Chicago residents ask, “What causes ovarian cysts?”
An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that forms on the ovary. Chicago residents turn to Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. for information on what causes ovarian cysts.
Follicular and corpus luteum cysts are types of functional cysts. Functional cysts occur as part of the regular menstrual cycle. The ovaries grow follicles each month. The follicles produce estrogen and progesterone. They also release eggs during ovulation. If the follicle does not release an egg, it can form a follicular cyst. A corpus luteum cyst forms in the ruptured follicle after the egg has been released. Both types are generally small, harmless, painless, and disappear on their own.
Other types of cysts
Less common cysts include dermoid cysts, cystadenomas, and endometriomas. These cysts do not occur as part of the normal menstrual cycle.
- Dermoid cysts occur as unfertilized cells in the ovaries begin to divide. Although uncommon, these cysts can grow up to 4 inches in size and may contain bits of hair or teeth. Because of the size, dermoid cysts need to be surgically removed.
- Cystadenomas form from ovarian tissue and may be filled with liquid or mucous material.
- Endometriomas form because of endometriosis in which endometrial cells develop outside of the uterus. Some of the tissue can form a growth on the ovaries.
Dermoid cysts and cystadenomas can become large, causing pain and discomfort, or causing the ovaries to move out of position. This increases the risk of ovarian torsion or twisting of the ovary.
If you are experiencing abnormal bleeding, severe pain, or abdominal pain accompanied by a fever, nausea, or vomiting, contact your doctor. A pelvic exam or ultrasound may be needed to diagnose the cause of your discomfort.
To schedule an appointment, contact Northwestern Women’s Health Associates S.C. today. (312) 440-9400