What are ovarian cysts?

Having an ovarian cyst does not necessarily mean you will have ovarian cancer. Cysts can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). You may have one cyst or many small cysts. Most women will have at least one ovarian cyst during their life.

Some women feel no symptoms of an ovarian cyst. Other women have symptoms such as pelvic pain, nausea, bloating or pain during intercourse. If you have many small cysts it may cause polycystic ovary syndrome, which can cause infertility if its not treated.

Don't ignore your pelvic pain. Main Line Health offers a range of diagnosis tests and treatment options for ovarian cysts.

Diagnosis and testing for ovarian cysts

If you have symptoms of ovarian cysts, your doctor may order one or more of the following diagnostic tests:

  • Blood test – A blood test that measures the level of a certain hormone, called a CA125 blood test, can help determine if you are at risk for ovarian cancer.
  • MRI – This test gives your doctor a detailed image of your ovaries in order to see the exact size and number of cysts.
  • Ultrasound – Your doctor may use ultrasound to determine the location and size of any cysts.


It is possible to be diagnosed with ovarian cysts, but not need any treatment at all. That's because some ovarian cysts can disappear without any treatment after a few weeks.

If your cysts are severe, or if you are at risk for ovarian cancer, your doctor may recommend laparoscopic removal of the cysts. Laparoscopic surgery gives your surgeon a clear view of your ovaries and the cysts. Your surgeon will make small incisions to insert a small camera and remove the tumors using precise surgical instruments, meaning you'll have less pain and a shorter recovery time.

Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery can be used to treat a broad spectrum of gynecological disorders with advanced precision.



Whether you’re seeing us for common gynecological problems or seeking out advanced therapies and the very best surgical expertise, our physicians, board-certified are here for in gynecology, are here for you every stage of your life from adolescence through the childbearing years into menopause and beyond.

Maternity (Obstetrics)

Our board-certified gynecologists are dedicated to serving you at every stage of your life, from adolescence to menopause and beyond. Whether you need treatment for common gynecological issues or advanced therapies and surgical expertise, we're here to provide comprehensive care and support.

Cancer Care

From diagnosis and throughout treatment, Main Line Health cancer specialists (oncologists) provide compassionate care for you and your loved ones through all stages of cancer treatment.

Women's Health

Discover how Main Line Health provides comprehensive and compassionate care for women in all stages of life.