Ovarian Cysts (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What is the prognosis for a female with ovarian cyst(s)?
The outlook for a woman with an ovarian cyst depends on the type and size of cyst, as well as her age. Noncancerous (benign) masses or cysts greatly outnumber cancerous (malignant) ones.
The development of a functional ovarian cyst depends on hormonal stimulation of the ovary. A woman is more likely to develop a cyst if she is still menstruating and her body is producing the hormone estrogen. Postmenopausal women have a lower risk for developing ovarian cysts as they no longer ovulate or produce significant amounts of ovarian hormones. For this reason, many doctors recommend removal or biopsy of ovarian cysts in postmenopausal women, particularly if the cysts are larger than 1-2 inches in diameter.
The size of the ovarian cyst relates directly to the rate at which they shrink. As a rule, functional cysts are 2 inches in diameter or smaller and usually have one fluid-filled area or bubble. The cyst wall is usually thin, and the inner side of the wall is smooth. An endovaginal ultrasound can reveal these features. Most cysts smaller than 2 inches in diameter are functional cysts. Surgery will likely be necessary to remove cysts larger than 4 inches.
REFERENCE: Helm, W., et al. "Ovarian Cysts." Medscape. Updated Feb 12, 2015.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2016
Wayne Blocker, MD
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