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Ovarian cysts are a frequent finding in women of reproductive age. Many of them resolve on their own and do not require surgery. Cysts that are large or persistent, lasting more than 2 to 3 months may require surgery.
Most ovarian cysts are non-cancerous and may be due to endometriosis or other benign processes. Cancer is rarely found in women of reproductive age with simple ovarian cysts, but surgical removal and microscopic examination is the only way to definitively diagnose the type of cyst.
Ovarian cysts can typically be removed laparoscopically, and do not require removal of the entire ovary. Other ovarian disorders, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, can be treated medically and rarely require surgery.