• Panhandle OBGYN


The ovaries are two small organs located on either side of a woman’s uterus. An ovarian cyst is a sac or pouch filled with fluid or other tissue that forms on the ovary. It is normal for a small cyst to develop on the ovaries. In most cases, cysts are harmless and go away on their own. In other cases, they may cause problems and need treatment. This blog will cover the differents types of ovarian cysts.

Ovarian cysts are quite common in women during their childbearing years. A woman can develop one cyst or many cysts. Ovarian cysts can vary in size. There are different types of ovarian cysts. Most cysts are benign (not cancerous). Rarely, a few cysts may turn out to be malignant (cancerous). For this reason, all cysts should be checked by a healthcare provider.

Functional Cysts

The most common type of ovarian cyst is called a functional cyst because it forms as a result ovulation, a normal function. Each month, an egg, encased in a sac called follicle, grows inside the ovary. The egg is released from the ovary at the middle of the menstrual cycle. There are two types functional cysts:

  1. Follicle cysts from when the follicle does not open to release the egg.

  2. Corpus luteum cysts form when the follicle that held the egg steals off after the egg is released.

Both types of cysts usually cause no symptoms or only mild ones. They go away in 6-8 weeks.

Dermoid Cysts

Dermoid cysts form from a type of cell capable of developing into different kinds of tissue, such as skin, hair, fat and teeth. Dermoid cysts may be present from birth but grow during a woman’s reproductive years. These cysts may be found on one or both ovaries. Dermoid cysts often are small and may not cause symptoms. If they become large, they may cause pain.


Cystadenomas are cysts that develop from cells on the outer surface of the ovary. Sometimes they are filled with a watery fluid or a thick, sticky gel. They usually are benign, but they can grow very large and cause pain.


Endometriomas are ovarian cysts that from as a result of endometriosis. In this condition, endometrial tissue-tissue that usually lines the uterus – grows in areas outside of the uterus, such as the ovaries. This tissue responds to monthly changes in hormones. Eventually, an endometrioma may form as the endometrial tissue continues to bleed with each menstrual cycle . These cysts are sometimes called “chocolate cysts” because they are filled with dark reddish-brown blood.


Several treatment options are available. Choosing an option depends on many factors, including the type of cysts, whether you have symptoms, your family history, how large the cyst is and your age. If you have concerns about your body or think you might need treatment, contact us to set up an appointment or answer any questions.