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Ovarian Cysts (cont.)

What about ovarian cysts diagnosed during pregnancy?

Sometimes, ultrasound evaluations of the fetus during pregnancy reveal an ovarian cyst. In most cases, these have been found to be non-cancerous, simple cysts that are small in size (less than 2 inches or 5 cm in diameter). Ovarian cysts during pregnancy are usually functional ovarian cysts as described previously. Most of these ovarian cysts that are detected in the first trimester spontaneously resolve by the early part of the second trimester. The corpus luteum that develops in the ovary to sustain a normal early pregnancy may persist as a corpus luteum cyst later in the pregnancy.

Larger cysts in pregnant women are often dermoid cysts. Ovarian cancers are a very rare cause of large ovarian cysts in pregnancy.

What causes ovarian cysts?

The following are risk factors for developing ovarian cysts:

  • History of previous ovarian cysts
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Obesity
  • Early menstruation (11 years or younger)
  • Infertility
  • Infertility treatment with gonadotropin medications
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Tamoxifen (Soltamox) therapy for breast cancer

Oral contraceptive/birth control pill usage decreases the risk of developing ovarian cysts, because they prevent ovulation.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2016
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Ovarian Cysts »

An ovarian cyst is a sac filled with liquid or semi-liquid material arising in an ovary.

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