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What is an ovarian cyst?

Evelyn Minaya, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

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.

Scott A. Kamelle, MD
Gynecologic Oncology

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.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Ovarian cysts occur naturally but some should be checked by a doctor. This video contains an informative graphic animation on ovarian cysts.

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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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.