What Are Ovarian Cysts? 


The term ovarian cyst refers to fluid-filled pockets inside or on the surface of an ovary. Women have two ovaries found on each side of the uterus. Eggs or ova grow and mature in the ovaries and are released monthly in the childbearing years. Many women will suffer from ovarian cysts at some time or the other, and most cysts will present little to no discomfort. 


As per medical experts, most cysts will disappear without any treatment. However, ovarian cysts that have ruptures can lead to very serious symptoms. Therefore, you need to get regular pelvic exams from a free women’s clinic in your area to protect your health. You may also visit low income clinics in your area to know the symptoms signaling serious problems. 


Signs Of Ovarian Cysts 

Most of the time, ovarian cysts will not generate any symptoms and will go away on their own without any treatment. However, a large ovarian cyst can lead to symptoms like bloating, fullness in the abdomen, and pelvic pain. The pain can be a dull or sharp ache on the side of the ovarian cyst or in the lower part of the abdomen. 


When Should You See A Doctor? 

It is critical to seek medical help if you have abdominal pain with vomiting and fever or if you experience sudden and severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis. Also, if you have light-headedness, rapid breathing, or weakness, you should see a medical professional at the earliest. 


Causes of Ovarian Cyst 

Most ovarian cysts occur as an aftermath of the menstrual cycle. These variants of cysts are termed functional cysts and are explained below. 


Functional Cysts 

Normally, ovaries grow cyst-like structures each month and these are called follicles. These follicles produce progesterone and estrogen hormones and release an egg when women ovulate. When a monthly follicle keeps growing, it is called a functional cyst.


These are of two types, namely Corpus Luteum cyst and Follicular cyst. 

  • Follicular Cyst: Usually around the middle of the menstrual cycle, an ovum burst out of the follicle and move down the fallopian tube. Sometimes the follicle will not release its egg and can keep on growing, resulting in a follicular cyst. 
  • Corpus Luteum Cyst: After releasing the egg, a follicle starts to produce progesterone and estrogen hormones for conception. At this time, a follicle is called the corpus luteum. Fluid can accumulate inside the follicle, resulting in the corpus luteum growing into a cyst.
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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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