BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuOvarian cystsPhysiologic ovarian cysts; Functional ovarian cysts; Corpus luteum cysts; Follicular cystsAn ovarian cyst is a sac filled with fluid that forms on or inside an ovary.This article is about cysts that form during your monthly menstrual cycle, called functional cysts. Functional cysts are not the same as cysts caused by cancer or other diseases. The formation of these cysts is a perfectly normal event and is a sign that the ovaries are working well.Cysts caused by cancerOvarian cancer is cancer that starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Causes Each month during your menstrual cycle, a follicle (cyst) grows on your ovary. The follicle is where an egg is developing.The follicle makes the estrogen hormone. This hormone causes normal changes of the uterine lining as the uterus prepares for pregnancy. When the egg matures, it is released from the follicle. This is called ovulation. If the follicle fails to break open and release an egg, the fluid stays in the follicle and forms a cyst. This is called a follicular cyst.CystA cyst is a closed pocket or pouch of tissue. It can be filled with air, fluid, pus, or other material.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Another type of cyst occurs after an egg has been released from a follicle. This is called a corpus luteum cyst. This type of cyst may contain a small amount of blood. This cyst makes progesterone and estrogen hormones.Ovarian cysts are more common in the childbearing years between puberty and menopause. The condition is less common after menopause.MenopauseMenopause is the time in a woman's life when her periods (menstruation) stop. Most often, it is a natural, normal body change that most often occurs...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Taking fertility drugs often causes the development of multiple follicles (cysts) in the ovaries. These cysts most often go away after a woman's period, or after a pregnancy. Functional ovarian cysts are not the same as ovarian tumors or cysts due to hormone-related conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome.Polycystic ovary syndromePolycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which a woman has increased levels of male hormones (androgens). Many problems occur as a result ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Symptoms Ovarian cysts often cause no symptoms. An ovarian cyst is more likely to cause pain if it:Becomes large Bleeds Breaks open Interferes with the blood supply to the ovary Is twisted or causes twisting (torsion) of the ovarySymptoms of ovarian cysts can also include:Bloating or swelling in the abdomen Pain during bowel movements Pain in the pelvis shortly before or after beginning a menstrual period Pain with intercourse or pelvic pain during movement Pelvic pain -- constant, dull aching Sudden and severe pelvic pain, often with nausea and vomiting (may be a sign of torsion or twisting of the ovary on its blood supply, or rupture of a cyst with internal bleeding)Changes in menstrual periods are not common with follicular cysts. These are more common with corpus luteum cysts. Spotting or bleeding may occur with some cysts. Exams and Tests Your health care provider may find a cyst during a pelvic exam, or when you have an ultrasound test for another reason.Ultrasound may be done to detect a cyst. Your provider may want to check you again in 6 to 8 weeks to make sure it is gone.Other imaging tests that may be done when needed include:CT scan CT scanA computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Related tests include:Abdomin...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Doppler flow studies MRIMRIA magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the body. It does not us...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article The following blood tests may be done:CA-125 test, to help establish a level of concern regarding the cyst if you have an abnormal ultrasound or are in menopause. Your provider may use this test value to plan further testing. CA-125 testThe CA-125 blood test measures the level of the protein CA-125 in the blood.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Hormone levels (such as LH, FSH, estradiol, and testosterone). LHThe LH blood test measures the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in blood. LH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland, located on the undersid...Read Article Now Book Mark Article FSHThe follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) blood test measures the level of FSH in blood. FSH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland, located on t...Read Article Now Book Mark Article EstradiolAn estradiol test measures the amount of a hormone called estradiol in the blood. Estradiol is one of the main types of estrogens.Read Article Now Book Mark Article TestosteroneA testosterone test measures the amount of the male hormone, testosterone, in the blood. Both men and women produce this hormone. The test described...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Pregnancy test (Serum hCG).Pregnancy testA qualitative HCG blood test checks if there is a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin in your blood. HCG is a hormone produced in the body d...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Functional ovarian cysts often do not need treatment. They often go away on their own within 8 to 12 weeks.If you have frequent ovarian cysts, your provider may prescribe birth control pills (oral contraceptives). These pills may reduce the risk of developing new cysts. Birth control pills do not decrease the size of current cysts.You may need surgery to remove the cyst or ovary to make sure that it is not ovarian cancer. Surgery is more likely to be needed for:Complex ovarian cysts that do not go away Cysts that are causing symptoms and do not go away Cysts that are increasing in size Simple ovarian cysts that are larger than 10 centimeters Women who are near menopause or past menopauseTypes of surgery for ovarian cysts include:Exploratory laparotomy Exploratory laparotomy Abdominal exploration is surgery to look at the organs and structures in your belly area (abdomen). This includes your:AppendixBladderGallbladderIn...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Pelvic laparoscopyLaparoscopyDiagnostic laparoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to look directly at the contents of the abdomen or pelvis.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article You may need other treatments if you have polycystic ovary syndrome or another disorder that can cause cysts. Outlook (Prognosis) Cysts in women who are still having periods are more likely to go away. A complex cyst in a woman who is past menopause has a higher risk of being cancer. Cancer is very unlikely with a simple cyst. Possible Complications Complications have to do with the condition causing the cysts. Complications can occur with cysts that:Bleed. Break open. Show signs of changes that could be cancer. Twist, depending on size of the cyst. Bigger cysts carry a higher risk. When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if:You have symptoms of an ovarian cyst You have severe pain You have bleeding that is not normal for you Also contact your provider if you have had following on most days for at least 2 weeks:Getting full quickly when eating Losing your appetite Losing weight without trying These symptoms may indicate ovarian cancer. Studies which encourage women to seek care for possible ovarian cancer symptoms have not shown any benefit. Unfortunately, we do not have any proven means of screening for ovarian cancer. Prevention If you are not trying to get pregnant and you often get functional cysts, you can prevent them by taking birth control pills. These pills prevent follicles from growing.Open ReferencesReferencesBrown DL, Wall DJ. Ultrasound evaluation of the ovaries. In: Norton ME, Scoutt LM, Feldstein VA, eds. Callen's Ultrasonography in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 30.Bulun SE. Physiology and pathology of the female reproductive axis. In Melmed S, Auchus RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 17.Dolan MS, Hill CC, Valea FA. Benign gynecologic lesions: vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovary, ultrasound imaging of pelvic structures. In: Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, Lobo RA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 18.AllVideoImagesTogFemale reproductive anatomy - illustration External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries, and cervix.Female reproductive anatomyillustrationOvarian cysts - illustration Typically, ovarian cysts are functional (not disease-related) and usually disappear on their own within 60 days. Oral contraceptives may be prescribed to help establish normal cycles.Ovarian cystsillustrationUterus - illustration The uterus is a hollow muscular organ located in the female pelvis between the bladder and rectum. The ovaries produce the eggs that travel through the fallopian tubes. Once the egg has left the ovary it can be fertilized and implant itself in the lining of the uterus. The main function of the uterus is to nourish the developing fetus prior to birth. UterusillustrationUterine anatomy - illustration The ovaries, the uterine tubes and the uterus of the female reproductive tract.Uterine anatomyillustrationFemale reproductive anatomy - illustration External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries, and cervix.Female reproductive anatomyillustrationOvarian cysts - illustration Typically, ovarian cysts are functional (not disease-related) and usually disappear on their own within 60 days. Oral contraceptives may be prescribed to help establish normal cycles.Ovarian cystsillustrationUterus - illustration The uterus is a hollow muscular organ located in the female pelvis between the bladder and rectum. The ovaries produce the eggs that travel through the fallopian tubes. Once the egg has left the ovary it can be fertilized and implant itself in the lining of the uterus. The main function of the uterus is to nourish the developing fetus prior to birth. UterusillustrationUterine anatomy - illustration The ovaries, the uterine tubes and the uterus of the female reproductive tract.Uterine anatomyillustrationRelated Information Cyst(Symptoms)Menopause(Condition)Ovarian cancer(Condition)Polycystic ovary syndrome(Condition)Diagnostic laparoscopy(Medical Test)Abdominal exploration(Surgery)Menopause(In-Depth)Ovarian cancer(In-Depth) Review Date: 1/10/2022 Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. 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