Ovarian Cysts | Overview

What is an ovarian cyst?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that usually dissolve after ovulation and can cause pain, but most often go away on their own. Benign ovarian cysts, that do not regress spontaneously, may be cured by surgically removing or draining them, but new cysts may form in the future. They can affect infants, young girls and adolescents. These cysts can appear on one or both ovaries, individually or in clusters. Complications of cysts can include disruption of the blood flow to an ovary (torsion) or rupture.

Cysts are almost always benign but can develop into cancer. Ovarian tumors account for one percent of all malignant tumors found in children from birth to the time she's 17. In girls younger than 8, four out of five ovarian tumors are benign (non-cancerous).

Types of ovarian cysts

There are several types of ovarian cysts, including:

  • functional cysts (follicular cyst or corpus luteum cyst)
  • polycystic ovaries
  • endometriomas
  • cystadenomas
  • dermoid cysts

How we care for ovarian cysts

If your child has an ovarian mass, they will be treated by the Gynecology at Boston Children's Hospital. We have been caring for infants, children and adolescents for more than three decades and are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cysts.