ZocdocAnswersWhat are the normal consequences of an enlarged ovary?

Question

What are the normal consequences of an enlarged ovary?

I'm a woman who just entered menopause, age 53. I am about to get a transvaginal ultrasound to investigate an enlarged ovary that my obgyn found during an exam, and I'm just trying to prepare myself emotionally. What are the likely results of this test in a situation like mine?

Answer

There are several reasons for an ovary to be enlarged. Most commonly an ovary is enlarged because of the presence of a cyst. In women who are premenopausal and do not have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, most cysts are just related to the normal functioning of the menstrual cycle ("functional cysts") and do not cause much alarm. However, in a postmenopausal woman (or a woman with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer) then the risk goes up somewhat that the cyst or enlarged ovary might be due to ovarian cancer. No doubt it is because of this concern that your OB / GYN doctor has set you up for an transvaginal ultrasound. The transvaginal ultrasound will get a close look at the ovary. There are several possible outcomes. The first is that the ovary is normal, and the physical exam was misleading; if this is the case, then you are done and no further workup is needed. Another possible outcome is that a small, simple cyst is found; in most cases these also do not require any further workup. However, if there is anything suspicious about the ovary, then you will likely need further bloodwork and probably surgery to rule out ovarian cancer.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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