Ovarian cysts are typically noted after clinical screening, or as a result of exam for a suspected pelvic mass, or an incidental finding in investigations done for other reasons.
Most ovarian masses manifest with few or mild nonspecific symptoms.
Ovarian masses in women of reproductive age are mostly benign but the risk of malignancy increases with age.
Ovarian cysts in the prepubertal patients especially after the first week of life are abnormal and likely to be neoplastic. In adolescent patients, majority of ovarian masses are functional cysts.


Postmenopausal Woman 

  • Small (<5 cm), simple, unilocular, unilateral ovarian cysts in asymptomatic patients can be followed conservatively
  • Repeat transvaginal ultrasound and serum CA-125 should be performed at 3- to 4-month intervals x 1 year to check for any change in size or development of suspicious features
    • 50% of asymptomatic cysts resolve within 2 months
  • Consider surgical management for women with moderate- to high-risk Risk of Malignancy Index (RMI) or for those who do not qualify for conservative management

Conservative Management

  • Asymptomatic, simple, unilateral, unilocular ovarian cysts <3-5 cm in diameter have a low risk of malignancy and if CA-125 is normal, the woman may be managed conservatively

Expectant Management in Premenopausal Patient

  • Conservative observation can be adopted for complex or solid ovarian cysts of benign character (<8 cm in diameter, unilateral, unilocular, cystic, mobile, smooth, solid component is <7 mm, positive acoustic shadowing, absent blood flow) with ultrasound surveillance every 2-3 months
  • Follow-up is not required for simple ovarian cysts <5 cm as it usually spontaneously resolves, follow-up with ultrasound every 3-4 months for 5- to 7-cm cysts, and consider further imaging or surgical referral for larger simple cysts
    • Laparoscopic cystectomy may be done if surgery is required
  •  70% of benign ovarian masses will resolve spontaneously by either reabsorption of the cyst fluid or silent rupture within 4-8 weeks of initial diagnosis
Digital Edition
Asia's trusted medical magazine for healthcare professionals. Get your MIMS JPOG - Malaysia digital copy today!
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
Asykin Ismail, Dr. Jazlan Joosoph, Yesterday
Obstetrician and gynaecologist at Raffles Hospital, Dr Jazlan Joosoph, shares the lowdown on the condition, diagnosis and treatment options.
Christina Leung, Robert Chin, 19 Sep 2017
This review article outlines the prevalence of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) and hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), definition of NVP and HG, aetiology, risk factors, complications of HG, recommended investigations, primary care management, hospital and ambulatory daycare, therapeutic management of HG supported by good clinical evidence, discharge planning, and importance of the multidisciplinary team to provide high quality care in patients with NVP and HG.
01 Dec 2014
Women who use nicotine replacement therapy for smoking cessation during pregnancy are less likely to have infants with developmental impairments 2 years after delivery, say UK-based researchers.
16 Dec 2016
ESMYA – Ulipristal acetate 5 mg tab – Zuellig Pharma