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Types of Ovarian Cysts and What You Should Do About Them


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Most women will have some type of ovarian cyst at some stage in their life. In fact ovarian cysts are very common and generally present no serious health problems or have any physical symptoms. This article will list the main types of ovarian cysts and what you should do about them.

Ovarian cysts can be broken down in two main groups.

The first group is referred to as functional or simple cysts. They can occur during menstruation and are not thought to be a serious problem however they can be painful. Types of functional cysts include :

  • follicular cysts,
  • Corpus luteum cysts and
  • hemorrhagic cysts.

Follicular cysts occur when an egg is not released as part of the ovulation process. Corpus luteum cysts occur after an egg is released and the follicle changes in preparation for conception. Hemorrhagic cysts are filled with blood that is occasionally released into the ovary. Hemorrhagic cysts can also burst.

In most of these types of cysts, there are no symptoms and they will generally disappear after a few menstrual periods. However hemorrhagic and luteal cysts cysts can cause pain in the pelvic region. In some cases they can block the flow of blood to the ovaries. If you feel any pain in the pelvic region then you should see your doctor.

The second class of cysts are known as pathological ovarian cysts. They include tumors and endometriosis. Pathological ovarian cysts are generally larger than functional cysts. They can be cancerous but in most cases they are benign. They can cause physical symptoms such as pain in the pelvis and may cause the ovaries to be starved of blood. This is many because of their size. Pathological cyst need to be examined and diagnosed by an ultrasound. This may lead to a biopsy and eventually removal of the cyst.

Dermoid cysts can also grow on the ovary, even though they are not strictly cyst as they are made up of solid material like hair and teeth. They are thought to come from the totipotential germ cell in the ovary. Again, they can cause blood flow problems in the ovary that can lead to pain. They are usually removed via a surgical procedure.

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