Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in
Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.
According to the NIH, each month during a menstrual cycle, a follicle grows on the ovary. A follicle is where an egg is developing. Most months, an egg is released from this follicle. This is called ovulation. If the follicle fails to break open and release an egg, the fluid stays in the follicle and forms a cyst. This is called a follicular cyst.
Another type of cyst occurs after an egg has been released from a follicle. This is called a corpus luteum cyst. Such cysts often contain a small amount of blood.
Ovarian cysts are more common from puberty to menopause. This period of time is known as the childbearing years. Ovarian cysts are less common after menopause.
Taking fertility drugs can cause a condition in which multiple large cysts are formed on the ovaries. This is called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. The cysts usually go away after a woman's period, or after a pregnancy.
Functional ovarian cysts are not the same as ovarian tumors (including ovarian cancer) or cysts due to hormone-related conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
Ovarian masses include:
Symptoms of ovarian cysts and tumors may include:
In some cases there may be no symptoms at all.
Diagnosis starts with a detailed medical history and thorough physical exam, including an abdominal and pelvic exam.
Often ovarian masses in children and young girls are found during routine exams when the doctor discovers a lump or mass.
Additional tests may include:
Treatment depends on the individual, the type of mass, its cause and symptoms.
Treatment strategies include:
Jennifer Kurkowski, WHNP