Summary: This guideline has been produced to provide information, based on clinical evidence, to assist clinicians with the initial assessment and appropriate management of suspected ovarian masses in the premenopausal woman. It aims to clarify when ovarian masses can be managed within a ‘benign’ gynaecological service and when referral into a gynaecological oncology service should occur.
The ongoing management of borderline ovarian tumours is outside the remit of this guideline. The laparoscopic management of highly suspicious or known ovarian malignancies is also outside the scope of this guideline. In addition, the guideline does not specifically address the acute presentation of ovarian cysts or the management of ovarian cysts in pregnant women.
This guideline should be read in conjunction with Green-top Guideline No. 24, The Investigation and Management of Endometriosis. The diagnosis of ovarian cysts has been addressed in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guidelines on the recognition and initial management of ovarian cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada have also produced guidelines for the management of women with an ovarian mass (see section 5.3 of the RCOG guideline).
COVID disclaimer: This guideline was developed as part of the regular programme of Green-top Guidelines, as outlined in our document Developing a Green-top Guideline: Guidance for developers (PDF), and prior to the emergence of COVID-19.
Version history: This is the first edition of this guideline; the second edition of this guideline is currently in development.
Developer declaration of interests: Available on request.