Definition: Ovarian cysts are sacs in or on the ovaries filled with a fluid or semi-solid material. Most ovarian cysts are called "functional" cysts because they happen normally in the course of ovulation. Ordinarily, these cysts will disappear during the normal menstrual cycles, but sometimes they persist or enlarge, and can cause problems, usually pain. There are two kinds of functional cysts - follicular and luteal (corpus luteum) cysts.
Sometimes endometriosis on the outside of the ovary will form a so-called "chocolate" cyst, or endometrioma.
Often benign ovarian tumors are called "cysts" because many of them have cystic elements or cysts within them. This group includes epithelial tumors (mostly serous or mucinous cystadenomas) and teratomas such as dermoid cysts. These need to be evaluated carefully to make sure they aren't malignant (cancerous), although most of them are not.
More Info on Ovarian Cysts
Pictures of Ovarian Cysts
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