Ovarian Cysts: A Review

Cheryl Horlen, PharmD, BCPS


US Pharmacist. 2010;35(7):1-4. 

In This Article

Simple Cysts in Postmenopausal Women

It is estimated that the incidence of adnexal masses in asymptomatic postmenopausal women is between 3% and 18%.[7] The risk of malignancy is low if the cyst is unilocular and less than 10 cm in diameter.[15] Many of these cysts resolve spontaneously, but some will persist or become complex. Large, complex cysts in postmenopausal women have an estimated frequency of malignancy of 6% to 39%.[1] Based on these findings, postmenopausal women with a small (<5 cm), simple (unilocular) ovarian cyst that is not suspicious for malignancy and who have a normal CA-125 level and no family history may choose expectant management with serial ultrasounds and CA-125 measurements.[6,7] However, if the cyst is persistent, enlarges, or shows findings suggestive of malignancy on ultrasound, or if the CA-125 level increases, the cyst should be surgically removed and examined for malignancy.


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