What is an ovarian cyst?

Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

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. 


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