Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on the outside or inside of the ovaries. Most premenopausal women with regular periods will get ovarian cysts through a natural ovulation process. These cysts, called functional cysts, are generally small and often resolve on their own as they are related to the menstrual cycle. Large cysts may require treatment, and though they can be cancerous, this is rare. Cysts after menopause are also unusual and generally indicate a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
Follicular cysts happen during the ovulation process. Inside the ovary, an egg forms in a follicle which then breaks and releases the egg. A cyst may occur if the follicle doesn't burst as it normally does and instead continues to grow. Corpus luteum cysts develop when the follicle breaks but doesn't shrink as it should. Instead, the corpus luteum reseals itself and swells with fluid. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (POS) causes some women to produce numerous cysts that can affect the functioning of the ovaries.
Receive updates on the latest news and alerts straight to your inbox.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.