Ovarian Cysts

An ovarian cyst is a sac or pouch filled with fluid or other tissue that forms in or on an ovary. They are very common and usually go away on their own without any treatment.

There are four main types of ovarian cysts:

  • Functional cysts – This is the most common. Functional cysts may sometimes cause pain, but they usually have no symptoms and go away without any treatment after 6-8 weeks.
  • Teratoma – This type of cyst contains tissues such as hair or skin that occur in the body. They may be present at birth, but then grow during your reproductive years. Very rarely, teratomas can become cancerous.
  • Cystadenoma – These cysts form on the outside of the ovary. They can get to be very large and usually won’t go away without treatment, but they usually don’t become cancerous (are benign).
  • Endometrioma – This type of cyst forms as the result of endometriosis.

Most ovarian cysts have no symptoms. If you discover you have one, it’s usually by your provider during a routine pelvic exam or during an imaging test you are having done for another reason. Some cysts could cause a dull or sharp abdominal pain. Large cysts may cause the ovary to twist, which can be very painful. You may have a sharp pain on one side that comes and goes. A cyst may bleed or burst, and this can cause sudden, severe pain.

Treatments for ovarian cysts can range from watchful waiting for cysts that aren’t causing symptoms or problems to surgery for very large cysts, cysts that are causing problems, or cysts that may be cancerous.

If you think you may have an ovarian cyst, make an appointment with one of our providers by calling 307.637.7700.

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