Women's Health Matters

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Can birth control pills be used to treat an ovarian cyst?
No. In the early 70s, some research suggested that if a woman with an ovarian cyst took birth control pills, the cyst would disappear. We now know that most cysts disappear with or without the use of birth control pills.

Birth control pills may help prevent ovarian cysts though. Since birth control pills prevent ovulation, they may help prevent functional cysts in women who are prone to developing them.

If I've had one ovarian cyst, am I more likely to have another?
Some women are more prone to developing ovarian cysts than others, although we do not really understand why. Women who develop multiple functional cysts should be checked for other signs of polycystic ovary syndrome. Women who seem to be prone to developing functional cysts may wish to consider using birth control pills. Because the Pill prevents ovulation, it also prevents the development of functional cysts.

I have an ovarian cyst. Does this mean I am more likely to get cancer?
No, there is no evidence to suggest that women who are prone to developing ovarian cysts are any more likely to get cancer than other women are.

If one of my ovaries is removed due to an ovarian cyst, can I still get pregnant?
A single ovary can produce all the necessary hormones and the egg you need to get pregnant. If you have no other problems, the removal of a single ovary should not affect your fertility.

If I have an ovarian cyst, do I need a hysterectomy?
No. In the past, hysterectomies were sometimes performed when post-menopausal women had ovarian cysts. Removing the uterus will decrease the risk of endometrial and cervical cancer; however, it exposes women to various health risks and is in no way necessary to treat an ovarian cyst.


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