The most common type of ovarian cysts are functional cysts, which occur in relation to the menstrual cycle. When the follicle (the fluid filled sac that contains an egg) does not break open at ovulation but continues to grow it forms a follicular cyst. After the egg is released, if the follicle does not dissolve as it should and continues to grow, it forms a corpus luteum cyst.
Other types of cysts (called pathological cysts) are:
Dermoid cysts – which grow on the ovary and usually contain hair, fat, tooth, and other tissues.
Cystadenomas – a type of abnormal growth on the ovary which can be fluid filled.
Cysts can also occur as a result of a specific disorder:
Endometrioma – This occurs as a manifestation of endometriosis, when the endometrial lining is found on the ovaries. It typically contains a dark brown fluid, and is sometimes called a chocolate cyst.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) – As part of this syndrome, most people will have numerous small cysts on the ovaries. It occurs as a result of a hormonal imbalance.
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