Diagnosis

A cyst on your ovary can be found during a pelvic exam. Depending on its size and whether it's fluid filled, solid or mixed, your doctor likely will recommend tests to determine its type and whether you need treatment. Possible tests include:

  • Pregnancy test. A positive test might suggest that you have a corpus luteum cyst.
  • Pelvic ultrasound. A wandlike device (transducer) sends and receives high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to create an image of your uterus and ovaries on a video screen. Your doctor analyzes the image to confirm the presence of a cyst, help identify its location and determine whether it's solid, filled with fluid or mixed.
  • Laparoscopy. Using a laparoscope — a slim, lighted instrument inserted into your abdomen through a small incision — your doctor can see your ovaries and remove the ovarian cyst. This is a surgical procedure that requires anesthesia.
  • CA 125 blood test. Blood levels of a protein called cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) often are elevated in women with ovarian cancer. If your cyst is partially solid and you're at high risk of ovarian cancer, your doctor might order this test.

    Elevated CA 125 levels can also occur in noncancerous conditions, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Aug. 07, 2017
References
  1. Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ075. Ovarian cysts. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Ovarian-Cysts. Accessed May 2, 2017.
  2. Muto MG. Approach to the patient with an adnexal mass. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 2, 2017.
  3. Ovarian cysts fact sheet. Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/ovarian-cysts.html. Accessed May 2, 2017.
  4. Sharp HT. Evaluation and management of ruptured ovarian cyst. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 2, 2017.
  5. Muto MG. Management of the adnexal mass. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 2, 2017.