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Do Ovarian Cysts Resolve on Their Own?

Do Ovarian Cysts Resolve on Their Own?

Many problems with your reproductive organs can show up as discomfort in the lower abdomen or pelvis. Your ovaries are among the organs that may cause your symptoms. It’s common for cysts to form on these two almond-shaped organs that sit on either side of your uterus. 

Most cysts are usually asymptomatic and benign, but they can sometimes cause uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, abdominal pressure or heaviness, and pain. You may also learn of an ovarian cyst after a routine ultrasound. Most ovarian cysts disappear within 2-3 menstrual cycles

At Capital Women’s Care in Silver Spring and Laurel, Maryland, the experienced OB/GYN team can help you understand a diagnosis of an ovarian cyst. Learn about the natural course of ovarian cysts and their effects on your reproductive and overall health. 

Understanding ovarian cysts

Ovarian cysts can develop during a woman's reproductive years and be as small as a pea or as large as a grapefruit. About 20% of women develop an ovarian cyst in their lifetime

Ovarian cysts are classified as functional or non-functional.

Functional cysts 

These are the most common type and occur as part of the normal menstrual cycle. They include follicular cysts and corpus luteum cysts. 

Follicular cysts form when a follicle fails to release an egg, and corpus luteum cysts develop when the follicle releases an egg but does not dissolve as expected. These types of cysts typically resolve on their own within a few menstrual cycles. They don’t usually cause symptoms or complications.

Non-functional cysts

Non-functional cysts are less common and may require our intervention. They include:

Rest assured that less than 1% of ovarian cysts are cancerous

Ovarian cysts’ progression

Whether a cyst resolves on its own largely depends on the type and size of the cyst, as well as the presence of symptoms. 

Functional cysts often resolve spontaneously. As the menstrual cycle progresses, these cysts tend to disappear without medical intervention. They may cause mild discomfort or pain but usually don’t require treatment unless they persist or cause severe symptoms.

Larger or non-functional cysts may not resolve on their own and can sometimes lead to complications. Non-functional cysts may grow in size, cause pain, or potentially disrupt ovarian function. In such cases, we may recommend medical intervention to prevent further complications.

Ovarian cyst treatment options

If we diagnose you with a functional ovarian cyst, we usually recommend monitoring. You schedule regular visits so we can evaluate your cyst through ultrasounds. 

If the cyst dramatically changes in size, doesn’t disappear in a few months, or has bothersome symptoms, we won’t wait for it to resolve on its own.

Treatment options for persistent or problematic cysts may include hormonal therapy, which can help shrink the cyst and prevent the formation of new cysts. In some instances, surgical removal may be necessary, particularly if the cyst poses a risk of rupture, causes severe pain, or raises concerns about malignancy.

Capital Women’s Care provides diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment for ovarian cysts. To benefit from our comprehensive gynecological care, call or use this website to request your appointment today.

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