Prescribing combined OCs may not be effective for certain ovarian cysts

November 1, 2009

A recent review of seven randomized, controlled trials involving 500 women in four countries found that combined oral contraceptives are of no use in treating functional ovarian cysts that either occur spontaneously or develop as a result of ovulation induction.

A recent review of seven randomized, controlled trials involving 500 women in four countries finds that combined oral contraceptives are of no use in treating functional ovarian cysts that either occur spontaneously or develop as a result of ovulation induction.

The review reveals that most ovarian cysts in premenopausal women resolve spontaneously within a few menstrual cycles and that those that don't tend to be pathological (eg, endometrioma or paraovarian), rather than physiological in nature.

Because most of these cysts spontaneously regress, the review authors concluded that nonoperative management is almost always preferred in young women, unless the cyst becomes symptomatic or suggestive of an alternative etiology.