Ovarian Cysts

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Many women have ovarian cysts and do not even know it because ovarian cysts don’t always cause symptoms. But very large or ruptured (burst) cysts can cause serious problems. If you have sudden, sharp pain in your pelvis, talk to your gynecologist.

As the only full-service obstetrics and gynecology program in western Massachusetts, Baystate Health provides personalized, high-quality treatment for women of all ages. You can rely on our team of experts for your routine gynecological exams as well as any unexpected concerns.

What Are Ovarian Cysts?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on or inside your ovaries. All women with ovaries make a cyst each month during their reproductive years.

When these cysts are small and related to releasing of the egg each month, they go away on their own. Sometimes these cysts or other growths in the ovary can enlarge and cause symptoms.

Some cysts can grow very large and rupture or burst or twist, which can be painful. Most ovarian cysts are benign (not cancerous) but if you have a large or painful cyst you should talk to your gynecologist.

Sometimes what looks like a cyst on ultrasound is actually another type of growth or tumor.

How long does it take for an ovarian cyst to go away?

Cysts usually goes away each month when a woman gets her period. Most ovarian cysts do not cause symptoms.

What is the treatment for ovarian cysts?

Many cysts go away without treatment. Cysts can be connected to ovulation (when a mature egg is released from your ovary). Ovarian cysts that are not related to ovulation may be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or an infection.

Your doctor may notice a cyst during a regular pelvic exam. Depending on its size and location, you may need a pelvic ultrasound, pregnancy test, blood test, or a minimally invasive procedure (laparoscopy) to figure out your best treatment.

Treatment options for an ovarian cyst include:

  • Keeping an eye on it if is thought to benign
  • Medicine to keep more cysts from forming
  • Surgery to remove the cyst

Learn more about full-service gynecology care at Baystate Health.

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