Cysts are sacs filled with fluid or semi-solid tissue that can develop in almost any part of the body. The ovaries, however are a particularly common location for the development of cysts in women. Most ovarian cysts are benign.
Ovarian cysts (OC) are very common in women of childbearing age and are even found in children and newborns. Cysts that occur in postmenopausal women have a higher risk of malignancy and are usually evaluated and treated aggressively.
OC often do not cause any symptoms. Symptoms may be caused by: a cyst bleeding or breaking open (rupture) and spilling contents that irritate the abdominal tissues; a twisting (torsion) cyst that blocks blood flow to the ovary; or a cyst that is very large.
Treatment decisions are based on the woman's age, the size of the cyst, and the ultrasound appearance, which usually provides adequate information to determine which cysts are appropriate for observation and which necessitate surgical removal.
Most cysts, especially smaller ones, resolve spontaneously over the course of 2-3 months and require no intervention. Cysts that are 8 centimeters and larger are generally removed surgically.
The Medifocus Guide on Ovarian Cysts provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of ovarian cysts?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing ovarian cysts?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of ovarian cysts?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of ovarian cysts?
What treatment options are available for the management of ovarian cysts?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in ovarian cysts?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for ovarian cysts?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about ovarian cysts?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Cystic pelvic pathology presenting as falsely elevated post-void residual urine measured by portable ultrasound bladder scanning: report of 3 cases and review of the literature. Urology (Online). 2000
Can GnRH agonists act directly on the ovary and contribute to cyst formation?. Human Reproduction. 2000
Ovarian disorders. Benign cysts. Harvard Womens Health Watch. 1999
Ovarian masses. Adolescent Medicine. 1999
Fetal ovarian cysts: prenatal diagnosis and management. Report of two cases and review of literature. Clinical & Experimental Obstetrics & Gynecology. 1998
Oral contraceptive use and benign gynecologic conditions. A review. Contraception. 1998
Ovarian cysts in the pediatric population. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery. 1998
Office management of ovarian cysts. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 1997
Neonatal ovarian cysts: pathogenesis, diagnosis and management. Pediatric Radiology. 1997
"Daughter cyst" sign: a sonographic finding of ovarian cyst in neonates, infants, and young children. AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2000
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