What Is the Treatment for an Enlarged Ovary?

Birth control pills might be used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome.
A healthy ovary and an enlarged one from a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Ovarian cysts can be a serious concern if they grow or rupture.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may result in enlarged ovaries.
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  • Written By: Jacquelyn Gilchrist
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 18 August 2014
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The treatment for an enlarged ovary depends on the specific cause. Many medical conditions can result in an enlargement of the ovaries including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), and ovarian cancer. Ovarian cysts may also cause the ovaries to become enlarged. Patients should work with their doctors to develop a treatment plan, which may range from allowing the issue to resolve on its own to surgical removal of one or both ovaries.

Polycystic ovary syndrome occurs when a woman has an imbalance of hormones, which may result in an enlarged ovary, ovarian cysts, and other symptoms. It may also cause fertility problems and unexplained weight gain. Women who are overweight can benefit from losing weight to help balance the hormones. PCOS may also be treated with medications, such as birth control pills, hormone drugs, and metformin, which works with insulin to alleviate symptoms. Women who have problems becoming pregnant may also undergo a surgery to stimulate ovulation.

An enlarged ovary may also be caused by ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome due to fertility drugs. When the ovaries become overstimulated, OHSS can occur, which also causes gastrointestinal issues, nausea, and abdominal pain. Since this medical condition often goes away on its own within one to two weeks, the doctor will likely recommend no treatment. If symptoms persist, the doctor may prescribe medications to ease symptoms, such as anti-nausea drugs.

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Lifestyle modifications can also help treat OHSS. Patients should drink plenty of fluids and stay active. Those who have severe cases of OHSS may require hospitalization. In some cases, the doctor may notice an ovarian cyst along with an enlarged ovary, which may require surgical removal.

An ovarian cyst is another possible cause of an enlarged ovary, which may also resolve on its own. If the cyst appears normal and small, the doctor will likely recommend that the patient waits for it to go away, which may take a few months. Surgery may be required if the cyst appears abnormal or large. The doctor may be able to remove only the cyst, or he may also need to remove the affected ovary. If cancer is detected, the patient may need both ovaries and her uterus surgically removed.

Surgery is also frequently used for those whose cause of an enlarged ovary is ovarian cancer. One or both ovaries are removed, along with any other cancerous tissues. If the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries, the patient may need to undergo a hysterectomy. Additional treatments like chemotherapy or radiation are also used following the surgery.

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anon350860
Post 5

Can a girl get pregnant if she is suffering from an enlarged ovary? Is there a problem in her getting pregnant?

anon306901
Post 4

Staying active? Check with your doctor first. Being active with an enlarged ovary can cause ovarian torsion (twisting the ovary), which means a loss of blood flow - which can lead to a great deal of pain and surgical removal of the ovary!

Azuza
Post 3

Wow, infertility treatments sound scarier and scarier the more I learn about them. They can cause mood swings and all sorts of other unpleasant symptoms, and apparently they can also cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and enlarged ovary symptoms? No thank you!

I'm not trying to get pregnant right now, but if I end up having trouble in the future, I think I will just go the adoption route. The idea of having enlarged ovaries and crazy mood swings just sounds too scary to me.

indemnifyme
Post 2

@JessicaLynn - That does sound scary, but I'm glad your friend is ok now. I also didn't know there were so many enlarged ovary causes, because I've only had experience with one cause myself.

I actually had an enlarged ovary a few years ago, because of ovarian cysts. Luckily, I didn't have to have surgery though. My cyst was small, so my doctor decided to just keep an eye on it for a few months to see what would happen. It ended up going away on its own, and I was really grateful. The next step would have been surgery if it hadn't resolved itself.

JessicaLynn
Post 1

I had no idea so many different things could cause an enlarged ovary. I actually have a friend who had an enlarged ovary because of ovarian cancer, so I knew about that, but for some reason I thought that was the only reason an ovary could become enlarged.

In my friend's case, she ended up having to have surgery and have part of her ovary removed. She was having ovary pain, so she went to the doctor and she ended up having ovarian cancer. It was a really scary time, but luckily she's fine now.

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