Women's Health

What Causes Ovarian Cysts?

What Causes Ovarian Cysts?

Key Takeaways

  • Ovarian cysts are small, fluid-filled sacs that can develop in or on the surface of the ovaries.

Ovarian cysts are small, fluid-filled sacs that develop in or on the surface of the ovaries. Most of the cysts do not cause any harm to the person, while some may cause pain or bleed. Cysts usually resemble a small bubble with central fluid surrounded by a thin wall. Cysts may develop in women of all age groups. It is most commonly seen during child-bearing age. Most of the cysts disappear without any treatment but ruptured cysts may cause serious symptoms.

Small cysts are developed normally during the formation of the follicles of the ovary. These cysts are known as functional cysts. This is the most common form of cysts in the ovary.

It is formed due to two reasons:

  • Follicular cysts – The egg was not released from the sac and it turns into a cyst.
  • Corpus lutem cysts – The sac does not dissolve after the release of the egg but accumulates fluid and developing into a cyst.

There are other kinds of cysts and this includes:

  • Dermoid cysts – These are formed from cells that produce eggs and may contain tissue like hair, teeth, or skin. These cysts are harmless and do not become cancerous.
  • Cystadenomas – These cysts are formed on the outer surface of the ovary. They may be filled with watery liquid or mucous.
  • Endometriomas – These are formed from the endometrial cells of the uterus that grows in the ovary. This is a very painful form of cyst and often results in infertility.
  • Polycystic ovaries – In this condition most of the follicles in which the eggs mature fail to open and develop into cysts.

Ovarian cysts may remain asymptomatic in most cases. It is a routine pelvic examination that may reveal the presence of the cysts.

 The common symptoms of the ovarian cysts include:

  • Bloating feeling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Low back pain
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Painful menstruation
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Cysts that develop after menopause may develop into serious conditions like cancer.

 In some rare cases, ovarian cysts may cause:

  • Ovarian torsion – In this condition, the large sized cysts may cause the ovary to dislocate from its usual position. This increases the chance of ovarian torsion.
  • Cyst rupture – Cystic rupture may cause severe pain and internal bleeding.