What Is An Ovarian Cyst?

An ovarian cyst is an abnormal growth found in a female’s reproductive organs. The ovaries are two almond-shaped organs located at either side of a female’s uterus. The ovaries are the main holding area for eggs that get released every month during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Cysts can develop due to hormonal issues, pregnancy, or pelvic infections. Most cysts are benign, but some can lead to cancer.

Types of cysts

Ovarian cysts grown in different areas and vary in shape and size. Cysts can also grow outside of the uterus and these growths are caused by endometriosis. Some of the types of ovarian cysts can include cystadenomas, follicle cysts, and corpus luteum.


These growths develop from ovarian tissue and can grow to be 12 inches in diameter. Typically, cystadenomas are filled with mucus.

Follicle cysts

Follicles live in the ovaries and contribute to the growth and development of ova, or eggs. When the egg is ready to be released, the follicle opens and the egg travels to the uterus. However, if the follicle does not open up, then a cyst starts to form. These cysts tend to go away after a few months.

Corpus luteum

Corpus luteum are leftover cells created after the follicle releases the egg. If the follicle sac does not close immediately, fluid buildup occurs and a cyst forms.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition related to reproductive health. PCOS affects nearly 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. PCOS is caused by hormone imbalances, specifically too many androgen hormones. Instead of releasing an egg every month as part of the menstrual process, the egg does not develop or does not pass from the ovaries to the uterus. PCOS can lead to cysts in the ovaries. This condition is a bit more serious than other forms of benign ovarian cysts. PCOS may render a woman infertile or lead to problems carrying a pregnancy to full-term.

Will I have to get surgery?

Depending on the size and severity of the cysts, surgery may be an option. If the cyst is malignant, then doctors will perform surgery and closely monitor the patient’s health. The decision to remove the uterus, known as a hysterectomy, or other reproductive organs can be an option for advanced cases. To learn more about ovarian cysts and treatment options, consult a healthcare provider.