A Answers (5)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredOvarian cysts occur naturally but some should be checked by a doctor. This video contains an informative graphic animation on ovarian cysts.
A women's reproductive system has two ovaries, one on either side of the uterus. The ovaries, each about the size of an almond, produce eggs (called ova) as well as the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. Eggs are fertilized by sperm from the male to produce offspring.
An ovarian cyst is a sac filled with fluid that forms on or inside an ovary. Any ovarian follicle that is larger than about two centimeters is termed an ovarian cyst. An ovarian cyst can be as small as a pea or larger than a cantaloupe.
Ovarian cysts affect women of all ages. They occur most often, however, during a woman's childbearing years. Some ovarian cysts cause problems, such as bleeding and pain. Functional ovarian cysts usually don't need treatment and typically disappear on their own within 8-12 weeks. Surgery may be required to remove cysts larger than five centimeters in diameter.
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Kevin Windom, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered
An ovarian cyst is a fluid or solid sack seen on the outer portion of the ovary. These are most likely noncancerous and are usually functional in nature. Functional cysts are caused by ovulation. Every month numerous cysts grow in the ovary so as to mature an egg prior to it being ovulated. Once that egg ovulates, that cyst ruptures, and the egg goes out to the fallopian tube waiting to become pregnant. The cyst where the egg comes from then closes over and starts to make progesterone getting the body ready for a pregnancy. Sometimes these cysts where the egg came from can fill up with fluid or blood, and if they do not dissolve on their own, they can cause functional ovarian cysts. Some ovarian cysts can be cancerous, but these are most likely solid appearing ovarian cysts, and there are numerous tests that can be done to determine if the cyst is solid or cystic. Most functional ovarian cysts will resolve on their own.
Evelyn Minaya, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology, answered
It sounds like a serious medical condition, but in fact an ovarian cyst is perfectly normal. In this video, obstetrician and gynecologist Evelyn Minaya, M.D., explains why.
Ovaries in premenopausal women are supposed to produce cysts. We as medical professionals refer to them as follicles. Every month these follicles compete to become the dominant follicle, which ultimately could partake in assisting in the maintenance of pregnancy. Alternatively, if no pregnancy occurs, the dominant follicle or cyst dies and is replaced by a new cyst the following month. Postmenopausal women are NOT supposed to develop cysts.