Hailey Bieber has cyst 'size of an apple' on her ovary: Signs and symptoms of ovarian cysts

Watch: Hailey Bieber shuts down pregnancy rumours as she reveals large ovarian cyst

Hailey Bieber has opened up about having an ovarian cyst "the size of an apple" on her ovary, which has forced her to explain she is not pregnant.

The model, 26, who’s married to singer Justin Bieber, revealed all about her recent health battle to her fans on Instagram.

Sharing a photo to her stories of her lifting up her jumper to show her slightly bloated stomach she explained she had a "cyst on my ovary the size of an apple".

"I don’t have endometriosis or PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) but I have gotten an ovarian cyst a few times and it’s never fun. Not a baby.

"It’s painful and achey and makes me feel nauseous and bloated and crampy and emotional. Anyways… I’m sure a lot of you can overly relate and understand. We got this."

Picture of Hailey Bieber at an event in November 2022, before revealing she has an ovarian cyst. (Getty Images)
Hailey Bieber has revealed she is suffering from an ovarian cyst. (Getty Images)

It isn't the first time a health scare has forced Bieber to deny pregnancy rumours, having also spoken out after a "scary" hospital visit in March this year.

The model revealed she was hospitalised with “stroke-like symptoms” due to a “small blood clot” in her brain, describing the experience as “one of the scariest moments” of her life.

“On Thursday morning, I was sitting at breakfast with my husband when I started having stroke-like symptoms and was taken to the hospital," she wrote on Instagram.

"They found I had suffered a very small blood clot to my brain, which caused a small lack of oxygen, but my body had passed it on its own and I recovered completely within a few hours.

"Although this was definitely one of the scariest moments I’ve ever been through, I’m home now and doing well, and I’m so grateful and thankful to all the amazing doctors and nurses who took care of me!"

While Bieber's actual diagnosis was unclear, she says she experienced stroke-like symptoms after suffering a small blood clot to the brain which her body passed by itself.

What are ovarian cysts?

The NHS describes ovarian cysts as fluid-filled sacs that develops on the ovary. They're very common and in many cases do not cause any symptoms.

"An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac found in the ovary," explains Dr Deborah Lee, from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy. "They are benign, incredibly common, most do not cause any symptoms, and they may disappear by themselves without needing treatment.

"However, if a large cyst ruptures, this is a gynaecological emergency and requires emergency surgery," she adds.

Stock picture of Hailey Bieber arriving at an event earlier this year. (Getty Images)
Hailey Bieber has had a number of health scares this year. (Getty Images)

According to the NHS there are two main types of ovarian cyst:

  • Functional ovarian cysts (also known as 'follicular cysts') – The most common type, these are cysts that develop as part of the menstrual cycle and are usually harmless and short-lived.

  • Pathological ovarian cysts – These are cysts that form as a result of abnormal cell growth; these are much less common.

Ovarian cysts can sometimes also be caused by an underlying condition, such as endometriosis.

Symptoms of ovarian cysts

  • Pelvic pain – anything from a dull ache in the pelvic region to sharp stabbing pains

  • Painful sex – especially with deep penetration

  • Frequently needing to pee – due to pressure on the bladder

  • Constipation – difficulty opening your bowels due to the cyst exerting pressure on the rectum

  • A change in your menstrual cycle – lighter, heavier or irregular periods

  • Bloating and/or abdominal distension – your tummy may feel and look bloated and/or distended

  • Feeling full quickly after meals – as the cyst is taking up space in the abdomen

  • Fertility problems – although most ovarian cysts do not affect fertility, ovarian cysts due to endometriosis or as part of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are linked to infertility.

How are they diagnosed?

Dr Lee says ovarian cysts are diagnosed by pelvic ultrasound, or sometimes by CT or MRI scans.

Image of Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber arriving at the Grammy awards in April 2023. (Getty Images)
Hailey Bieber's latest health scare has forced her to deny pregnancy rumours, pictured with her husband Justin Bieber. (Getty Images)

Treatments for ovarian cysts

While most ovarian cysts occur naturally and go away in a few months without needing any treatment, the NHS says there are some treatments, which will depend on:

  • the size and appearance of the cyst

  • whether you have any symptoms

  • whether you have been through the menopause

Surgical treatment to remove the cysts may be needed if they're large, causing symptoms or potentially cancerous.

"Simple cysts less than 5cm in diameter are left alone and do not need follow-up," Dr Lee adds. "Cysts which are larger than this, or have any suspicious features, are usually followed up with repeat scans.

"If a cyst needs removal this may be done by laparoscopy (keyhole surgery), or if necessary, by laparotomy."

Risk factors for ovarian cysts

According to Mr Narendra Pisal, consultant gynaecologist at London Gynaecology, it isn't exactly known why but some women appear to have a tendency to develop recurrent ovarian cysts, often simple or functional cysts.

"It may not be always possible to prevent these ovarian cysts but going on the contraceptive pill can help by preventing development of an ovarian follicle and cysts," he explains.

"We know that some genetic conditions such as the presence of BRCA1&2 and family history can increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

"Screening with ultrasound scan can help with early detection in these women with increased risk."