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What Are the Treatments for Cystic Ovaries?

What Are the Treatments for Cystic Ovaries? What Are the Treatments for Cystic Ovaries?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs on or within the surface of an ovary. Many women will have ovarian cysts at some point in their lives. Ovarian cysts often present with no discomfort and are generally harmless. The majority of ovarian cysts disappear on their own without treatment. Some cysts may produce discomfort and interfere with a woman's daily routine. In rare cases, cysts signal a more serious problem such as ovarian cancer.

Watchful Waiting

Watchful waiting involves a physician opting not to rush to treatment. In many cases, physicians will opt to wait on treatment and reexamine a patient in one to three months if an ultrasound shows a simple fluid filled cyst. The cysts often disappear without treatment saving the patient from unnecessary often invasive procedures. Physicians often recommend scheduled follow-up pelvic ultrasounds periodically to see if the cyst has changed.

Birth Control Pills

If a woman keeps forming cysts that interfere with her comfort or reproduction, a physician may prescribe birth control pills to halt ovulation, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. A lack of ovulation reduces the risk of forming new cysts. The says oral contraceptives may also significantly reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.


In some cases, if the tumor is large, continues to grow persistently through a few menstrual cycles or causes a woman pain, physicians may opt to remove the cyst surgically. In some cases, surgeons may be able to remove the cyst while leaving the ovary intact. If physicians must remove the ovary, they often attempt to take only the ovary that had the cyst while leaving the other to function normally. This may allow a woman to maintain the ability to conceive during childbearing years. One intact ovary also allows the added benefit of maintaining a woman's source of the hormone estrogen.

In the event of a cancerous cyst, a physician will advise a procedure known as a hysterectomy, which involves the removal of both ovaries and the uterus. Postmenopausal women have a greater risk of ovarian cysts being cancerous. Most commonly, physicians recommend surgery when a cystic ovarian mass develops after menopause.

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