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A member asked:

How do women get ovarian cysts? i was told having ovarian cysts can be fatal, is this true or false? and how do we get them and why do we get them? why do they hurt so bad when it bursts?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Scott Musinski
Obstetrics and Gynecology 37 years experience
Ovarian : Ovarian cysts are most often "follicular" in origin. This means that the ovary is trying to ovulate and doesn't release the egg or "luteinize", which means become a corpus luteum. It will then persist or sometimes enlarge. Follicular cysts appear black on ultrasound as they contain only fluid (which transmits the sound better than tissue). Another type of ovarian cyst is a hemorrhagic corpus luteum. This too is related to ovulation. During the release of the egg, the wall of the follicle may break through a blood vessel causing bleeding in the abdomen or into the cyst cavity. These will appear acutely often accompanied by pain. On ultrasound they have "mixed echogenicity" meaning a combination of solid and cystic components. Women can have significant bleeding with hemorrhagic cysts particularly if they are on blood thinners or have bleeding disorders. Hemorrhagic ovarian cysts will often resolve over time spontaneously and require surgery on some occasions. Ovarian cyst that continue to enlarge are suspicious for neoplasms or tumors. These can be benign or malignant (cancerous). A common benign tumor is a teratoma, often called a "dermoid" tumor. For functional cysts (follicular and corpus luteum) prevention is commonly afforded through the use of oral contraceptives.
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Last updated Sep 27, 2016


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