Ovarian Cyst

Ovarian cysts are one of the most common fetal abdominal masses in females. Ovarian cysts are only rarely associated with other congenital anomalies, according to specialists at the University Center for Fetal Medicine.


Ovarian cysts may be noted on routine ultrasound. Fetal MRI is recommended to assist in diagnosis and rule out other structural anomalies.

Ovarian cysts

A fetal MRI image (right) demonstrates large bilateral ovarian cysts indicated by the arrows.

Prenatal care consists of serial ultrasounds to assess maternal and fetal well-being. Delivery at a tertiary care center is advised as immediate assessment by a pediatric surgeon is needed. An abdominal ultrasound should be performed immediately after birth. 


Due to the rare risk of malignancy, any complex mass should be surgically resected shortly after birth. Simple cysts require serial ultrasounds to assess for a decrease in size of the cyst. If the cyst does not decrease in size, it should be surgically resected.

If surgical resection is required, every effort is made to spare the ovary. 

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