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, the cyst stops growing [and] disappears, which causes a decrease in progesterone and shedding the lining of the uterus, or menstruation."

Large cysts (like Bieber's) can cause pelvic pain, bloating, and a feeling of fullness or heaviness in the abdomen, according to Mayo Clinic. In some cases, ovarian cysts may twist or rupture, which may cause severe pain and bleeding, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Anyone who experiences severe abdominal pain or uncontrolled bleeding should seek immediate medical attention.

Ovarian cysts are common, but often go undetected unless incidentally seen on a pelvic ultrasound or CT scan, according to Dr. Jackson-Bey. Warning signs of an ovarian cyst can be vague, she explains. They may include cramping around the time of ovulation, urinary frequency/urgency, and discomfort during intercourse. You can discuss these symptoms with a gynecologist, who can point patients towards pelvic ultrasounds if they suspect cysts may be causing these issues.

In Bieber's case, her cyst is likely a functional corpus luteum and should resolve with mensus, according to Dr. Jackson-Bey. "Even though these are typically not harmful, large functional cysts can be quite uncomfortable, particularly if there is bleeding from the ovary at the time of ovulation (hemorrhagic cyst) or if the cyst caused the ovary to twist (ovarian torsion), which can limit blood flow to the ovary," she says. "The average size of a corpus luteum is two to four centimeters (size of peanut to a walnut) but in rare cases can be as large as eight to 10 centimeters (orange or grapefruit)."

This isn't the first time Bieber has been candid about health issues she's faced. Earlier this year, she opened up about experiencing a "mini stroke" as a result of a blood clot that moved to her brain.

It seems like she's continuing to find it helpful to share her stories with others. "I'm sure a lot of you can overly relate and understand," she wrote in her recent post about ovarian cysts. "We got this."