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Ovarian Cyst

Ovarian Cyst ( Corpus Lustrum Cyst )

A healthcare provider should be contacted if the following symptoms occur:

  • Fever
  • Abnormal pain or tenderness in the abdominal or pelvic area
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Pallor or anemia (possibly from loss of blood)
  • Abnormally heavy or irregular menstruation
  • Abdominal swelling or unusual increased abdominal girth
  • Abdominal pain if blood thinners such as warfare (Coumadin) are taken
  • Increased facial hair similar to a male pattern
  • High or low blood pressure unrelated to medications
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A noticeable abdominal or pelvic mass

A woman with the following symptoms should go immediately to a hospital's emergency department:

  • Weakness, dizziness, or faintness, especially from standing
  • Fainting
  • Persistent fever
  • Severe lower abdominal  or pelvic pain
  • High or low blood pressure unrelated to medications
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Unexplained shoulder pain combined with abdominal pain
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
Self-Care at Home

Pain caused by ovarian cysts may be treated at home with pain relievers, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or narcotic pain medicine (by prescription). Limiting strenuous activity may reduce the risk of cyst rupture or torsion.

Follow-up

Follow-up depends largely on the type of cyst noted. Cysts in premenopausal women that show no evidence of cancer and are fewer than 4 inches in diameter may be observed for 2-4 weeks.

Prevention

Little medical information is available on the prevention of ovarian cysts. Smoking was not found to be a risk factor for their development.

Outlook

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 tendency of 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 diameter.

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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