The four main symptoms of ovarian cancer

September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month

Gynae Cancer Awareness Month is from 1-30 September and is a chance to shine a spotlight on ovarian cancer as one of the five gynaecological cancers.

What is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month? 

Gynaecological Cancer Awareness month is recognised in September across the world and encourages everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the five gynaecological cancers. 

Whilst our focus at Target Ovarian Cancer is on ovarian cancer, we recognise the importance of improved symptoms awareness and the early diagnosis of all gynaecological cancers.  

What are gynaecological cancers? 

There are five gynae cancers you should be aware of, including ovarian cancer. They are: 

  • Ovarian 

  • Cervical 

  • Vaginal 

  • Vulva 

  • Womb 

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?  

Knowing the symptoms of ovarian cancer could save your life, or the life of someone you love.  

Symptoms of ovarian cancer 

  • Persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes) 

  • Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite 

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain (that's from your tummy to the top of your thighs) 

  • Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual) 

Main symptoms in English

Occasionally there can be other symptoms of ovarian cancer: 

  • Changes in bowel habit (e.g., diarrhoea or constipation) 

  • Extreme fatigue (feeling very tired) 

  • Unplanned weight loss 

  • Any unusual bleeding from the vagina before or after the menopause should always be investigated by a GP 

Symptoms will be: 

  • New – they're not normal for you   

  • Frequent – they usually happen more than 12 times a month 

  • Persistent – they don't go away 

Worried about your symptoms? 

If you regularly experience any one or more of these symptoms, which aren't normal for you, it's important that you contact your GP. It's unlikely that your symptoms are caused by a serious problem but it's important to get checked out, even if they're mild.  

More information on the symptoms of ovarian cancer

Why is raising awareness of ovarian cancer important?  

Raising awareness of ovarian cancer is vital in improving early diagnosis. Currently, just one in five women can name bloating as a symptom of ovarian cancer. We need to change that. 

You can share our messages online on your own social media channels, join us as a campaigner to make an impact within your community, order awareness materials to share in person, and many more.  

Find out more about the ways you can help raise awareness of ovarian cancer. 

Find out more

Where can I go to find more information about the other gynaecological cancers?  

 To find out more about cervical, vaginal, vulval and womb cancer you can visit:  


I want to do all I can to prevent others from feeling the same pain I’ve felt. I want to share mum’s story to raise more awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms in the hope that others may recognise them in themselves or others. Knowing the symptoms could hopefully give someone a higher chance of survival as maybe the disease could be caught sooner.



If you have any questions, concerns or would like to talk to a specialist nurse, you can call our dedicated support line on 020 7923 5475 or contact us: [email protected].  

We're open from 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday.