Ovarian Cysts

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Ovarian Cysts

What are ovaries?

The ovaries are a part of the female reproductive system. They have two main reproductive functions in the body. They are responsible for the production of productive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, that trigger menstruation and ovaries also release eggs each month for possible fertilization.

Ovarian Cyst Types

Functional: Most common that usually doesn’t cause symptoms and often go away without treatment.
Teratoma, aka, a Dermod Cyst: This cyst contains different types of tissues that make up the body, including hair and skin. It is possible that the cysts have been around since birth and have grown during reproductive years.
Cystadenoma: Formed on the outer surface of the ovary growing very large but typically benign.
Endometrioma: Forms because of Endometriosis.

What are Ovarian Cysts?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form in the ovaries. Many women will experience a cyst on the ovaries at some time during their lives. Most cysts are benign, cause no symptoms, and can be discovered during a routine pelvic exam. However, ovarian cysts can also produce serious symptoms and might need surgical treatment.

Complex Ovarian Cyst

Most complex ovarian cysts are benign. They are considered high risk and need to be watched closely.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cysts

While ovarian cysts don’t usually cause symptoms, they still may occur.

  • A dull or sharp pain in the lower abdomen
  • Pain during activities
  • Intermittent ovary pain on one side of the abdomen caused by large cysts twisting the ovaries.
  • Hemorrhagic cysts (bleeding) or cysts that burst can cause sudden, severe pain.

Ovarian Cyst Causes

Follicular cyst results in the growth of a follicle which is the normal fluid filled sac containing an egg. An example of this type of cyst is a dermoid cyst.

Corpus Luteum Cyst occurs after an egg has been released from a follicle. When an egg is released that doesn’t result in pregnancy, the corpus Leteum is meant to break down and disappear. It’s possible that the Corpus Leteum fills with blood of fluid forming a cyst on the ovary. An example of this type of cyst is a dermoid cyst.

Chocolate Cysts typically grow inside the uterine lining caused by Endometriosis. Endometrial tissue can bleed overtime that forms blood-filled cyst containing brown and/or red colored contents. An example of this type of cyst is Endometrioma.

Dermoid Cyst is when ovarian tissues develop abnormally, cysts containing hair and teeth may occur.

Tubo-Ovarian Abcesses are infections in the pelvic organs causing pus-filled cysts on the ovary or fallopian tubes.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is when there are multiple small cysts that are within both ovaries. This is associated with hormonal issues and can cause infertility in women.

Ruptured Ovarian Cysts


Pressure on the cyst area
Hormone fluctuations
Physical activities
Sex or during sex
Everyday activities
Constipation or straining during a bowel movement


Pelvic Exam
Pelvic Ultrasound or CT Scan

Blood Tests: There is a blood test called CA 125, which is a protein can be high in women who have ovarian cyst, cancer or endometriosis.


Painful intercourse
Pelvic pain during or before period
Pain in the thighs or lower back
Tenderness in the breasts
Vomiting or nausea
Painful bowel movements
Swelling or bloating in the abdomen


The cyst may need to be removed if it is growing larger and is painful, twisted or causing other problems.

Monitoring the cyst(s) size or appearance.
Surgical Procedure

Surgical Procedures


Cystectomy is a surgical excision of an ovarian cyst. The cyst is removed either with laparoscopy or an open surgery.

Laparoscopic Cystectomy

A laparoscopic cystectomy procedure is a minimally invasive surgery during which a laparoscope, a long thin instrument with a camera attached at one end, is used. This technique is usually used to remove small cysts. A laparoscopic cystectomy removes only the cyst, leaving the ovaries intact. However, if the cyst is too large or connected to ovarian tissue, your surgeon may find it necessary to remove all or part of the ovary.

Ovary Removal

An Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of an ovary or ovaries. The surgery is also called ovariectomy. When oophorectomy involves removing both ovaries, it’s called bilateral oophorectomy. When the surgery involves removing only one ovary, it’s called unilateral oophorectomy. The removal of ovaries can have multiple reasons, like a turbo-ovarian abscess — a pus-filled pocket involving a fallopian tube and an ovary, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, noncancerous (benign) ovarian tumors or cysts. This procedure may also be recommended to women with an increased risk, or in case of, ovarian torsion — the twisting of an ovary. Also, this procedure aims to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer or breast cancer in women.

Ovarian Cancer Stages after Ovarian Cyst

Most ovarian cysts are benign but some can become cancerous.  Ovarian cysts cause for more concern after menopause. Your physician may request more tests to find out the cause of the cyst and if it’s large and doesn’t go away within a few months. Surgical removal of the cyst may be performed so the doctor can determine if it is cancerous.

Ovarian Cysts and Pregnancy

It is normal that every pregnant woman develops an ovarian cyst.  This cyst is the corpus luteum, the “cyst of pregnancy,” which produces the hormone Progesterone. … Miscarriage can be prevented with progesterone supplementation until 12 weeks gestation.


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