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Ovarian cancer - Symptoms - Ovarian cancer

The symptoms of ovarian cancer can be difficult to recognise, particularly early on.

They're often the same as symptoms of less serious conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome).

Main symptoms

The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • feeling constantly bloated
  • a swollen tummy
  • discomfort in your tummy or pelvic area
  • feeling full quickly when eating, or loss of appetite
  • needing to pee more often or more urgently than usual

Other symptoms

Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:

  • persistent indigestion or feeling sick
  • pain during sex
  • a change in your bowel habits, such as being constipated
  • back pain
  • feeling tired all the time
  • unintentional weight loss

When to see a GP

Non-urgent advice: Talk to your GP if:

  • you have been feeling bloated, particularly more than 12 times a month
  • you have other symptoms of ovarian cancer that will not go away - especially if you're over 50 or have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer

It's unlikely you have cancer, but it's best to check. Your GP can do some simple tests for ovarian cancer to see if you have it.

If you have already seen your GP and your symptoms continue or get worse, go back to them and explain this.

Page last reviewed: 12 January 2022
Next review due: 12 January 2025