An ovarian cyst is a sac or pouch filled with fluid or other tissue that forms on your ovary. They are quite common in women during their childbearing years. Most ovarian cysts are harmless and will disappear on their own. In some rare cases, unfortunately, they are cancerous.
An ultrasound can be helpful to identify cysts that may be concerning for cancer. We may get serial ultrasounds to see if cysts are improving or worsening.
Ovarian cysts are small and don’t cause symptoms. However, some cysts may cause a dull or sharp ache in the abdomen and pain during certain activities. Larger cysts may cause twisting of the ovary that results in pain.
Birth control pills may be prescribed to treat some types of ovarian cysts. This treatment will not eliminate cysts you already have. But it will prevent new cysts from forming. If your cyst is large or causing symptoms, you may need to be referred for surgery.
CA 125: A substance in the blood that may increase in the presence of some cancerous tumors.
Cystectomy: Surgical removal of a cyst.
Laparoscopy: A surgical procedure in which a slender, light-transmitting instrument, the laparoscope, is used to view the pelvic organs or perform surgery.
Malignant: A term used to describe cells or tumors that are able to invade tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
Menopause: The process in a woman’s life when ovaries stop functioning and menstruation stops.
Ovaries: Two glands, located on either side of the uterus, that contain the eggs released at ovulation and that produce hormones.