Ovarian Cysts: Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Complications

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can be found within or on the surface of the ovary. Ovarian cysts are usually painless and asymptomatic.

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can be found within or on the surface of the ovary. Women have two ovaries. There is one ovary on each side of the uterus.

Each yolk is the size and shape of an almond. Eggs develop and develop in the ovaries. Eggs are laid monthly during the breeding years. 

Ovarian Cysts: Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Complications

Many women will acquire at least one cyst during their lives. Ovarian cysts are usually painless and asymptomatic. 

Ovarian cysts are common. You usually have little or no pain, and the blisters are harmless. Most cysts will go away within a few months without treatment.

However, the ovarian cartilage can sometimes become bent or broken. This can cause severe symptoms. To protect your health, you should have regular checkups and look for signs that could indicate a severe problem.

What is an ovarian cyst?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled or semi-solid cysts that form on or in one of the ovaries. The ovaries are tiny structures in your pelvis that generate hormones like estrogen and progesterone and carry eggs.

In rare cases, ovarian cysts can cause complications. Regular pelvic checks and communicating with your physician about any symptoms you're having might help you avoid cyst concerns.

There are various ovarian cysts, most of which are painless and non-threatening (benign). Ovarian cysts seldom generate any symptoms. You won't know you have it until your doctor discovers it during a routine pelvic check.

What are the types of ovarian cysts?

Most ovarian cysts are functional cysts. They occur due to changes in your body during your menstrual cycle. Ovarian cysts are common for reasons unrelated to menstruation.

Functional cysts

The most frequent form of ovarian cyst is a functional cyst, which is not linked with illness. Ovulation is the root cause of this (the release of an egg from the ovary). These cysts can signify that the ovaries are working as they should. Functional tumors shrink over time, usually within 60 days, without any treatment. Follicle and corpus luteum cysts are the two forms of functional cysts.

Follicular sac

During a woman's menstrual cycle, the egg develops into a sac called a follicle. This movement is in the ovaries. This egg or yolk usually breaks, and the egg is released. However, if the follicle does not open, the fluid in the follicle can form a lump on the ovary.

Luteal cyst

The ovarian sac usually dries up after the release of the egg. However, if the cyst does not loosen and the membrane opening opens, more fluid can build up inside the cyst, and this accumulation causes the cyst to open.

Other cysts

Not all ovarian cysts form as a result of the menstrual cycle. It's not always a sign of illness, but your healthcare provider may want to check it to ensure it's not causing any problems. They contain:

Cystadenomas. These cysts grow on the ovaries' surface. They can be filled with a thin, watery, or thicker fluid and resemble a mucous membrane.

Dermoid cysts (teratomas). Dermoid cysts comprise cells that make up all tissues in the human body, from the skin and hair to brain tissue.

Endometriomas. This pouch is filled with endometrial tissue, the same tissue that awaits you every month your menstrual cycle bleeds.

Ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer cysts (tumors), in addition to the characteristics listed above, are solid masses of cancer cells.


Most ovarian cysts are asymptomatic and disappear on their own. But large ovarian cysts cause.

  • Pelvic discomfort comes and goes. 
  • A dull or severe pain may be felt below your belly button on one side.
  • Feeling heavy, pressed, or full in your stomach (abdomen).
  • Bloating.

Who is affected by ovarian cysts?

Anyone with ovaries can develop ovarian cysts. Your chances are increased by:

  • Age. If you haven't gone through menopause, ovarian cysts are more prevalent.
  • Pregnancy status. During pregnancy, cysts are more likely to develop and persist.
  • History of ovarian cysts. If you've had an ovarian cyst, you're more likely to get another.
  • Current medical conditions. You are more prone to develop an ovarian cyst if you have endometriosis, hormone issues, or are taking ovulation-inducing drugs such as clomiphene.

How common are ovarian cysts?

Ovarian cysts are prevalent, especially if you haven't gone into menopause yet. The most frequent form of ovarian cyst is a functional cyst.

How is an ovarian cyst diagnosed?

Your physician will first rule out pregnancy as the cause of your symptoms. Then, the following tests may be used to diagnose ovarian cysts:

  • pelvic exam: Your pelvis will be checked by your doctor for any alterations or tumors.
  • Ultrasound: Sound waves are used in this imaging method to obtain pictures of your body's interior organs. It can detect cysts on your ovaries, their location, and whether they are primarily fluid or solid.
  • Laparoscopy: This is a surgical operation in an operating room. Through an incision (cut) in your belly, your physician inserts a camera to observe your reproductive organs and pelvic cavity. If your provider detects a cyst at this time, it can be removed.

Ovarian cyst complications

Most ovarian cysts are benign and will go away on their own without treatment. These cysts cause few if any, symptoms. However, in rare cases, your doctor may find ovarian cancer during a routine checkup.

This happens when a giant tumor twists or moves the ovary from its natural location. The ovaries' blood supply is weakened, and if left untreated, they will perish. The ovarian tissue can be damaged or die. Although rare, ovarian cysts account for about 3 percent of emergencies in women.

A swollen bladder, also rare, can cause severe pain and internal bleeding. These problems increase the risk of infection and can be life-threatening if left untreated.


There is no way to prevent most ovarian cysts. However, routine pelvic exams ensure that changes in the ovaries are detected as soon as possible. Be aware of changes in your menstrual cycle. Watch out for any unusual symptoms of menopause, especially if they last more than a few periods. Talk to your doctor about any changes that concern you.

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