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Whats the difference between polycystic ovaries and ovarian cysts?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics & Gynecology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Totally different

It is normal for a small cyst to develop on the ovaries from time to time.
Most resolve in 6-8 weeks on their own and the discomfort can be controlled with ibuprofen. Pcos is totally different. These are multiple tiny cysts throughout the ovary. The main problem being weight gain, lack of periods and abnormal hair growth. The ovarian cysts are a side effect of the hormonal imbalance with pcos.

In brief: Totally different

It is normal for a small cyst to develop on the ovaries from time to time.
Most resolve in 6-8 weeks on their own and the discomfort can be controlled with ibuprofen. Pcos is totally different. These are multiple tiny cysts throughout the ovary. The main problem being weight gain, lack of periods and abnormal hair growth. The ovarian cysts are a side effect of the hormonal imbalance with pcos.
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Dr. Jeff Livingston
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Dr. Gerard Honore
Fertility Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: PCO vs. ovarian cyst

'cyst' just means fluid-filled-sac anywhere in the body.
Ovaries normally make cysts in reproductive years: follicle cysts and luteal cysts, so ovarian cysts can be totally normal! abnormal ones like some tumors, can also happen. Polycystic ovaries are none of these, but is a syndrome with 1) irregular periods, 2) high androgen levels, and 3) many small ovarian follicle cysts.

In brief: PCO vs. ovarian cyst

'cyst' just means fluid-filled-sac anywhere in the body.
Ovaries normally make cysts in reproductive years: follicle cysts and luteal cysts, so ovarian cysts can be totally normal! abnormal ones like some tumors, can also happen. Polycystic ovaries are none of these, but is a syndrome with 1) irregular periods, 2) high androgen levels, and 3) many small ovarian follicle cysts.
Dr. Gerard Honore
Dr. Gerard Honore
Thank
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