Dialog Box

Signs & Symptoms

Ovarian cancer signs and symptoms can be vague, or can often be misdiagnosed as common female complaints—like bloating and abdominal cramps.

Both women and their doctors mistakenly attribute the symptoms to common female complaints, and delay taking further steps.

Ultimately, this results in many women being diagnosed when they are at the advanced stages of the disease, significantly reducing survival rates.

If you have one or two of the listed symptoms, you most likely do not have ovarian cancer. That said, a greater combination of symptoms, or symptoms which persist or are unusual for you, should be investigated by a medical professional.

Knowing what to look for, as well as when you should be consulting your GP, is currently the best approach for individuals concerned about ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is often misdiagnosed or not found

"Before my diagnosis, I was looking and feeling well with a few low grade symptoms that I had explained away with far nicer and less complicated diagnoses – a urinary tract infection (too much time in wet bathers on a recent holiday?), a sore lower back (too much stretching at yoga?), irregular periods (menopausal?)."
- Sarah Tidey, OCRF ambassador, Ovarian Cancer Patient

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Signs to look out for

  • Vague abdominal pain or pressure
  • Feeling of abdominal fullness, gas, nausea, indigestion—different to your normal sensations
  • Sudden abdominal swelling, weight gain or bloating
  • Persistent changes in bowel or bladder patterns
  • Low backache or cramps
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Unexplained weight loss

Due to the vagueness of ovarian cancer symptoms, an early detection test is desperately needed to improve the outcome of women diagnosed with this disease.


Early detection will save lives

Raising awareness around ovarian cancer and its symptoms won’t save lives. Early detection will. Find out more about our groundbreaking research to improve outcomes for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Why early detection? Our research achievements



You can fund an hour, a day, a week, or even a month of vital research into life-saving breakthroughs.


What is ovarian cancer? Diagnosing