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How are ovarian cysts found?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Doctors may find ovarian cysts during routine pelvic exams. The doctor may feel the swelling of a cyst on the ovary, although the cyst may need to be about four inches in diameter before it can be located this way. If cysts are small and cause no symptoms, they may be discovered incidentally during examination for other problems or unrelated symptoms. Cysts may also be found while doing an ultrasound examination of the ovaries, which uses sound waves to create images of the body's interior. Most ovarian cysts are harmless, but once detected the doctor may recommend further tests to make sure, especially if the cyst is large or causing discomfort. Tests can determine what kind of cyst it is, what it contains, and whether it is cancerous.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.