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Ovarian Cysts Causes & Risks

Causes

Follicles grow in the ovaries each month. They make hormones and release an egg during ovulation. In some cases, follicles may become cysts. There are two main types:

  • Functional cyst—occurs when a normal monthly follicle does not mature properly and the egg is not released
    • These cysts go away on their own within 1-3 menstrual cycles.
  • Follicular cyst—occurs after an egg is released
    • These cysts go away on their own in a few weeks.
    • These are a type of functional cyst.

Most are functional cysts. They only occur during childbearing years. Many other, less common types of benign cysts can also form from ovarian tissue. For example, if you have endometriosis , you may form cysts from the uterine tissue on an ovary.

Polycystic ovary syndrome is also linked to cysts. This happens when several small cysts (more than 10) grow in the ovaries.

In a small percentage of cases, cysts are caused by cancer .

Another condition linked to cysts is ectopic pregnancy . Your doctor will do a pregnancy test to rule this out.

Risk Factors

The main risk factor is being a woman of childbearing age.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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