Chapter 3 – The Ovary

Ovarian masses


Ovarian cysts are common, occurring in 6.6 per cent of premenopausal and 5-17 per cent of postmenopausal women. (2) (4)

Most ovarian masses in premenopausal women are functional cysts (usually derived from physiological ‘follicles’) and other common causes include endometriomas and benign tumours (usually ‘cystadenomas’). Large ovarian cysts are an established risk factor for ovarian torsion. Other causes of ovarian masses include dermoid cysts, theca lutein cysts (which can result from ovarian stimulation as well as gestational trophoblastic disease), corpus luteal cysts (especially in early pregnancy), tubo-ovarian abscesses (resulting from pelvic infection) and ovarian malignancy (of which there are several distinct types). Up to 10 per cent of women will have some form of surgery during their lifetime for the presence of an ovarian mass. (2)

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