Ovarian Cysts (cont.)
Ovarian Cysts Prognosis
The outlook for a woman with an ovarian cyst depends on the type and size of cyst as well as her age. Benign (noncancerous) masses or cysts greatly outnumber malignant (cancerous) ones.
- Age: 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 since they are no longer having menstrual periods.
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
- Cyst size: 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 is recommended to remove any cyst larger than 4 inches in diameter.
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