Ovarian cyst or tumor

Norton Children’s Gynecology in Louisville is the only practice in Kentucky dedicated to gynecological care of children, adolescents and young women. Our specialists treat ovarian cysts and tumors with expertise and with an understanding of the unique needs of girls and young women.

An ovarian cyst or tumor can cause an ovarian mass.

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs. They’re typically noncancerous and often disappear on their own. As the ovaries produce eggs, they develop a fluid-filled sac (called a follicle) that protects the egg. This sac usually ruptures and releases the egg. If that doesn’t happen, it can develop into a cyst.

Ovarian tumors are less common than cysts. Tumors may be benign (noncancerous) or cancerous.

Either type of mass can appear individually or in clusters, on one or both ovaries.

Ovarian cyst or tumor causes and symptoms

In adolescents, hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can cause ovarian cysts to develop. The cause of ovarian masses in infants and children is unknown.

Symptoms of an ovarian mass can depend on the size, location and type of growth, though sometimes there are no symptoms at all. Possible symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pressure
  • Frequent urination
  • Trouble urinating or having a bowel movement
  • Bloating
  • Pelvic pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

When an ovarian mass occurs in a young girl — under the age of 8 — she may experience a rise in estrogen. This hormonal spike could cause:

  • Breast enlargement
  • Pubic hair
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding

Ovarian mass treatment

How our team treats an ovarian mass will depend on its cause and symptoms. We understand the unique needs of treating girls and young women, and we use techniques specially designed to care for such patients. Careful monitoring might be recommended in cases where there are no symptoms. In other instances, surgical removal may be required. If the mass is cancerous, additional treatment might be needed at Norton Children’s Cancer Institute.

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