What are ovarian cysts? Cysts are fluid filled sacs which can develop anywhere on the body. There are several different types of ovarian cysts:
Functional cyst - These form during the normal menstrual cycle. A sac containing eggs forms and usually breaks open to release the egg and the sac dissolves. Sometimes, the sac doesn’t break open and continues to grow, this is called a follicular cyst. It usually disappears in 30 to 90 days. Another type of functional cyst is called corpus luteum and it is when the sac doesn’t dissolve right away. This usually disappears on its own in a few weeks.
Endometriomas - This type of cyst can develop in women who have endometriosis . Tissue from the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus and if it attaches to the ovary it can cause an cyst.
Cystadenomas - This type of cyst forms from the outer cells of the ovary.
Dermoid cysts - Cells in the ovary which develop hair, teeth or other tissue during pregnancy can become part of an ovari...
Alternative Names Physiologic ovarian cysts; Functional ovarian cysts; Corpus luteum cysts; Follicular cysts Prevention If you are not trying to get pregnant and you often get functional cysts, you can prevent them by taking hormone medications (such as birth control pills), which prevent follicles from growing. References Katz VL. Benign gynecologic lesions: Vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovary. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology . 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 18.
The ovaries are located in the pelvis, one each side of the uterus. Each of these female reproductive organs is the size and shape of an almond. During each monthly menstrual cycle, one ovary releases an egg. The egg travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus. Most ovarian cancers are epithelial, originating in the lining tissues of the ovary. Rarer forms of ovarian cancer occur in the stroma, the connective tissue that supports the ovary, and in the germ cells, those that form the egg. The cause of ovarian cancer is unknown. Among women in the U.S., cancer of the ovary is the fourth most common cancer and the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer. The incidence of ovarian cancer increases steadily with age, with most cases found in women 55 to 75 years of age. It occurs with equal frequency in each of the two ovaries. Early detection of ovarian cancer is difficult because cancer that is limited to the ovary usually does not cause symptoms. An ovarian tumor can grow for som...
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