Treatment depends on:
- Type and size of cyst
In many cases you can wait and be re-examined to see if the cyst goes away within a few months. This is typically an option if you are pre-menopausal, if you have no symptoms and an ultrasound shows you have a simple, small, fluid-filled cyst. Follow-up with pelvic ultrasounds at intervals to see if your cyst changes in size.
Hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, keep ovarian cysts from recurring. However, birth control pills won’t shrink an existing cyst.
Removing a cyst that is large, doesn’t look like a functional cyst, is growing, continues through two or three menstrual cycles, or causes pain. Some cysts can be removed without removing the ovary (ovarian cystectomy). In some cases, your doctor might suggest removing the affected ovary and leaving the other intact (oophorectomy).
If a cystic mass is cancerous, your doctor will likely refer you to a gynecologic cancer specialist. You might need to have your uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed (total hysterectomy) and possibly chemotherapy or radiation. Your doctor is also likely to recommend surgery when an ovarian cyst develops after menopause.