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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian Cysts

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs or growths that form on the ovaries. The ovaries produce an egg each month. They also produce the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone.

What is going on in the body?

Ovarian cysts usually occur in women during reproductive years. If a cyst is discovered before puberty or after menopause, it may be cancerous. Other more common types of cysts occur throughout life and include:

  • cystadenoma cysts, which develop from cells on the outer surface of the ovary
  • dermoid cysts, which are filled with hair, mucus, and skin tissue
  • endometriomal cysts, which are formed when tissue from the uterine lining attaches to the ovaries
  • What are the causes and risks of the condition?

    Ovarian cysts are quite common. There are two types: functional and abnormal. Functional cysts develop as a part of the normal function of the ovary, or ovulation. Functional cysts are usually smaller than abnormal cysts. They generally go away without treatment. Abnormal cysts are often caused by an imbalance of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Most cysts are benign, or noncancerous.


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    Ovarian Cysts: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Eva Martin, MD
    Reviewer: William M. Boggs, MD
    Date Reviewed: 06/01/01

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