An ovarian cyst is a sac, which can be fluid filled, solid or a combination of both fluid and solid, that forms on or within the ovary. Women have two ovaries, located on each side of the uterus, that make female hormones and hold egg cells. There are various types of ovarian cysts:
- Functional cysts are the most common type of ovarian cysts. Each month a follicle, or sac, forms to release an egg and produce the female hormones of estrogen and progesterone. When the egg fails to release from the sac or the egg is released but the sac does not dissolve, a cyst forms. Typically, this type of ovarian cyst is harmless and shrinks over the next several menstrual cycles.
- Dermoid cysts consist of tissue similar to the tissue found in skin, hair or teeth. Though typically not cancerous, a dermoid cyst can be serious if it becomes large and moves the ovary from its proper position in the pelvis.
- Cystadenomas cysts form from tissue from the surface of an ovary and typically are filled with fluid. This type of ovarian cyst also can become large and push the ovary from its correct position.
- Endometriomas cysts develop from having endometriosis. The endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus can attach to the ovary forming a cyst.
When an ovarian cyst is suspected, a woman should be examined by a doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cyst symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts >